How to Do Side Braid Hairstyles: Simple Steps for an Effortlessly Chic Look

Braided hairstyles never seem to go out of fashion, and side braids in particular offer a chic twist on the classic braid.

Side braid hairstyles are versatile. They can be simple and casual for an everyday look or intricate and elegant for special occasions.

Whether one has long flowing locks or a shorter cut, the side braid can be incorporated to add a touch of style and sophistication to any ensemble.

Do you want to know how to do side braid hairstyles? A lot of women think this is a long hair style. But a small side braid hairstyle can be done on short hair as well. Let’s talk more about it.

Key Takeaways

  • Side braids blend elegance with practicality and are suitable for various hair lengths and occasions
  • Preparing hair by combing and sectioning is essential for a neat braid
  • Experimenting with different braiding techniques and accessories can elevate the basic side braid

Preparing Your Hair

Braiding your hair begins with properly preparing your hair to ensure smooth braiding.

Before diving into crafting that chic side braid, one must ensure their hair is primed and ready to be styled. By choosing the right products, detangling carefully, and creating a flawless part, they set the stage for a great hair day.

Choosing the Right Products

When it comes to side braids, the right start is crucial. They should consider their hair texture and select a shampoo and conditioner that cater specifically to their needs.

For those with frizz-prone hair, opting for smoothing products can be a game-changer.

The table below outlines suitable product types for different hair textures:

Hair Texture Suggested Shampoo Suggested Conditioner
Fine Volumizing Lightweight, hydrating
Thick Moisturizing Rich, nourishing
Curly Curl-defining Moisture-rich
Frizzy Smoothing Frizz-control

Detangling and Smoothing

A good brush is indispensable for working out those tangles.

They should proceed with patience, starting from the ends and working their way up to prevent breakage.

A wide-tooth comb for wet hair or a paddle brush for dry hair can be one’s best ally in achieving a sleek, smooth base for their braid.

Creating the Perfect Part

The part is where the magic starts. It’s crucial to decide whether a middle part or a side part suits a person’s face shape better.

With the end of a rat-tail comb, they should trace a line starting from the highest point of their hairline down to where the braid will begin.

Here’s a quick guide to ensure the part is just right:

  1. For a middle part: A balanced look that works well with an edgier style
  2. For a side part: Great for asymmetry and adds volume on one side for the braid

Remember, a smooth part can make all the difference in the final appearance of the side braid.

Basic Side Braid Techniques

When one starts braiding, it’s essential to master the basic side braid techniques to create beautiful and lasting hairstyles. Here’s how to weave the classic three-strand side braid and secure it artfully.

The Classic Three-Strand Side Braid

To begin a three-strand side braid, she should start by gathering her hair to one side, below the ear. The hair is divided into three equal sections.

  1. Crossing the Strands: Here’s the simple pattern to remember:
    • Cross the right strand over the middle one, now the right becomes the middle
    • Cross the left strand over the new middle, which was just the right strand
  2. Adding Hair: This is optional for the classic side braid. But if one transforms it into a French braid, they’ll keep adding small sections of hair into the right and left strands before each cross
  3. Repeating and Tightening: Continue the pattern down the length of the hair, tightening after every few crosses to keep the braid snug and even

Pro tip: For a Dutch braid, she simply does the opposite – crossing the sections under the middle strand instead of over for a ‘pop-out’ effect.

Securing Your Side Braid

Once the braid reaches the desired length, it’s time to secure it. Here are the steps to ensure that the braid stays in place:

  • Use an Elastic: A small, clear hair elastic works best to tie off a braid without being too noticeable. She wraps it around the end of the braid, making sure it’s snug so that the braid doesn’t unravel
  • Camouflaging the Elastic: If she wants to hide the hair elastic, she can take a small piece of hair from the tail and wrap it around the base of the elastic. Secure this piece with a bobby pin, tucking it underneath the braid to make it invisible

Advanced Side Braid Styles

Mastering side braids can elevate your hair game, taking you from chic casual to sophisticated elegance. Advanced braid styles like French and Dutch braids, along with Fishtail and Mermaid braids, may take practice, but they are worth the effort for their gorgeous results.

French and Dutch Side Braids

French Side Braid: Start by gathering a small section of hair on the side of the head and divide it into three strands.

For a French side braid, you will add hair to each strand every time you cross them over the middle piece, working down the side and securing the ends with an elastic.

Dutch Side Braid: Similar to the French braid, a Dutch side braid is essentially an inside-out French braid. You cross the strands under the middle piece instead of over, creating a prominent, textured look.

Don’t hesitate to add extensions for extra thickness and drama.

Fishtail and Mermaid Braids

Fishtail Braid: This style begins by separating the hair into two sections instead of three.

To create a fishtail braid, you’ll take small pieces from the outside of one section and cross it over to the inside of the opposite section, alternating sides until the end, and secure it with an elastic.

It’s a meticulous process, but the intricate weave is eye-catching.

Mermaid Braid: Achieving the whimsical looks of a mermaid braid often involves starting with a fishtail and adding loose, larger sections of hair into the weave for an ethereal, fuller effect.

You can weave in thin, colored extensions to truly capture the mermaid-esque look.

Styling and Accessorizing

When creating a side braid, adding volume and texture can turn a simple style into a stunning masterpiece, while the right accessories personalize the look to make it uniquely yours. Let’s break down the steps to elevate your side braid.

Adding Volume and Texture

Before one begins braiding, they should aim to give their hair more body.

Applying a texturizing spray or mousse at the roots and throughout the hair can provide the needed lift and make the braid appear fuller.

For those with fine hair, these products can be a game-changer.

A simple process one might follow is:

  1. Start with damp hair.
  2. Apply a small amount of mousse to the roots
  3. Blow dry hair upside down for added volume
  4. Once dry, spritz texturizing spray from mid-length to ends

Incorporating Accessories

A side braid can be both casual and elegant, but accessories truly tailor the look to the occasion.

Something as simple as weaving a bow into the end of the braid or adding decorative pins along the side can really make the style pop.

For a secure finish, remember to set the style with a light mist of hairspray. Here’s a suggestion for adding accessories:

  • After braiding, loosely tie a ribbon or bow at the end
  • Strategically place hairpins or clips along the braid
  • Set the style with a light hold hair spray to keep accessories in place

Maintaining Your Side Braid

To keep that side braid looking neat and beautiful all day, attention to detail and a bit of hair care love are essential. They’ll want to tame any unruly strands and ensure the braid holds its shape from morning to night. Now that we talked about how to do side braid hairstyles, let’s talk about how to maintain this hairstyle for a longer period.

Managing Flyaways

Managing flyaways gives the side braid a polished look, making it go from good to great.

A small amount of gel or a light spritz of hairspray can help smooth down any strays.

For those with particularly stubborn flyaways, one might find that using a toothbrush sprayed with a bit of hairspray can gently coax those wild hairs into place.

  • Hair Gel: Apply a tiny dab and lightly smooth along the hairline
  • Hairspray: Choose something lightweight, like TRESemmé TRES Two Climate Protection Hairspray, for hold without heaviness

Longevity Tips

To keep their side braid intact throughout the day, recommend they use bobby pins to secure any loose ends. Especially at the nape of the neck.

If they’re worried about their braid looking flat, a quick puff of dry shampoo at the roots can add volume and grip. This makes the style last longer.

  • Bobby Pins: Use to pin down loose strands and maintain the braid’s structure
  • Dry Shampoo: Apply at the roots for added texture and volume