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The Secret to Bigger Braids

Lainee Read

Author Lainee Read | Social Media Manager, Sam Villa


Don't lie, you've watched "Frozen"...at least 3 times, you know every single word to the songs "Let It Go" and "Love Is an Open Door" (you've probably lip synced it and put it on YouTube), and you've attempted to recreate the "Elsa Braid" at least a few times over the last year!

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What "Frozen" did was create a new level of expectations when it comes to braiding. Suddenly, everyone wants bigger, longer and thicker braids with perfect texture and volume – only imaginable in a fairytale! But in reality, it’s an achievement to complete a typical three-strand braid without your hair falling out after an hour!

There are so many tips, tricks & solutions to thicken your hair to achieve an Elsa-like braid, and we are here to make this braid fantasy a reality.

BEGINNER TIPS & TRICKS (For some, the start of a braid can be the most challenging part.)

  • Apply an oil to your hands before starting the braid. We recommend using Redken’s Diamond Oil.  Dab just two small drops into the palm of your hand, emulsify by rubbing rub your hands together until the oil is warmed up, then distribute evenly throughout the hair. This will really give the hair a nice slip while braiding.
  • It’s all about the rhythm. Every person braids to a different rhythm and technique. Find what feels comfortable and create a steady rhythm during braiding. Check out this video on keeping the rhythm when braiding by Sam Villa.
  • Control your movements and slow down! This is not a race to the finish line. Control your sections and your hand movements, this will create a tight and consistent braid.

BIGGER IS BETTER (It’s all in the prep work prior to braiding.)

  • Teasing the hair: One method to create a larger and deconstructed braid is to tease or backcomb the hair prior to braiding. This will create volume and the finished product is a messier style! We recommend using the Sam Villa Styling Brush for teasing the hair!
  • Texturize the hair: Using the Sam Villa TEXTUR Iron will create 3x the volume (yes, even in fine hair) and create a more durable braid meaning ... it won't fall out! The TEXTUR Iron changes the texture of the hair and the end result is a bigger and fuller braid with added texture!
  • Curling the hair: Whether you curl with a flat iron or your curling iron, this is another way to add more texture to the hair along with adding subtle volume. This is great for creating romantic side braids.

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PRODUCT IS YOUR BRAIDING BFF! (Remember, product is not an option it’s a necessity!!)

  • Redken wind blown 05 - Great for adding a weightless texture to the hair prior to braiding.
  • Redken control addict 28 - We don’t want that braid going anywhere! Control Addict is an extra strength finishing spray, so once the braid is complete, spray with this and your braid isn’t going anywhere.
  • Redken guts 10 - This volumizing foam is great for adding texture prior to your blow dry. For bigger braids, it’s recommended you work with dry hair. But the prep begins before the blow dry.
  • Redken pillow proof dry shampoo - Dry shampoo is a great way to add extra grip to the hair while ridding the hair of excess oils. Apply all over before beginning your braid.
  • Redken quick tease 15 - One of the prep methods we recommended is backcombing or teasing the hair. Spray Quick Tease prior to teasing the hair for intense hold and volume.

Remember: rhythm, control and prep are key! Practice makes perfect!

The best part with braiding...there are NO LIMITS! Understand the basics of braiding then break the rules and see where your creations take you.

We want to see your braids! Tag your braid pictures on Instagram and don’t forget to add #samvilla to your pictures for your chance to be featured!

Scroll down below the comments and check out a few of our recommended braiding tutorials!

Assistant: Josh Halladay
Model: Lacey Walker
Studio: Suite 6