Braidipedia 1: The No-Braid Braid

You want to change up your hair, have a gorgeous style, but don't want to mess with rollers, heat, and styling? No problem, just learn how to braid. There are many gorgeous braiding styles out there, and with a little bit of imagination, you can combine them to get a hair look that rivals the most complicated and gorgeous roller set up-do. I want to give you the Wikipedia of braids, or more simply: a Braidipedia.

My assistant in this effort is the lovely Samantha, known to her friends as Bitsy. She is a human hair cosmetology dummy. Doing the braids on Bitsy rather than on a wig has the advantage of helping you to visualize how it will look on a real human head.

The No-Braid Braid

The first braid in our series doesn't even require braiding. It's that easy. You will need:

  1. Some kind of hair clip.
  2. Lots of elastics. I like the tiny, nearly invisible kind.

To do the no-braid braid, just do the following steps over and over again until you run out of hair:

  1. Pull all hair in your wig into a big ponytail, and fasten it with an elastic.
  2. Divide this ponytail into an upper ponytail and a lower ponytail.
  3. Split the upper ponytail into a "V," with the bottom ponytail in the middle of the "V."
  4. Bring the lower ponytail up through the "V," and fasten it above with the hairclip.
  5. Take another elastic and fasten it around the arms of the "V," as close as you can to the other ponytail. Unclip the ponytail.

It should look like the lower ponytail is coming through a 'hole' in the upper ponytail, and resting on top of it. Repeat these steps with the new upper and lower ponytails, and keep repeating them, until you run out of hair. Here's a video:

Isn't that a pretty braid?"

As you can see in the video, I like to finish a braid by pulling on each side a bit, to help it fill out. In general, it's best to make the braid as "tight" as you can when you are braiding, and then add volume by pulling it after you have it finished.

Frenching the No-Braid Braid

As you will see, most braids have a basic version and a "Frenched" version. To "French" a braid, you keep adding hair to it. To make the French No-Braid Braid, just follow these steps:

  1. Instead of using one ponytail that we divide into two, we will use two separate ponytails. Make the first one at the crown of the head and fasten with an elastic.
  2. Now make a second ponytail below the first one and fasten with an elastic.
  3. Split the upper ponytail into a "V".
  4. Bring the lower ponytail up through the "V," and fasten it above with the hairclip.
  5. Now take the right arm of the "V," and combine it with a section of hair from the front of the wig.
  6. Do the same with the left arm of the "V," taking the extra hair from the front, left of the wig.
  7. Fasten the two arms of the "V" together as close as you can to the other ponytail.
  8. Repeat until you run out of hair. If you use up all the extra hair on the wig, just go back to the basic "No-Braid Braid" that you just learned about.

It is no wonder this simple but beautiful braid has endured. It creates a gorgeous and elegant look. Here's a video:

More Ideas

You can roll the end of the braid up and pin it to the hair. You can also do this braid on the side (or sides) instead of the back. If you use the French version, try taking the sections of the hair closer to the braid, moving towards the front, instead of what we did here (adding from the front, moving backward). Don't restrict yourself to one braid per hairstyle. Use as many as you like to make it interesting and beautiful.

Thanks for reading and if you have something nice to say or a good idea or suggestion, feel free to