Braiding Boss Lacy Redway Shares Her Best Tips
Once you’ve mastered the basic braid, odds are you’ll want to expand your repertoire and learn new variations. A great place to start is with a classic and elegant look — the French braid. This sophisticated style is the perfect stepping stone from a beginner plait up to more complicated looks like box braids.
It’s a timeless style that’s incredibly easy to master, if you’ve got the right know-how. Fortunately for you, Lacy is always happy to teach newbies the ropes. Here’s everything you need to know to create a proper French braid — plus a more advanced iteration for the expert braiders out there.
Second Day Hair is the Best Hair
One of the biggest mistakes people make — no matter the braid type — is to attempt to do one on freshly washed hair. “It causes the hair to slip out of your fingers,” explains Lacy, making it nearly impossible to plait.
Instead, start your braid on second-day hair or use products that will add grip to the hair, like a mousse or hairspray. Lacy recommends spraying Nexxus Comb Thru Volume Finishing Mist all over the hair, followed by Nexxus Hydra-Light Leave-In Foam. “This will keep your hair hydrated in this style, but also allow it to stay in place.”
Let the Braiding Begin
Next, take your clips and divide your hair into three large sections, starting at the front of your hairline and meeting at the crown of the head. “Crisscross the sections inward, pulling in more hair as you go, all the way to the back of your head and down to the ends of your hair,” instructs Lacy. Secure the end with a thin hair elastic.
Pro Tip: Loosen It Up
“Use your fingers to expand the braid to make it appear a little more lived in and fuller than it actually is,” says Lacy. “This is the trick we use on photo shoots and on our celebrity clients on the red carpet.”
For bolder braided styles:
Got the hang of it? Try getting crafty — grab an extra-long hair bungee (a piece of elastic with hooks on both sides) — and wrap it all the way around the bottom of your braid, from the nape of your neck to the ends. Place one hook at the top of your braid, hidden beneath it, then wrap your way down to the end of the braid. When you get there, start wrapping your way back up towards the top, then attach the other hook of the bungee to the underside of the braid.
Et voila: A chic style that looks complicated but is surprisingly simple to do. Magnifique!