Hair Hack: Braiding without a Hair Tie

Hair Hack: Braiding without a Hair Tiefeatured

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Today’s video is the inaugural installment in my new series for quick tricks, tips, and hair hacks! Over on my Patreon page I asked my Patrons what hair advice they wanted to see most, and they voted for quick braiding without a hair tie or hair elastic. And so, this video is here to show you!

I talk about two different methods here for holding a braid in your hair without using any tools for securing the ends.

The first is for smaller braids – in a few tutorials such as my Legolas video, I make a couple little braids for the style. At the end of these, I just let them drop without any ties put on the ends. Many comments in these videos ask, “can you just leave it like that?” or “how long will that last?”

The answer is Yes, and pretty much forever! That’s because our hair isn’t completely smooth, but covered in millions of tiny scale like structures that lift up a bit. When strands of hair cross, these scales catch on each other and thus create a lot of friction. When braiding with all your hair, that force isn’t enough to overcome the weight of your strands pulling away from each other with gravity, but in a smaller braid, you get both lighter weight and more strand crossings. Thus frictional forces increase and gravitational force decrease, so your braid holds itself in place!

But what if you do want to braid all your hair up? Maybe your hair tie broke, you forget to bring one to work, or you just don’t like using them because they damage or dent your hair. You can’t rely on friction to work here unassisted, but you can help build it by doing a simple trick.

First, choose what braid you want. It can be a normal three strand, four or five, even fishtail (rope braid is the only one I’ve found that doesn’t work so well). Divide off your strands, but DON’T separate the strands all the way to the bottom. You know how when you first grab strands, the ends are still knitted together? Normally you run your hand along the strand to completely separate it, but this time don’t do that and leave the ends blended together. Just separate them enough that you’re able to hold the strands.

Now begin braiding. You’ll see a mirror image braid starting to work its way up towards your hands as you go. Once this meets the braid coming down, make a hole between the strands, and flip the ends of the braid through this hole. And voila, you’ve got a braid that holds itself together, no hair ties needed!

That’s it for today’s quick hair hack! Check back next month for another, and on every Thursday to see what other videos I’ll put out!

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