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How to Braid When You Have Layers | 2024 Tips & Tricks

Braids look excellent on all hair textures and lengths, but it can be difficult to create different types of braids when your hair is layered. However, with this step-by-step guide, you will learn how to braid when you have layers.

While braiding hair can be complicated, there are only a few steps that you need to take to create wonderful braids

  1. Decide on the Style
  2. Prep Your Hair
  3. Gather Your Tools
  4. Curl Your Hair
  5. Split Hair Into Sections
  6. Braid Hair From the Top
  7. Leave Pieces Out to Create Texture
  8. Use Bobby Pins
  9. Use Hairspray for Extra Hold

Let’s break each of these steps down and find out exactly how to braid when you have layers

How to Braid When You Have Layers in 9 Steps

1. Decide on the Style

The first step for braiding layered hair is to decide on the style of braid you want to do. Several techniques will show off your hair’s natural layered texture, whether you want a polished or beachy look.

Fishtail Braid

The fishtail braid works well on people with layers because it lays flat against the head, so it doesn’t add bulk to the top of your head. Since it lies flat, it won’t pull out or cause frizziness in your hair. It also keeps your ends from unraveling or getting tangled.

This braid style can be worn casually during the day and dressed up for a night out. Though this style is ideal for medium-length hair with some layering, it also works best on fine, thin hair.

Read Next: How to Easily Fix Frizzy Braids

Side Braid

This braid style looks great on any hair type, but they’re especially flattering on layered styles. The side braid is a versatile, low-maintenance style that you can wear in various ways, including with your hair parted to the side or with one side of your head down and one side up.

Messy Braid

This is a great style for round faces because it can soften sharp features and make you look more approachable. It also works well with medium-length layers because it doesn’t add too much bulk to your hair. The messy braid can also help blend the short layers that won’t stay inside the pleats.

Double French Braid

The French Braid style works for all face shapes because it gives you more styling options and height at the crown. You can leave some strands to create a messy look or keep them in place for a sleek look. It’s also very versatile.

Read Next: How to French Braid Your Own Hair

Halo Braid

This type of braid creates a circle of hair around the head in a halo effect. You can do this with French, Dutch, or fishtail braids. A halo braid works nicely with layered hair because it allows you to show off your layers in a way that isn’t as noticeable when you wear your hair down or pulled back into a ponytail or bun. 

Waterfall Braid

People with layered hair should try the Waterfall Braid, which is easy to do and looks great. It is a classic braid that starts at the back of your head and ends at your nape. This braid style is also great for showing off any highlights or lowlights in your hair, and you can wear it up or down.

Braid Ponytail

This option works well with all face shapes. A braided ponytail is a great option for those days when you want to get out the door quickly and look together simultaneously. It’s perfect for someone who wants to show off their layers but doesn’t want to spend too much time styling them.

Half-Up Half-Down Braid 

This is a great option if you’ve wanted to try out a half-up ponytail but don’t have time or patience for an elaborate updo. Even if your hair is short, it’s easy to do and looks great with any outfit.

Braided Fauxhawk Ponytail

If you’re looking for a new style that will give you a serious attitude, the braided fauxhawk ponytail is just what you need. It’s ideal for people with layered hair, giving you a new look in seconds. 

2. Prep Your Hair

You’ll want to prep your hair before braiding it for the best results. This will mean washing and styling your hair and using products that are right for your texture. For instance, if you have thick or coarse hair, use a conditioner or deep conditioner that will help keep your strands soft and manageable.

Make sure to brush out any tangles before braiding. You can use a paddle brush, but don’t brush too much! If you have layers, you’ll want to separate them with a comb or your fingers.

Read Next: How Long Does Hair Have to Be to Braid?

3. Gather Your Tools

You’ll need a comb, some bobby pins, and hair ties. The comb should be fine-toothed so you can separate your hair without causing too much damage.

The bobby pins will help secure the sections of hair you’re about to braid so that everything stays in place until it’s time for the final product. Hair ties hold everything together.

4. Curl Your Hair

This step is technically optional, but curls are the secret to a successful braid. With curls, your strands will have a smooth, voluminous look that makes them easier to work with.

Additionally, curled hair not only makes braiding easier but also helps to blend your layers, so they look like they belong together instead of growing in different directions.

5. Split Hair Into Sections

Start by parting and smoothing your hair in the middle. Then, divide each side into three sections. If you have long layers and long bangs, divide your hair into two equal parts.

Then separate one section from the rest and braid that first section over itself until you reach the end of your hair. Repeat with the remaining parts.

6. Braid From the Top

If you have layers or even just one or two pieces of hair that are longer than the rest, it can be difficult to create a braid. If you want to braid your hair with layers, always start from the top and work your way down.

Take Smaller Groups of Hair When Braiding the Shorter Layer

Braiding can be a real pain regarding the shorter layer and keeping it from popping out of the bun. To get around this, simply take smaller groups of hair when braiding the shorter layer. This will help keep the layer inside the pleat and give you a more secure bun!

Take Bigger Chunks of Hair When Braiding Longer Hair

Longer hair can be challenging to braid because it’s so much easier to end up with gaps and holes in your braid by not taking large enough chunks of hair.

If you have long, thick hair, try taking bigger chunks of hair when braiding. As you gather your hair, ensure that you’re gathering an equal amount from each side of your head so that the braid stays even throughout.

7. Leave Pieces Out to Create Texture

One of the best ways to add texture and volume to your hair is to braid it with a few pieces left out. Alternatively, you can use a wide-toothed comb to pull sections of hair from the sides of your head. If your layers are particularly long, this method will create a particularly voluminous effect.

8. Use Bobby Pins

Bobby pins are your friend when keeping your braid in place. Use them as you go along, so they’re in place before you finish the last few strands of your plait. This will help keep stray hairs out of the way and help hold pleats in place.

Read Next: The 8 Main Types of Hair Clips to Use in 2024

9. Use Hairspray for Extra Hold

The best way to get a braid to stay in place is by using hairspray. The best setting spray for braiding has a stronghold but is also light and doesn’t leave your hair feeling sticky.

Frequently Asked Questions

Asian woman with braids and layered hair looks down and to the right

Kourdakova Alena/Shutterstock

Do you still have questions about how to braid when you have layers? You’re not alone! Check out this list of frequently asked questions. 

Can my layered hair be braided?

With the right style of braid, you can style your layered hair with braids. The trick is to adopt a braiding method that accommodates layers and select a suitable braiding style.

How do you prevent the shorter layer from sticker out when you braid layered hair?

Apply a small amount of styling spray or damp hair to the ends of your hair. This will keep them in place once you begin braiding. When you’re ready to braid, ensure all your layers are facing down so they don’t stick out while braiding.

Is it better to braid on wet or dry hair?

You can braid with wet or dry hair, but wet hair makes the process a little easier. Allow your hair to dry a little so it’s damp when you braid it rather than sopping wet.

How short can my hair be to do braids?

You can braid hair that is as short as two inches long. While it may technically be possible to braid on shorter lengths, it will be difficult.

What should I put on my hair before braiding?

You don’t have to put anything on your hair before you begin braiding it, but you can’t go wrong with a good hair moisturizer! This will help keep your hair and your scalp hydrated and healthy.

So, How Do You Braid When You Have Layers?

Braiding your hair with layers can be difficult, but it is not impossible. With a little patience and time, you can create beautiful braids with any hairstyle. Happy braiding!