To create tangle-free mini braids that hold up after frequent conditioner washes, it is important to braid tightly. You shouldn’t feel any tension on your scalp, but the length of the braid should be as tight as you can get it. Tighter braids keep the strands of hair organized. Braids will be less likely to get frizzy over time. The hair stays sleek and shiny when braided tightly.

The following photographs will demonstrate the difference between a good braid and a bad one using yarn.

howto1Both bundles of yarn have 15 strands in them each. The bundle on the blue peg (left side) will show a good braid- one that is tight. The bundle on the red peg (right side) will show a braid that is looser and won’t last as long as the good braid.

howto2Each braid has been split equally into 3 parts. It’s important that each of the 3 strands that will make up the braid be the same width and length. For the demonstration, there are 5 pieces of yarn in each strand of the braid. This is the same for the braid on the blue peg.

howto3The braid on the blue peg is braided tighter than the on on the red peg. The one on the blue peg looks much thinner than the one on the red peg, but they are the exact same density (15 pieces of yarn) when loose. The one on the red peg is also slightly shorter than the one on the blue Although the loose yarn was already cut shorter- a loose braid will be shorter than a tight one as a general rule.

Jun000.jpgThis is a close up of the tight braid on the blue peg. The distance from the point where a strand comes from around the back of the braid then disappears under the opposing strand is shorter than that of the loose braid.

howtocloseup2This is a close up of the loose braid that is on the red peg. The distance from the point where a strand comes from around the back of the braid then disappears under the opposing strand is longer than that of the tight braid.

It takes longer to braid each mini braid tightly but the pay off is worth it. Tight braids will last through the manipulation of styling and frequent washing. It make take you a whole week, working a few hours each day, to put in mini braids your first time around. The pay off is that you have styled hair for at least 4 weeks afterward. It’s possible to keep mini braids in much longer, but that is dependent on your personal preference.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, please leave a comment or message me at minibraidmethod@gmail.com. Stay tuned for more articles on how to install your mini braids!

4 Responses to How To: Mini Braids That Last

  1. […] and make the ends of the braids tapered. You still need to braid tightly, as demonstrated in this post, but in this example with yarn, separate the 15 strands of yarn into 3 strands- 5 strands- 7 […]

  2. […] already. This is by far the biggest mistake made when putting in mini braids. See my article on proper braiding technique. Tight braiding is important for a number of reasons- especially frizz prevention. The length of […]

  3. […] braids should be braided tightly all the way down the length of the braid. See my article on the proper braiding technique. If the hair is braided tight enough, strands that aren’t as long as the bulk of the braid, […]

  4. […] to my post on how to braid here: http://minibraidmethod.com/2012/06/how-to-mini-braids-that-last/ a braid done using the first technique explained above, will almost always look like the yarn […]

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