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.
I 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 quadrants. 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.
When I get the front/top, I make my main part where I want it. For this set 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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