How to Add Hair to Your Braids

woman attaching blue braiding hair

Braids are a timeless and versatile hairstyle that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. But sometimes, you may want to add more volume or length to your braids. 

That’s where adding hair to braids comes in. By adding additional braiding hair to your existing braids, you can create a more voluminous and fuller look, while also adding versatility to your hairstyle. In this article, we will discuss the steps involved in adding hair to braids, from choosing the right type of braiding hair to trimming the ends for a polished look.

Start by Choosing the Right Braiding Hair

Braiding hair extension
Instagram / @barbieshairllc

For most newbie braiders and even old-timers, a frequent struggle is deciding what braiding hair is the right choice. However, choosing braiding hair doesn’t have to be difficult if the following factors are considered:

Hair type would be the first and utmost consideration, you could decide on synthetic, human hair, or a blend of both. Kanekalon and Marley’s hair is a synthetic hair type that is commonly used for braiding and other hairstyles. 

They are popular choices for braiding because they are affordable, easy to work with and come in a variety of textures, lengths, and colors. However, they do not have the same texture and feel as real human hair– yaki hair and Remy’s hair for instance, and may require different care and maintenance.

Choose a texture that matches your natural hair texture for a more seamless look. For naturally textured hair, braiding hair extensions like kinky braiding hair would blend right in if the theme of the braided hairstyle you  are gunning for is ‘natural.’

Decide on the desired length of the braids. How long you want your braids to be can influence the choice of braiding hair. If you want it to be 18 inches, 24, 26, or 30, best go for a length that would work well with what you have in mind. Consider discussing this first with your stylist before making a purchase. 

Select a color that matches your natural hair color or opt for a fun, bold color. Research different brands to find one that offers high-quality hair that is easy to work with and long-lasting. Consider if you will be using the hair for a protective style, a special event, or everyday wear.

How to Add hair to Braids: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding braiding hair extension to French braids
Instagram / @thehairroombychristiebeard

Braids are a popular hairstyle for many people, and adding hair to them can help create a more voluminous and fuller look. Here are the steps and techniques involved in adding hair to braids.

Step 1: Gather the necessary supplies

Before you begin, make sure you have all the supplies you need. This includes:

  • Braiding hair
  • Hair clips
  • Hairbrush
  • Scissors
  • Water spray bottle (optional)

Step 2: Choose the right type of braiding hair

The first step in adding hair to braids is to choose the right type of braiding hair. There are several types of braiding hair available, including synthetic, human hair, and blended hair. Synthetic braiding hair is the most affordable option, but it is also the least durable. Human hair is more expensive, but it provides a more natural look and is more versatile. Blended hair is a combination of synthetic and human hair, and it offers the best of both worlds.

Step 3: Determine the amount of braiding hair you need

To determine the amount of braiding hair you need, measure the length of your braids from the nape of your neck to the ends. Then, add an extra inch to ensure you have enough hair to cover the braids. For example, if your braids are 18 inches long, you should purchase 19 inches of braiding hair.

Step 4: Prepare the braiding hair

Before you begin adding the braiding hair to your braids, you need to prepare it. Start by separating the braiding hair into small sections and brushing it out to remove any tangles. If you’re using synthetic braiding hair, you may want to dampen it slightly with a water spray bottle. This will make it easier to manipulate and will prevent it from unraveling.

Step 5: Add the braiding hair to your braids

Now that your braiding hair is prepared, you’re ready to add it to your braids. There are three easy methods for adding hair. The first method is to take in a strand of braiding hair about the same thickness as the strands making up the braids. Take one of your braids and separate it into three smaller sections. 

A left, right, and middle section. Attach the piece of hair to be added between the left and right strands with the middle left unbothered and braid as you would normally but not including the left strand added piece, afterwards, it is included at the right section and the braid continues seamlessly. Because of this transition, the right strand of the braids tends to be bulkier so you might have to take out a small bit and add to the rest strands for that uniform look.

The second method is rather straightforward, after separating the braid into the left, right and middle sections. Take the braiding hair to be added and attach it behind the middle and right section and continue braiding as normal.

The third method, however, is similar to that of the second in that the braiding hair is added to the left and middle strands and braided as normal. As you braid, make sure to tighten the braid by pulling it toward the scalp. Repeat this process with the remaining braids.

Step 6: Trim the ends

Once you have finished braiding the hair, you may notice that the ends are frayed or split. To fix this, simply trim the ends with a pair of scissors. For synthetic hair dip the hair in boiled water, then pull it out. Wrap the hair in a towel to remove as much water as possible, taking care to not burn yourself. Then, smooth the fibers out with your fingers and let the hair dry.

Step 7: Style the braids as desired

Finally, you can style the braids as desired. You can leave them as is, or you can add hair ornaments and accessories to create a more polished look.

Why Add Hair to Your Braids?

Adding hair to braids can have several significant benefits. Some of the key benefits include:

  • Increased volume: Adding hair to braids can help increase the volume of the braids, giving them a more full and voluminous look. This can be especially helpful for those with fine or thin hair.
  • Longer braids: Adding hair to braids can also help make the braids appear longer, which can be useful for those who want to achieve a certain length or style.
  • Versatility: By adding hair to braids, you can create a variety of different braided styles. This can include styles with braids of different sizes, different braiding patterns, or braids with added accessories.
  • More natural look: If you use human hair braiding hair, you can achieve a more natural look. This is because human hair blends well with your hair, making the braids appear more seamless and natural.
  • Low maintenance: Braids are known for being low maintenance, and adding hair to braids only adds to this benefit. With the added hair, you can go longer between washings and enjoy a more comfortable and low-maintenance hairstyle.

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