You have probably seen dozens of YouTube tutorials on how to braid your own hair to achieve a Pinterest-worthy hairdo or an Oscar-winning look. However, sometimes you need to return to the basics and learn the fundamentals of braiding. Today we gathered 5 professionals to teach you hair braiding tips and tricks. You can use them no matter the type and style of braid you want to achieve!

1. Michael Boychuck, Owner of COLOR Salon (Las Vegas): Braid in Blind

Celebrity stylist Michael Boychuck recommends you first exercise a braiding style without looking in the mirror. You need to let your hands get used to the moves in a coordinated, fluid manner. If you look into the mirror as a beginner, you will only divide you attention unnecessarily, he says. Try to turn the whole process into an automated one. Once you get the hang of it, you can use the mirror.

2. Nathaniel Hawkins (Tracey Mattingly): Learn these Five French Braiding Tips

When it comes to how to braid your own hair, nothing is more useful than some down-to-Earth French braid tips and tricks. Luckily, celebrity stylist Nathaniel Hawkins is here to share his wisdom. Here are the five tips for French braiding your own hair from the stylist:

  • French braid your hair without washing it to make things easier and still get some texture. The expert recommends you to use the KMS California Hairplay Sea Salt Spray. However, you should do this only after you washed your hair.
  • Begin your French braid as if you do a standard one. Split the hair in three equal sections and start with the left section crossing over the right and center one.
  • Practice your crisscross technique even if it takes more sessions. Pick up half-inch sections of hair below the crown from outside the plaited area along the way to pull them into the braid. Use your index fingers!
  • Some loose ends in front of your ears offer a bohemian look. However, if things look too messy, use pins to keep the longer loose layers in place.
  • Once you are done and you secured the braid with an elastic, shake the braid a little from the tail. This will give it volume.

After you’ve mastered these easy techniques, you can apply your new found skills on different kinds of braids that will make you stand out.

3. Kayley Pak (John Barrett Salon): Braid your Hair Dry

Kayley Pak says that wet hair is too heavy and it risks extending and breaking.

4. Erika Arzate (Braid Specialist at EDEN by Eden Sassoon): Start with a Two Strands-Braid

If three-strands braid is still too difficult, Erika Arzate says you should not worry: two strands braids look just as fun. Create a rope braid with two sections you twist in opposite directions. Finish with a clear rubber band for the tail.

5. Antonio Velotta (Alterna Haircare Global House of Experts Stylist): Keep it Tight

One of the most important tips on how to braid your own hair and achieve an amazing effect is to braid tightly. Start from the beginning and then loosen the braid up with your fingertips. Moreover, Antonio Velotta says that if the braid looks a bit too messy, you should use the Alterna Haircare Caviar CC Cream for Hair 10-in-1 Complete Correction Extra Hold to finish the look and keep the loose strands in place.

What other advice on how to braid your own hair do you use? Do you employ your own techniques or are you just following the experts’ hair braiding tips and tricks? If you found this article useful and you rocked your cool summer braids, please share your styling with us.

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