Choosing Your Braiding Style:
With your beard prepped and primed, it’s time to decide on the braiding style that suits your taste. There are various beard braid styles you can experiment with, such as a single braid, double braids on each side, or more intricate designs for skilled braiders. Each style offers a unique look, so choose the one that resonates with your personality and grooming goals.
Step-by-Step Guide to Beard Braiding:
1. Divide Your Beard:
Use a comb or your fingers to divide your beard into sections based on the chosen style. For a single braid, divide it into three even sections.
For double braids, divide it into six sections, three on each side.
2. Start Braiding:
Hold the left section with your left hand, the middle section with your right hand’s thumb and index finger, and the right section with your right hand. Cross the right section over the middle section, bringing it to the centre. Next, cross the left section over the new middle section, taking its place in the centre. Repeat this process, alternating sides, until you reach the end of the beard.
Single Braids: A single braid can still work really well on shorter beards. Starting from your chin, just plait a small section of your beard, stopping halfway down, secure with a hair tie and leave the rest unbraided. This will give the illusion of a longer beard.
Side Braids: If you have some length on the sides of your beard, you can try plaiting them. Simply start from the sideburns and create small braids on each side to add a touch of style to your short facial hair.
3. Secure the Braid:
Once you’ve braided the entire length of your beard, use a small elastic band or hair tie to secure the end of the braid.
Make sure it’s tight enough to hold the braid in place by wrapping the tie around a few times. If you’re creating multiple braids, repeat steps two and three for each section of your beard.
4. Finishing Touches:
To achieve your desired look, consider adding some finishing touches to your braided beard. For a rustic and undone appearance, gently pull random sections of the braid outward to create a fuller look. If you prefer a smooth and polished style, apply a small amount of beard balm, such as Gillette’s King C. Gillette Beard Balm, to tame flyaways and add shine.
Braided Beard Styles and How to Achieve Them:
1. Viking Braid:
The Viking braid is a classic and bold style that exudes strength and masculinity. To achieve this look, start by dividing your beard into three sections. Braid each section tightly from the root to the tip. Once all three sections are braided, bring them together and secure them with a hair tie or beard band.
2. French Braid:
The French braid is a versatile style that adds elegance to your beard. Begin by dividing your beard into three sections at the top of your chin.
Cross the right section over the middle section, then cross the left section over the new middle section. Continue this braiding pattern, gradually adding more beard hair from each side until you reach the end. Secure the braid with a hair tie.
3. Fishtail Braid:
The fishtail braid is a unique and intricate style that creates a visually stunning effect. Divide your beard into two equal sections. Take a small strand from the outer edge of the left section and cross it over to join the right section. Repeat this process, alternating sides, until you reach the end of your beard. Secure the braid with a hair tie.
4. Dutch Braid:
The Dutch braid is a reverse variation of the French braid, creating a distinctive look. Start by dividing your beard into three sections at the top of your chin. Instead of crossing the sections over the middle, cross them under, adding more beard hair from each side as you go.
Continue braiding until you reach the end and secure it with a hair tie.
5. Boxer Braid:
The boxer braid is a sleek and sporty style that involves two tight braids on either side of the beard. Divide your beard into two equal sections and braid each side tightly from the root to the end. Secure each braid with a hair tie or beard band.
6. Infinity Braid:
The infinity braid is an intricate and eye-catching style that creates a woven effect. Start by dividing your beard into three sections. Cross the right section over the middle, then cross the left section over the new middle section. Next, take the right section and cross it under the middle, then cross the left section under the new middle section. Repeat this weaving pattern until you reach the end and secure the braid with a hair tie.
7. Rope Braid:
The rope braid is a twisted style that adds texture and depth to your beard. Divide your beard into two equal sections and twist each section clockwise. Once each section is twisted, wrap them around each other in a counter-clockwise direction, creating a rope-like effect. Secure the end with a hair tie or beard band.
8. Cornrow Braid:
Cornrow braids are a popular and stylish choice for beard braiding. This style involves braiding your beard tightly against the skin, creating rows of neat and uniform braids. Start by dividing your beard into small sections and braid each section close to the skin, incorporating the hair as you go. Continue braiding until you reach the end and secure each braid with a hair tie or beard band.
9. Four-Strand Braid:
The four-strand braid is a more complex braiding technique that adds intricacy to your beard. Divide your beard into four equal sections and number them from left to right as 1, 2, 3, and 4. Take section 1 and cross it over section 2, then pass it under section 3. Next, take section 4 and cross it under section 3, then pass it over section 2. Repeat this pattern, alternating the over and under movements until you reach the end of your beard. Secure the braid with a hair tie or beard band.
10. Zigzag Braid:
The zigzag braid is a creative and visually interesting style that adds a unique twist to your beard. Start by dividing your beard into small sections and create a regular braid in each section. Once you’ve completed each braid, gently pull on the edges to create a zigzag pattern.
Secure each braid with a hair tie or beard band.
11. Braided Ponytail:
For those with a fuller beard and longer hair, this style is for you. To start, you’ll need to braid a section of your hair and secure it with a clear elastic tie. Gather your hair into a ponytail, incorporating the braid. Next, braid a section of your beard, starting from the chin down to bring the look together. Secure it with a small elastic band.
FAQs about Braided Beards:
How long does my beard need to be to braid it?
Generally, your beard should be at least 4 inches long to achieve a braided style. However, some shorter beard styles, such as goatee braids, can be achieved with less length.
Do I need to wash my beard before braiding?
It’s recommended to wash your beard before braiding to ensure it’s clean and free from any product build-up. Use a gentle beard wash and follow with a beard softener and oil for optimal results.
How do I prevent my braided beard from unravelling?
To keep your braided beard intact, use small elastic bands or hair ties to secure the ends of each braid. You can also apply a small amount of beard wax or balm to help hold the braids in place.
Can I braid my beard if it’s curly or wavy?
Absolutely! In fact, curly or wavy beards can add a unique texture and dimension to braided styles. Embrace the natural texture of your beard and use it to your advantage when braiding. The twists and turns of curly or wavy hair can create visually interesting patterns and make your braids stand out even more. Just ensure that your beard is well-moisturized and detangled before braiding to make the process smoother.
Remember, braiding is a versatile style that can be adapted to different beard lengths, textures, and personal preferences. Feel free to experiment with different braided beard styles, mix and match techniques, and add your own creative flair. The key is to have fun and express your individuality through your braided beard.