View Full Version : Newbie needs tips on how to avoid lopsided braids

September 23rd, 2011, 11:48 AM
I'm really new to braiding my own hair. Have been trying since about three weeks. But everytime I want to have a single french or dutch braid, it's sooo lopsided and very mutch on the left instead of the center. Any tips how I can make it better? I don't even know what exactly I'm doing wrong. ^^

September 23rd, 2011, 11:56 AM
Are you bringing the braid over your shoulder to the front to braid the length? That can create lopsided braids for me, if I'm not careful with the tension. Maybe adjust the tension or try braiding with the braid brought forward over you head, that easier when you also lean forward. (I hope I explained that clearly).

ETA If you bring the braid over your shoulder do you switch braid direction from English to Dutch or from Dutch to English because if you don't it can create sort of a kink or bend.

September 23rd, 2011, 12:05 PM
Yes, most of the times I bring it over the shoulder and then braid the length. But it seems that it's lopsided really from the beginning. I've tried looking in the mirror but I simply braid better without it.

Over my head? ^^ I'm not sure that I get what you mean. :D

Oh and I tried both with and without switching the direction but it doesn't make a huge difference for me.

September 23rd, 2011, 12:13 PM
another member on here posted a tip a while ago. What she did was braid normally from the back until she couldn't reach much farther and then leaned forward so her head was down and flipped the braid over her head so it was in front of her face and continued braiding that way until the end. A perfectly even braid!

or what I do is just turn my head to the side as much as possible to my left shoulder and keep my hands over at my right shoulder to keep braiding.

September 23rd, 2011, 12:15 PM
Well, these are nice tips to braid the lenghts but in my case the WHOLE braid is lopsided :o So I must be doing something wrong with the tension...?

September 23rd, 2011, 12:46 PM
Juneii, that what I was talking about, thanks for the clear explanation :)

Starlight, are you pulling the sections so the braid get tighter as you go? That can also make the beginning lopsided if you brought the braid forward.

Maybe it will help if you make a ponytail first.

September 23rd, 2011, 01:01 PM
I'm confused. ^^ How can I french or dutch braid a ponytail? :hmm:
Well, here's my 2nd dutch braid ever. It is lopsided but not as much as french braids... How is that...? lol
Making nice, even, centered, tight and not-messy braids is a big mystery!! :D


September 23rd, 2011, 01:06 PM
Ah! That is something that just takes practice! Don't worry, you will get it! :)

It also looks like you may be pulling the strands in your right hand tighter then you do on the left. Practice will fix that. :)

September 23rd, 2011, 01:10 PM
Ah! That is something that just takes practice! Don't worry, you will get it! :)

It also looks like you may be pulling the strands in your right hand tighter then you do on the left. Practice will fix that. :)
Aww, thanks, I relly hope so...
Guess you all know how it feels to be impatiently waiting to finally get it flawlessly right. :) I want to get that right NOW. Hehehe...

September 23rd, 2011, 01:14 PM
Oops, my bad. Didn't read properly. Thought you had trouble with all braids. I wouldn't try to lean forward or bring the braid over your head btw if your French braiding.

Braids are tricky, especially in the beginning. Maybe your tension changes because your arms tire or maybe because you drop sections and pick them up later :shrug:. I'm just guessing.

Anyway I would just practice a lot, everything gets better with practice. Try searching for threads or articles about braiding, there's lot of good information around. Or try You tube, Torrin Paige has some great tutorials on braids, that really helped me.

September 23rd, 2011, 01:18 PM
Thanks eshta, your guessing might be right. Could definately be a tension problem. And my impatience might be another reason. :D 'Cause I don't want to LEARN new things, I wanna be able to just DO them. Crazy, huh? ^^

September 23rd, 2011, 01:37 PM
I'd suggest practicing the tension and gripping with equal strength from both of your hands. Maybe you could practice on a doll? Or just practice again and again while you're doing something like sitting on the couch watching tv or browsing the net. :)

For your second attempt, though, I'd say your braid is looking pretty good!

Also, from the photo it looks like you may not have the same number of sections of hair feeding into the braid on each side of your head -- it could be the lighting, though.

September 23rd, 2011, 01:52 PM
Thank you Yozhik! I'd say it's NOT the lighting. :o
Thinking about it I guess I'm insecure about how to put the same number of equal strands in my braid. Or I didn't count them at all ^^

Hehe, and yeah, I practice a lot (french braids until now) while watching TV.

But why are dutch braids easier for me? My french braids looked very messy. And the messy part always started when I added to the left and right strands...

September 23rd, 2011, 03:12 PM
I find French braids way, way harder than Dutch, so you're not completely alone. I've been able to do Dutch braids since grade 9, but I only mastered French in the last year or so. I don't even know what makes the Dutch ones easier, I just find it's easier for my fingers to grab the strands, and with French braids I have a tendency to either drop the new hair or get the strands mixed up.

September 23rd, 2011, 11:21 PM
That's your second attempt!? Holy cow that's great for a newbie. It took me months of frustrated disasters and finally my roommate showed me her method and it just clicked one day. That being said, these days I do a French braid every night before bed and I STILL have braid disasters all the time. Sometimes it's skill, sometimes it's luck, sometimes it depends on the condition of my hair. If it's "grabby" and I have velcro ends, fugedaboutit. (I did an SMT today and the braiding was so much easier!) The practice is the main thing though, I have gotten pretty good from doing it nearly every day.

September 23rd, 2011, 11:24 PM
Oh and after all these years I still mutter "right over, left over" as I'm going along...or "right under, left under" for a Dutch braid. LOL my BF likes to try and confuse me by going "right right left left left" etc and gets cracked up when he confuses me!

September 23rd, 2011, 11:57 PM
Lots and lots of practice! In high school, when I was learning to french braid, I braided anyone's hair who would sit still long enough, and on the bus to and from swim meets, I would just do my own over and over again until I gor the hang of it. I only recently learned to Dutch braid (which for me was harder, but I think it's just which one you learn first), and I just kpet doing it until I got it right. Torrin Paige's videos were a HUGE help. Her Dutch braid video was what really helped me, because I could never figure out what to do with my hands before.

September 24th, 2011, 05:27 AM
Intransigentia: Mixing up strands... Hehe, that sounds familiar. :D

archel: Oh thank you! You really think it is? That makes me happy. :) That's so right I should really practice as often as I can. Haha, and your BF is a naughty boy! But it's so cute and funny!

LadyKate: Thanks... I already know Torrin Paige's videos but maybe I should watch them over and over again

September 24th, 2011, 06:00 PM
Right now I have the feeling that I somehow made it. Don't you think? The french braid is much tighter on my head, only the bottom two strands are somehow loose and it's only a very little bit lopsided.
The only thing I don't quite get is how to get the strands to look smooth and tidy without all the knotted little flyaways...
Any comments? :scared:

photos from the back, left and right. ;)




September 25th, 2011, 09:50 AM
Ta-dah! :) Today's Dutch braid (my 3rd). Not loose and messy, only a little too much on to the left side.



September 26th, 2011, 10:48 AM
Looks to me like every braid you do is better than the one before. Keep at it and you'll be the Braid-Queen yet!

September 26th, 2011, 04:43 PM
Hehe, thankies! :) I really hope so.
I feel that it's not as difficult for me as it was in the beginning. Of course I often need more than 1 attempt. But it keeps getting a little better every day.

October 11th, 2011, 05:20 PM
I just wanna show you my braiding improvement. I think it looks much nicer now and really not much lopsided. This is my french braid for sleeping tonight. :)