Posts Tagged ‘french braid’




Wedding season is fast approaching and we want to make sure you’re prepared for bridesmaid battle! That means no struggles with your hair on the day of your friend’s big day. This is one of those tutorials you should bookmark, pin, save, frame, WHATEVER. Just keep it in your back pocket as a go to hairstyle for weddings, events and hot dates (eh hem– Valentine’s Day?). Here’s how to get this gorgeousness on your own hair.

quick easy bridesmaid hair 1 the beauty department

  1. Prep clean dry hair by giving it a little bend on the ends using a 1 1/4″ curling iron. The bend will help you tuck in the ends when you get toward the last steps. (In other words: you know how sometimes little straight pieces want to pop out? Curling them under helps!)
  2. Part the hair wherever you’d like it in the front. You can do middle or sides. For this, we went with the middle because it’s creates two even braids, but a small braid and a large braid could look very cute as well! Continue the part all the way down to the nape of the neck. Once the hair is divided, create your first braid. This one will be a regular french braid. Secure with a clear elastic.
  3. On the other side, you’re going to do an inside-out french braid which is the same thing– you just direct the pieces under instead of over as you braid. Secure with a clear elastic.
  4. Use a texture powder to fatten up your braids if you need them to be bigger! (SEE TEXTURE POWDER BELOW)
  5. Take your regular french braid piece from the left and cross it over to the right. Tuck the tail of your braid into the braid on the right and pin it using a large bobby pin. A lot of people will ask how this is done and the best thing I can say is, just tuck it in there and blend it. I usually feed the tail into the other braid until I find it’s in a comfortable spot. It shouldn’t be hard, especially if you’ve fattened up your braids first. The bulk of the braids will hide the tail well.
  6. Once you’ve pinned that, do the same to the other side. Cross it over, bend it under and pin it!
  7. Here we left the tail out so you can see which direction she folded the hair.
  8. Now simply tuck that piece down into the base of the braid, keeping it close to the scalp.
  9. Use a hand mirror to check your proportions from the back and sides. Use a light holding hairspray to tuck down any flyways if you need to!

big braid tutorial the beauty department

TEXTURE POWDER: This is something I love because some of us have fine hair and want it to look MUCH thicker. The best part about texture powder is, it’s so easy. If you can sprinkle salt and pepper, you can do this. You just shake a little out onto your braid, then spread the braid out with your fingers. As you loosen it, the braid will stay together and bulk up instead of falling apart like it usually does when you do this without texture powder.

My two favorite texture powder must haves are THIS and THIS. There is very little difference between the two, so I just get whichever is in stock. Always good to have a back up favorite!

If you guys try this updo, we would love to see it! Tag us @thebeautydept on insta, kay!??!!


the beauty department braid paste


Braiding can be a daunting task for even the most nimble fingers. I found something a while back that’s helped me teach people how to braid their own hair. Some super duper helpful stuff called  BRAID PASTE! There are tons of molding pastes on the market, and as I’ve showed you many times before, and I still love/use those as well! But sometimes you have to cocktail a paste with some shine serum because the paste by itself can be a bit too mattifying, causing hair to look a little dull. But braid paste has been helpful on pretty much all hair types when braiding, leaving it shiny but giving it soft hold so the braid doesn’t slip out as you go. Basically the cocktailing of paste and serum are already done for you!

the beauty department braid paste 2


For fine to normal hair: I like to use a pea size dab of paste to start and go back in if I need more. Put it in your palms and warm it up. Go middle to ends and then if you need any up toward the root, just use whatever is left on your hands.

For thick or coarse hair: When I braid thick hair, I usally break it up into two sections to apply paste, otherwise I feel like it gets concentrated in certain places and there’s none in other places. I break it up from ear to ear, horizontally, applying to the bottom half first and then the top half. Depending on the thickness, I would use a pea size or slightly smaller per section. Warm it up in your palms and then apply middle to ends. If you need some at the root just use whatever is remaining on your hands after you apply everywhere else.


braid paste the beauty department


After the paste is on the hair and you’ve done your braid, like a FISHTAIL BRAID, a ROSETTE BRAID or any braid for that matter, you can now loosen it up with ease knowing that the whole thing isn’t going to slip apart as you work some texture into it. It’s just a cool, very helful product to add to your arsenal if you love braiding or if you want to learn how to be a better braider.

Do you have any favorite products for braiding?


photos/post: Kristin Ess

It’s Sunday funday and you’re hopefully not headed to school or the office, so why not try something different to tie off your dutch/french/fishtail braid for the rest of the weekend? This little wrap detail is something I’ve been doing to my clients for a little while just to make things look a little more interesting than normal so thought it would be fun to share. The great news is you only need one tool! A thin ponytail holder. With all the fun braid tutorials we’re putting up this summer, like THIS ONE, THIS ONE or THIS GEM, you should definitely give this a shot!

All you’re doing differently when you tie off your ponytail is (more…)



Okay, I know this isn’t an actual full braid tutorial but I felt like I needed to throw this in as part of our ongoing “Summer Braid” series because it’s a pretty epic tip. Anyone with fine, thin, straight or super healthy hair that tends to slide right out of a bobby pin will definitely need to grab a bottle of this stuff, STAT. It’s called texture powder and it makes all the difference in the world when it comes to updos and braids. When I first tried this stuff a few years ago, I was terrified. It felt too starchy and dry when I put a light layer of it all over my long hair. I like soft shiny pretty hair and I felt like this made my long hair look matte and dry. Well it’s supposed to! It was designed to “bulk up” the hair you have and give it additional volume so I should have only been applying it at the root. Once I figured out the deal with texture powder, I started using it to get bigger, fuller braids and my hair kit hasn’t been without it since. A lot of products are like that– you just have to find the right way to use them!

So here’s what Nora’s braid looked like before adding the powder. As you can see, it’s gorge and there’s nothing wrong with it so if you prefer to wear it like this then that’s amazing. But trend-wise, we’re always craving a bigger, messier, more textured looking braid than before. All of you pretty peeps who say “I wish my hair was that thick” or “I wish my hair was that long”, should know that Nora has a fine head of hair and it’s cut just above her shoulders, so at least give this a shot!

So here’s how I like to use the texture powders…

Shake a decent amount onto a dry braid. Don’t put it on wet hair. Don’t worry about it looking like a George Washington wig… it fully blends/disappears with the next step.

Once you apply your light layer of texture powder, tap, tap, tap it into your braid. You’ll see your visible powder magically disappear.

Now pull the loops of your braid and that’s it. No, joke it’s that easy. There’s no crazy skill involved. You’ll just instantly have fuller braids that won’t slip out of place while you’re pulling on them to get volume.

There are many brands making texture powders now and here are some of my current faves…

  1. OSiS- Dust It
  2. Bumble & bumble.- Pret-A-Powder
  3. Batiste- XXL Plumping Powder
  4. Big Sexy Hair- Powder Play

Seriously though, if you’re having trouble getting big braids, invest in one of these little game changing bottles! This isn’t the same as a dry shampoo so don’t get them confused! If you do this, hashtag your photo with #TBDbigbraids so we can see yours!