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Cornrowing 101: A Safe Space for Black Girls Who Never Learned to Braid

Learning to braid is almost a rite of passage for many little black girls. From braiding dolls hair, to our own before graduating to friends and relatives, at times it feels as if almost every black girl knows how to braid. But what if you don’t? What if you missed the wave or somehow never quite seemed to grasp the concept of cornrowing? Don’t fret. You are not alone! I myself didn’t learn to braid until my late 20’s and taught myself simply by practicing and watching YouTube videos. It’s time to stop living in shame and start learning to braid. Braids are a great way to bond, keep your hair protected and can save you a whole lot of money as well as make you money, if you can concur the style. If you’re ready to finally learn to braid, keep reading for these tips and tricks!


Attend YouTube University

I’m a firm believer that you can learn to do just about anything on YouTube and braiding hair is no exception. The great thing about Youtube is you don’t have to stick to one person. If midway through a video you find yourself not learning from that particular person, simply go to a new video until you find the person that works best with your learning style. If you find that you vibe best with someone that’s quick and straight to the point, a shorter video may be best, if however you need something a little more in depth, you probably want to opt for a longer more thorough video. Check out Dope Ethiopian below showing us how she cornrows her own hair.


Practice on a mannequin

Practicing on a mannequin is a great, damage free way to learn how to braid. While it’s great to practice on yourself and virtually free, it is not necessarily damage free. You don’t want to cause any unnecessary damage or breakage to your own hair while you’re in the learning process so purchase a mannequin head that way you can practice with braiding the hair that already comes on the doll as well as experiment with different hair textures by adding braiding hair.

Practice on yourself and friends 

Once you’ve got the mannequin down pact, it’s a great time to start practicing on yourself and friends that trust you. By practicing on yourself, you always have a model and can style and restyle as you please until you get your desired look. It’s important to have well-moisturized hair while trying these styles as you don’t want to cause breakage. The Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer uses ingredients like Shea butter, Cocoa butter, and Vitamin E oil both to target dryness at its source by moisturizing from the roots to the tips and to prevent dryness. This everyday moisturizer aims to give you consistently soft, shiny, manageable curls while nourishing your scalp.

Hire a teacher/take classes 

If practicing is not making perfect, hiring a braiding tech or taking classes is another highly effective option to learn how to braid. Many cosmetologist or braiders teach during their spare time or do classes/ seminars. If a hands on approach is more your speed, look out for classes in your area or contact a local braider to see if they are willing to teach basic braiding techniques.

Remember, just because you missed the wave as a young adult, doesn’t mean it is too late to learn. As with everything in life, braiding takes time to learn but the more you practice, the easier it should become.

Will you be learning to braid hair this year?

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