How do you braid fine, thin hair for someone who wants volume?   Not all of us

were blessed with thick, lustrous hair,  so those of us on the other side of the hair coin, will use any artificial means necessary to look like we do!  Braids are one way of introducing length and/or volume.

Typically, if you have fine, thin hair, one learns the hair styles we can or cannot do over time.  We cannot grow 

the hair too long because it has no volume unless we fill it with mousse or cut it close to the head to make it look thicker.  The rest of us try various hair extensions, one of which is braiding.  Braiding gives us thickness, length; lets us sleep in later in the morning and allows us to fly out of the house in five minutes if we have to.  

Braiding fine, thin hair is a challenge that requires strategy and a good knowledge of how to make something 

look thicker than it actually is.  Home designers and builders have mastered this skill when trying to make a space look larger.  It is not about the amount of stuff you have, it is really about the placement.  When you go to braid this kind of hair, these are the things to look for:

Head size:  A lot of the time, people with fine, thin hair, will have bigger heads.  You have to be mindful of this when parting.  Each part should be about the same size for it to appear even.  If you do not have the experience to know how much to part off as you go, section off a whole line and part them beforehand to make them even.


Less extension Hair:  Under no circumstances should you be putting so much extension hair that the hair looks as if it is hanging by a thread.  When the hair grows down in a month, the client will have breakage.  They will not thank you for it.  This is especially important around the hairline.  The amount of extension hair used should be slightly more than the amount of their hair.

Length:  The length of the braid, at its longest, is better left just under the shoulder blades unless their hair is longer than six inches.  More length means more weight in a month.  I feel that a lot of young women will be having breakage from this knotless braid trend simply because most of them do not have the hair to carry ankle-length hair.

Styling:  If the client wears a ponytail most of the time, they have to be instructed not to pull it too tightly.  Again, most of the breakage occurs around the hairline.  If you make the braids very long, sitting on them or snagging them on something can cause breakage also.

Time For Removal  The client should be informed that these braids must come off in a month or latest, two months.  They will feel the weight of the extensions because there will be an inch-wide space between where the extension is and their scalp.  I think many women experience breakage because they want the braid to last longer than their hair can hold the weight.  It baffles me how, to save on the cost, they will wear the hair until it is falling off but replace an expensive bag the minute it gets a smudge.

Parting:  You will have to make the partings smaller but not like micro-braids.  I do not like micro-braids on persons with thin hair because they are hell to take out.  Also, many ladies that do micro-braids leave them in for months and expect to have the same hair.  

When you do the partings, follow a brick-layer pattern rather than a row pattern.  It makes the hair appear fuller.    When doing the front and sides by the ears, you may have to reduce some of the sizes to make it appear fuller.  Always make the hair parting at the front of the head and the nape thicker as it gets pulled more than the rest of the head.

Some braiders make the partings at the back of the head bigger and gradually make it smaller as they get to the front.  On a person with fine, thin hair, this makes them look like they have hair loss.  Keeping even partings in the back and adjusting the size at the front will make the hair look professional.  How do you braid fine, thin hair?  By looking at your clients facial structure, head size, amount of hair, and braiding it accordingly.

By Paula Barker, Silkie Locks Hair Design

Call (613) 789-2179 For An Appointment If You Are In The Ottawa, Ontario Area.