Micro braids, tiny three-strand braids all over the head, are especially popular with curly-haired women and African-Americans. Once complete, they simplify styling and suppress frizzy hair. Though micro braids usually take between 5 and 10 hours to complete, there are some ways to cut corners. In order to do micro braids quickly, you’ll either need to do larger micro braids, have a friend help you out or use many fingers for the braiding process. If you have brittle hair, micro braids aren’t recommended, as they can severely damage your hair.

Things You'll Need

Have your hair cut before micro braiding to have your hair as healthy as possible. At the very least, have split ends removed.

Condition your hair and do a hot-oil treatment on your hair at home. This will moisturize your hair, eliminate the potential for hair breakage and provide smoother braids.

Divide hair into subsections. If you’re having a friend help you out, have her work on one-half, while you do the other.

Separate a thin section of your hair and divide it into three strands.

Hold the left strand with your left thumb and forefinger, hold the right strand with your right thumb and forefinger, and hold the middle strand with the remainder of your right fist.

Cross the left strand under the middle strand. The left is now the middle strand.

Cross the right strand under the middle strand. Continue crossing left under the middle and right under the middle. Once you understand the three-strand braid technique, you can do the braid faster.

When crossing the left strand under the middle, use your left middle finger to grab the middle strand and pull it to the left. Use your right middle finger to do the same thing for the right strand. Now your fingers should be working in tandem for a faster braiding process.

Tie a slip knot at the end of the braid. Repeat for all other sections of hair.

Tips

  • When micro braiding, it may be easier to start at the nape of the neck and work your way up to the crown and front. Additionally, your instinct may be to pull the braids tightly or make them too small. Avoid this since it makes removal difficult and may also contribute to breakage. After micro braiding is complete, regularly condition your hair with a thin conditioner that washes out easily. A thick conditioner may not rinse out of the braids and may create an oily look. Do not leave micro braids in your hair for more than three months.

References and Resources

Texas Education Agency: Micro Braiding