Back to beauty school today! Braids have been on-trend for what seems like every season these days. They mask second day hair, and are super practical. Some of us grew up braiding our friends’ hair (ahem, that would be me), but some of us just never got the hang of it. No fear, I’m your girl. In today’s lesson, we’re gonna do the simple french braid. Feel free to take notes.Tools:

Start with a good brush. Detangling and smoothing out the strands will make the braid look cleaner and prevent those pesky bumps. Brush from front of the head to back, removing any part. Next, warm up the wax between your hands, and comb through with your fingers, concentrating the product at top half of your hair.

Now, kinda going by the upper corners of your forehand (this will look best if you tailor it specifically to your face shape), pick up a triangle of hair. Brush it out, then split it into three even chunks.

Choose one of the outer pieces. Actually, just for rookie’s sake, let’s go with the outermost right piece. Yah. That’ll do. So with the outermost right piece, were going to switch this piece with the middle piece. So now, that outermost right piece (this is becoming quite the mouthful) is now in the centre and the originally middle piece is under that right piece, now on the right side.  Now, we’re going to do this again, but with the leftmost piece of hair (don’t sweat it, I’ll walk you through it again). Take the untouched, left piece and cross it over into the middle, and moving the old centre piece under that left piece. Continue this method, alternating right and left, but pulling even chunks of hair from each side and adding them to the three braiding pieces before weaving.

Yada, yada yada. You’re still braiding. Make sure the chunks you’re adding are smooth, and keep the weaving tight and very close to the head. Now, once you’re nearing the nape of the neck, make sure you’ve added all the extra hair to the braid– it should be quite thick now. Once you’ve reached the end of your roots, you’re just going to resume normal braiding. Right over to centre, pull the centre piece under to the right. Left over to centre, pull the centre piece under to the right. You’ve got it now. Keep going, right left, right left, right until you get to your ‘desired’ end.

I prefer mine to have barely any tail, however it’s much easier to end a little early. To each their own. Tie up with your thin elastic (the clear plastic-y ones are my favourite, it you have those on hand). Congrats! Your now the owner of a sleek, beautiful french braid.

In my opinion, looser pieces and a bit of messiness is more flattering to my face. This doesn’t require much instruction– get your fingers in there, pull around, free a few face-framing pieces. I like to think it’s a little more mermaid-esque. If you’ve got major layers popping out, try pushing pieces into the braid to secure them, or use a bobby pin. That’s all there is to it. Remember, practice makes perfect.
P.S. My apologies for my lacklustre nail sitch, I promise I’ll try to vamp them up for next time.
–Anna Raponi

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