How to Braid African Hair. Hair braiding is one way to style African hair. While it may be time-consuming to do the initial braiding, this attractive style is durable and can last as long as 3 months, depending on the size of the braids.

Learn to Create a Basic Braid

Find a willing participant to practice on. Make sure this person is seated at a height that's comfortable for you.

Start at the front of the head. Section a small portion of the hair into a 2-inch by 2-inch square, and then divide it into three strands.

Mentally label the strands A, B and C, starting from your left. Hold A with the index and thumb fingers of your left hand and C with the index and thumb fingers of your right hand.

Pass A under B and over C. Then pass C over B and then B over A.

Pass A over B and B over C. Then pass C over A and A over B.

Pass B over C then C over A. Then pass A over B and B over C. At this point, you will have the beginnings of a braid and a rhythm.

Continue this process until you get to the end of the braid. Secure the end with a rubber band.

Maintain Proper Care of African Hair

Use a gentle touch when working on African hair. African hair is fragile and will break easily if handled roughly. Use a large-toothed comb to avoid pulling the hair out when combing.

Moisturize African hair regularly, especially when it is braided. Avoid mousse, gels and hair sprays because they will dry the hair out. Consider using moisturizing products such as leave-in conditioners and styling lotions instead.

Use products that have been specifically created for African hair. Products that are generally labeled for certain hair types, for instance, curly hair, are not suitable for African hair. African hair needs a lot of oil which these products do not provide.

Shampoo African hair once a week. More frequent washes will strip the hair of the much needed oil. Between washes, it is appropriate to rinse the hair with warm water and apply a conditioner.

Get a deep conditioning with heat once a month. To do this, wash your hair, apply a conditioner, and then cover your hair with a plastic cap or scarf. Turn the knob of your standing hair dryer to a low heat setting and sit under it for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Avoid products that contain petrolatum and mineral oil because these products clog the pores. Use products with natural oils like coconut oil, jojoba, pomegranate seed oil and shea butter.


Make sure the hair is completely dry before you braid it. Damp hair will break easily during braiding.