The art of hair braiding dates back thousands of years, with origins as early as 3500 BC in Africa. Today, braids continue to be a popular hairstyle, with different types of braiding techniques serving different purposes. You can wear braids to protect your natural hair, as a formal hairstyle, or as a casual new look. At Long Island Beauty School, we make sure our students gain insight and skills on what it takes to successfully braid hair of all lengths and textures.
The Basics of Braiding
Braiding is one of the most versatile styling options. You can put braids alone in the hair or incorporate them into different styles, including updos and ponytails. Most braiding types require only a few basic tools, such as a brush, bobby pins, and hair ties. To prepare the hair, you may need a detangling spray and clips to section the hair. To maintain the hairstyle, hairspray or gel can be used to hold any loose hair.
Hair length doesn’t matter when it comes to braiding—the technique works on both shorter and longer hair. For some braided styles, unwashed hair holds a braid better than freshly washed hair. Curlier and textured hair braids are easier than fine types. If you regularly maintain the braids, some braid styles can last up to four months.
Types of Braids
Each type of braid requires a different technique and procedure. There are a plethora of braided styles and braiding methods. Here are a few basic styles you can learn about at Long Island Beauty School.
- French Braids. French braids are a traditional three-piece type of braid that is braided down to the scalp from the crown of the head to the nape, then hangs. You would plait each piece of hair by alternating sections over one another. French braids can frame the face or hang as a single braid down the back of the head.
- Box Braids. Box braids are a protective hairstyle normally used on textured or curly hair. You would create box braids with three-strand plaits sectioned with box-shaped parts. Typically, with box braids, braiding hair is added to the base of the braid and braided into the natural hair. A lot is tension is applied to create a very polished and neat look. Box braids can be styled loosely hanging or as an updo—your preference!
- Cornrows. Cornrows are a very traditional style for textured hair. This style features braids where the hair is braided back and very close to the scalp, creating neat and raised rows—just as the name implies! Cornrows protect textured hair from breakage and drying, as it also allows for easy access to oil and moisturize the scalp. The style can also incorporate more geometric or curved braiding designs to really allow for a creative look!
- Fishtail Braids. Fishtail braids are a unique braiding technique. You start with 2 strands (instead of the traditional three) and weave a thin strand from take the outermost part of either section, across and into the middle. You would alternate the sections you are taking from. Once the braid begins to come along, the shape of a fish tail is revealed!
Brush up on Braiding Skills at Long Island Beauty School
Long Island Beauty School is introducing various workshops on specialty topics like braiding! Joining us in our upcoming three-hour Braiding Workshop! The hands-on workshop is being offered at both the Hauppauge Campus and Hempstead Campus. Improve your current braiding abilities or pick up a few new styles to try on yourself or your clientele!