Our top tips for braiding hair like a pro

Want to know how to do braids and make all your plaiting dreams come true? Then keep reading for all our top hair braiding tips and tricks!  

Obsessed with plaits but don’t know the first thing about how to do a braid? We don’t blame you, braiding hair can be tricky, especially if you’re plaiting your own tresses (regardless of how easy all those vloggers make it seem!).

But don’t let this put you off, because the All Things Hair team has created an expert guide to hair braiding so you can become a fully-fledged plaiting pro. Now, simply read on to learn all the easy braids tips you need to know!

How to braid hair: Our expert tips and trick


braiding hair tips and tricks: learning how to braid hair
Braiding hair tips and tricks. Credit: Dvora

Talk while you braid

If you struggle when braiding hair, you should try talking yourself through the steps as you go, as this can help you focus on the task at hand! We know, you may feel a bit silly at first, but if it gives you your desired look, who cares?

For a traditional 3-strand plait, try saying: “right over middle, left over middle, right over middle, left over middle”, and so on, until you’ve completed your lovely braid.

Cut off your hairband

Generally, when you tie your hair into a low ponytail before braiding, your plait tends to look neater and more uniformed – but the hairband at the base can restrain your tresses and ruin the whole look.

The solution? Just carefully cut your base hairband off after you’ve braided your hair! This will loosen the overall look and allow you to manipulate your braid in a variety of different ways. This is an easy braid hack that can be applied to so many looks!

How to braid: tips and tricks for hair braiding
How to braid: tips and tricks. Credit: Dvora

Sleep on it

Think a braid is just a braid? Well it is, but it’s also your conduit to achieving other styles, too! Not sure what we mean? We’ll let you in on a secret: by creating any number of easy braids on your mane, you’re automatically prepping your strands for some seriously lush waves the next day.

Just remember to spritz your hair with some water before bed and rest assured you’ll wake up with model-worthy waves! See, not only do you know how to do a braid, but you also know how to create waves in your sleep (literally).


Have thin hair? Don’t worry. Pancaking is a technique you can use when learning how to braid hair to make it thicker and fuller. After braiding your hair, simply use your thumb and index finger to gently tug and pull each weave to thicken its appearance.

How to do easy braids: tips and tricks from braid tutorials
Hair braiding tips and tricks.

Use a toothbrush

Ever wondered how those vloggers get those undone vibes in their manes? Well, what they may not tell you in those braid tutorials is you can use a toothbrush to up your style (yes, really!).

If your braid is looking a little too neat, mess it up slightly by gently brushing over the top of it with a clean toothbrush. The bristles will help to create a cool, effortless, messy look.

Catch those layers

When learning how to braid, it’s important to consider your current haircut, as this could affect the outcome of your plait. Layers are a prime example – they may be super pretty, but they don’t always agree with braids (sigh).

To prevent the ends of your layers from sticking out of your braid, spritz your mane with some VO5 Classic Ultimate Hold HairsprayDo this before you begin braiding to help smooth your strands and give them extra grip.

How to do a braid: model shows how to do braids in her dark hair with half up half down french braids
How to do a braid. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

To straighten or to curl?

Depending on the desired final look of your braid, you may need to straighten or curl your hair first.

If you want your braid to look super tidy and sleek, spritz your hair with TRESemmé Runway Collection Get Sleek Protect & Polish Duo Mist. Use this before straightening your hair to smooth down your tresses and to protect them from heat! 

If you’re after a more casual vibe, roughly curl your hair before braiding, and use Toni&Guy Casual Sea Salt Texturising Spray to help boost those tousled textures. 

Don’t watch yourself in the mirror

Although it may seem like a good idea to watch yourself in the mirror when learning how to do braids, it’s probably not. Your reflection will show you braiding your hair backwards, while your fingers are doing quite the opposite.

Instead, try following some YouTube braid tutorials (did you know that we’ve got tonnes of how-to videos on our All Things Hair channel?).


Found these hair braiding tips and tricks useful? Then it’s time to put your new skills to the test with some quick and easy braids, like these stunning waterfall plaits we spotted on Instagram!

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