I love braids for summer because I don't deal well with heat and one of my pet peeves is hair sticking to my skin. I learned how to do a braided headband from Whippy Cake. This tutorial to be precise. I love it because I feel polished even though I'm working with day-three hair and I'm just trying to avoid a sweaty neck.
My hair is currently shoulder-length but I've done this braid with much shorter hair. It definitely gets more challenging the longer your hair gets but I've learned that a lot of braid mistakes can be fixed with a little hairspray or a well-place bobby pin.
What I've learned:
- Never attempt with freshly washed hair. I usually don't even try it with day-two hair. You want a buildup of product, sweat, and oils in your hair to give it some oomph and staying power. With that being said, you don't want your braid to look greasy so make sure you spray your hair liberally with dry shampoo before you start. I also don't try this braid if I've straightened my hair - the natural wave and curl of my hair gives the braid more grip. I'm not saying you can't do this braid if you have straight hair, it just requires more product to make sure it doesn't slip out of the braid.
- A dramatically deep part will give you the best braided headband, even if it feels a bit weird when you start.
- Product is your friend. I start with dry shampoo to make sure my braid doesn't look greasy and to give my hair some texture. After I finish my braid, I sprinkle volumizing powder lightly on the braid and gently pat it in to make the braid appear fuller than it actually is (my hair is pitifully fine). If I have any strays that I need to fix I just spray them lightly with hairspray and pat them into place.
- Stay loose. My instinct when I braid is to pull the braid tight against my head but tighter is not better in this case. You want to keep your braid loose, looser than feels comfortable, because it will give you room to manipulate and pull your braid into place (and you can then bobby pin it exactly how you want it).
- Don't strive for perfection. This braid looks great when it's not too perfect. I don't spray my flyaways, I don't worry about loose or uneven bits, I let it stay a bit messy.
What I use (affiliate links):