I previously posted my thoughts on parts and whether or not the shape matters. You can read the full process I use to put in my mini braids in the ebook. Sometimes I make my parts neat and symmetrical- what I refer to as ‘on a grid.’ Other times I just pinch some hair and braid it up- I call these organic parts. The technique I use depends on my mood, but I’m more like to part on a grid. Here’s how I do it…

My technique has evolved over the years and instead of braiding guerilla style- hair loose, start by braiding rows at the back and working horizontally up to my forehead- I section my hair and work within quadrants.

I part down the middle, then ear to ear. I do break up these four sections into smaller sections but these four quadrants are what make the difference for the grid parting.
toppartsI start at the back and complete all the rows on one side, then all the rows on the other side. The rows don’t always line up but I it’s not a big deal to me. At this point 2 quadrants are done so theoretically, I’m half way there. For some reason, braiding the rest of my head feels like it takes much longer than braiding the back.




>Next up, I work on the two front sidepartquadrants. I start above my ear and create a row. I try to make sure the row is equal width all the way across. Because my head (and yours) is round, the lines curve toward the center of my head. Think about the latitude lines of a world or the lines on a basketball. They all meet at a central point. In order for all the braids in my rows to be the same thickness, the line must curve.  

Here you can see how the lines eventually meet at my forehead. Oncetop1parts one row gets to the very middle of my head, I move the other other quadrant and start again at the ear making rows towards the top of my head. At this point I’m left with a upside down teardrop shaped portion of unbraided hair at the crown.
The braids at the very top (crown of my head) are braided haphazardly. It doesn’t matter to me what direction these go. Typically, I make the ones at the back of my crown face the back but it can get uncomfortable to do this. When it gets uncomfortable, I part the rows on a diagonal. If I’m feeling lazy, I’ll braid them to the sides. I can always spray my roots with conditioner and work them into facing a new direction.



When I get the front/top, I make my main part where I want it. For this top viewset of braids it’s a diagonal side part- it’s easy to see at the center of this photo. I then part rows along either side of that part and work from the center of my hair out. The braids meet up with the already completed braids on either side of my head.

When I don’t want a main part I just part rows and alternate braiding on each side of my head (braid a row on the right then a row on the left, etc…). The resulting pattern down the center is a zig-zag part.

I use a rat tail comb to part all my rows then just use my finger tip to part vertically to make the square for each braid. If the row’s end is a diagonal like this:  /__________\  then the braids at the ends will be trapezoidal rather than square or rectangular. I improvise when necessary and follow the shape of my head while keeping in mind the size of the resulting braid.

*note: all pics, except for the last one were taken 2 weeks after putting in braids so there is some growth at the roots making the parts harder to see.

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17 Responses to How To: Parting on a Grid

  1. Yesss!!! Thank you for posting this ~ I am going to be twisting my hair over the weekend and this information is right on time!!!!

  2. This is an excellent post!!!

    I guess I just winged it when I installed my first set of kinky twists (luck being on my side because my mum used to braid alot of hair for people!) so I enlisted some common sense. This is brilliant though as it clearly sets out how to achieve a neat practical finish.

    One thing I found that helped with the neatness this time around was when I got to the front quadrants, I braided one row on the right hand side, then one on the left and so on, this meant that all rows were equal and made parting with a brick work pattern much easier.

    Love your blog – just discovered it today and I’m subbing!!


  3. Julie says:

    Great post! Your parts look so neat. I’m really bad at parting, that’s why I’ve given up on braiding my hair myself 🙁

  4. foreverasiam says:

    Wow you have like mega patience! Good work! 😀

  5. Anonymous says:

    It is a great work. I did braid them 10 days ago, hopefully I will let them for 3 weeks. I already wash them 3 times. I hope they will grow. I oil the scalp with jojoba, sesame , castor, and rosemary. and try to do the green house effect 2 a week. I had a knee surgery 17 months ago and had another one on july 8th. I don’t know if it will slow down my grow. Thanks a lot.

    • Jay says:

      Thanks for sharing. I hope you enjoy your braids. Your regimen sounds good, just make sure you allow your braids to dry fully after doing the green house effect. Too much moisture can cause bacteria- you’ll know if it’s too much by the musty smell. Braids will definitely help you retain all your growth.

      I hope you feel better and rest that knee. 🙂

  6. […] braided. Our techniques are somewhat similar. The main difference I think, is I tend to do straight parts on  a grid, as I call them. She’s one of a handful of YouTubers I follow, who wear mini braids as much […]

  7. […] putting in the mini braids. I also used the rattail comb to make my parts for the braids. See the explanation of my parting method here. As usual, I only used my hands to detangle (no brushes or […]

  8. Jay says:

    I believe I fixed all the images in this post. Sorry, I cannot find the original comment asking for the problem to be fixed…but if you see this, please let me know if you have any more questions or need more clarification!

  9. […] I used my Shea Moisture hibiscus styling milk (can’t remember the exact name) as a leave in. Afterwards, I coated the whole length of my hair in my shea butter mix and put it my hair in 6 braids to dry overnight. I took down 1 section at a time and braided in rows. I only used a rat tail comb to part, I did not use a brush or comb at all to detangle (last time I used one was in November). Here’s the method I use for parting my hair for braiding- Parting on a Grid. […]

  10. Naturella says:

    I love your mini braids!!! Did you install them on blown out/stretched hair? Or wet hair?

    • Jay says:

      I usually put my hair in 10 or so large braids and leave them to dry overnight, so when I do the mini braids…it’s on stretched air-dried hair.

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