Braided hairstyles have come a long way in recent years. The basic braids we used to practice on our dolls as kids have turned into intricate plaited updos and long fishtail styles. If you’re brand new to styling braids, however, don’t worry. Everyone needs to start somewhere—which is why we’re going back to basics with teaching you how to braid hair.
Once you’ve mastered the standard braid, you’ll be ready to take on any bohemian hairstyle that inspired you! Cassi Pinder, L’Oreal Professionnel artist and brand ambassador, breaks down how to style a standard braid.
How To Braid Hair
A standard braid may sound simple—the final look, however, has the potential to be anything but. From beachy side braids to plaited updos, a standard three-strand braid is the foundation of so many styles.
Ready to learn how to perfect a standard braid? Grab a boar bristle brush, a hair elastic, and a few styling products before you start.
Prep your hair for a standard braid.
Use a boar bristle brush to rid your mane of knots and snarls before you begin braiding. If you’re dealing with a frizzy mane, we recommend applying a serum like the L’Oreal Professionnel Liss Unlimited Double Serum to your strands. The formula is enriched with pro-keratin, evening primrose oil, and kukui nut oil, to help give the hair a sleek and softened finish, while blocking humidity.
reshly shampooed hair tends to slip and slide easily when crafting plaited hairstyles. Working with recently washed hair? The right texturizing products can help you maintain your braid all night long. We love the L’Oreal Professionnel Techni.Art Wild Stylers Next Day Hair. This micro-propelled dry finishing spray transforms hair into next day, disheveled looks with a discrete and natural touch.
Once you’ve applied all the products to your hair, you’re finally ready to get started. To begin, brush all of your hair to the back of your head as if you’re styling a low ponytail.
Begin creating the standard braid.
Beginning at the nape of your neck, separate your hair into three even sections—left, middle, and right. Take the section farthest to the right and cross it over the middle section. Then, take the segment farthest to the left and cross it over the middle. Continue repeating these steps until you reach the end of your hair. Secure the braid with a hair elastic.
Pancake your braid.
Looking to add a bit of volume and fullness to your braid? Try the pancaking technique. Starting at the top of your braid and working your way down, use your thumb and pointer finger to gently pull the sides of the braid.
Set the look in place.
Once your braid is complete, secure your look with a strong hold hairspray like the L’Oreal Professionnel Techni.Art Infinium 4 Hairspray. The hairspray helps to lock in style with a natural feel, elegant construction, and optimal shine.
Looking for more expert styling tips? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.
Updos don't have to be endlessly complicated and require half a dozen bobby pins. There are plenty of simple solutions out there to try for yourself.
Can your hair look as good as your Pinterest board? Short answer: YES. Long answer: STILL YES… but you need a professional salon and the right products to get you there. Find the best match for your style, hair goals, and price range now. Find a hair salon near you to get your dream hair now.