One of MODERN's favorite braiding artists is Haley Garber, a Modern Salon Artist Connective member and upstyle expert who travels the world teaching the latest in updo and bridal finishes. There are more than 500 posts on her popular Instagram account (@beautybyhaleygarber), most finished with braids, florets or braided accents.
We checked in with Garber, asking for her top ten braiding tips. Here she shares:
1. Tension is important! Too tight and you won’t be able to expand the braid, too loose and you'll lose it all. Practice different amounts of tension with different braids.
2. Don't grab the hairspray right away. If you have fly-aways grab an oil or cream instead to smooth the braid before spraying it into place. I braid with the cream to save a step.
3. Use the tips of your fingers to expand. This prevents you from grabbing too much hair and gives you control.
4. Use texture powder to expand. You've used the cream to keep down fly-aways and now using texture powder adds grip and hold while you expand.
5. Hand position is important. When you change how you hold your hands while working, you risk twisting strands and forgetting your place.
6. Finish a three strand or fishtail with an infinity braid. A teeny tiny infinity braid at the end, wrapped 3 or 4 times around, locks in your braid and you can then pin into that for maximum security.
7. Speaking of pinning, pin into the braid at the base going towards the braid, not down or parallel, for security. If the braid is going around the face and is not on scalp, add in another pin around the ear.
8. Extensions can be very helpful in creating the desired look. Don't be afraid to have that conversation with your client.
9. Having at least four types of braids memorized and ready to go will set you apart from others.
10. Practice, practice, practice. Braids are technical and become muscle memory. Don't give up on learning them!
FOUR STRAND BRAID TUTORIAL: