Tree Braids for African American Hair
Women around the world spend millions of dollars and countless hours on their hair. Poets have devoted verses singing the praises of beautiful locks, and most fashion-conscious females are usually very interested in how famous celebrities are wearing their hair. For some African American women, this presents a special problem.
Straight hair styles
If you keep up with the latest hair styles, you know that for the most part, straight hair is “in.” Even women of other ethnicities use flat irons and styling products to achieve super-straight tresses. Many African Americans have naturally curly hair, and if these individuals desire wearing straight hair styles, they sometimes turn to relaxers and perms for the desired effect. Unfortunately, some African American hair products can be extremely harsh, for both the scalp and for the hair itself.
Another option in the quest for straightened hair is a weave, and a new style that’s gaining in popularity is the tree braid weave styling. Tree braids are a great alternative to a traditional weave, and many natural enthusiasts see tree braids as a safe alternative to black hair products like harsh perms and relaxers.
What’s a tree braid?
A tree braid begins with placing your own hair in cornrows. Thin sections of hair are then attached to each cornrow, creating a “tree.” The cornrow serves as the trunk of the tree, with the attached hair serving as the tree’s “branches.” Tree braiding can be achieved with real or synthetic sections of hair.
How to add tree braids to your hair
Some top hair stylists are now specializing in tree braids because of their immense popularity. Having this done by a stylist, however, is usually very expensive. You can do your own tree braiding and save a bundle! For information on how to do tree braids, follow the steps below.
First, shampoo and condition your hair. Then, using a comb, distribute a lightweight styling mixture evenly through your hair. Products made from natural ingredients are preferred. This will help the braids hold. Your hair should remain moist throughout the entire process.
The next step is to divide your hair into three sections, secure each section with a hair clip or ponytail holder, and place the cornrows. Starting with the middle of the center section, take a small section of hair, about ¼-inch thick, and divide it into three strands. Create a braid by picking up sections from underneath the opposite side to add to the center strand. Repeat this process for each section, keeping a tight uniform tension.
To add the tree braid, incorporate the hair extensions from underneath, again using about ¼-inch pieces. After the first three crossovers, strands of the extensions should be added as part of the next cross section. After a few more crossovers, another section of extension should be added. At the end of each section of your own hair, secure the braid with a rubber band. The fewer crossovers you have between each section of added extension, the more natural the extensions will appear.
If you prefer a “chunky” style, use bigger sections of your own hair and thicker sections of extensions.
If you learn better by watching than reading, consider the DVD, Learn How To Tree Braid.