braiding image by Allyson Ricketts from

Creating micro braids requires parting hair into very small sections and overlaying three strands of hair in each section to form a tiny rope pattern. Hair braiding keeps hair close to the scalp to protect it from the elements and keep it close to the skin, which generates oil. Coarse hair textures benefit from this protection because oil does not travel down the kinky hair shaft easily. In turn, coarse hair makes braiding easy by providing the texture needed for gripping and style maintenance. To hold micro braids in straight hair, however, artificial texture must be created.

Wash hair to remove any buildup of oil. Oil in straight hair will not only make micro braiding difficult, but will help to unravel the braids when done. A clarifying shampoo should be used to strip the hair as much as possible before braiding.

Blow dry the hair. Make sure the hair is completely dry before undertaking styling. Wet hair will make it difficult to size the sections of hair for parting. Furthermore, wet hair can make the hair slippery and easy to unravel. It is hard to get a firm grip needed to make micro braids when straight hair is wet.

Part the hair into equal sections about one-fourth-inch big for a micro braid style. Micro braids are very tiny braids making braiding very time consuming, especially in people with hair that flows past the ears.

Dab a fingernail-tip-size amount of hair wax onto each section from root to tip. The hair wax will create the necessary texture in fine hair to firmly grip the hair. It also will provide hold by gelling the hair strands together so as to hold the braid in place once formed.

Braid each section. Microbraids will last the longest if braided in a cornrow style with the braids flat against the head.

About the Author

Sarah McLeod

Sarah McLeod began writing professionally for the federal government In 1999. In 2002 she was trained by Georgetown University's Oncology Chief to abstract medical records and has since contributed to Phase I through Phase IV research around the country. McLeod holds a Bachelor of Arts in human services from George Washington University and a Master of Science in health science from Touro University.