- Start with damp hair; this is important for helping the waves set properly. I prefer to dampen the bottom two thirds of my hair using a squirt bottle, leaving my roots dry.
- Run a heat protecting serum (I like to use Redken Smooth Lock Heat Glide) throughout the bottom two-thirds of hair and then brush through hair to distribute the product and to remove any knots in the hair—it’s important to have smooth, tangle-free hair when braiding.
- Section hair into 5-10 big sections and braid each into a loose braid. Keep in mind that the smaller the braid, the tighter the waves and the larger the braid, the looser the wave. It’s also important to continue to spritz hair as the untouched sections dry; to create consistent results throughout, each braid needs to be equally damp when initially braided. Also, if you braid from the tip of the root to the very end of the hair you will have a more texture than if you start each braid a few inches from the roots. Because braids start to become smaller as you move down the shaft, I like to stop braiding a few inches before I get to the end of the strands—this allows them to dry with their own natural wave instead of becoming extremely kinky (which is the result of a super small braid). Because hair is its most fragile when wet, it’s important to be gentle when braiding to avoid breakage.
- Once all sections of hair have been braided, use a blow dryer to add heat to the braids until they are completely dry—removing the braids before they are 100 percent dry will change the results of the waves, leaving them with less hold.
- For extra staying power, run a flatiron over each braid. Let the braids set while you continue your morning routine—finish you makeup, eat breakfast, get dressed, check your email—giving the braids a chance to cool completely.
- Once braids have cooled, begin to carefully undo each one. Do not brush or comb through waves—this will cause them to deconstruct. Finally, Spritz hair with a light hold hairspray (like Kenra Platinum Working Spray 14).