Hair Dare: 1 Girl, 7 Styles

Wish there were more African-American hairstyle ideas out there, complete with pretty pictures and easy-to-follow steps? Wish granted.

black hairstyle side braid

Day 4: A braid that wins the “all-around” award

I’m halfway through, and I remember that the editors asked me to branch out, so I decide to try something that doesn’t come easily to me. Braiding. Several minutes later, I’m pleasantly surprised to see what I’ve pulled together. Since the braid doesn’t need to look perfect, I’m in the clear. Plus, my co-workers give me a ton of compliments on it when I walk into the office. Love that.

1. I start with a center part. (It’s just the way my part naturally falls, and I don’t feel like forcing it into a side part this morning.)

2. To add more texture, I apply a styling mousse to my damp hair and comb it through (try Pureology Colour Stylist Silk Bodifier Volumizing Mousse, $24). I want to make sure my hair has plenty of lift for this look, so I use a teasing comb to tease my hair near the crown.

3. I allow the mousse in my hair to air dry, and then I wrap large pieces of hair around a 1 1/2-inch curl stick to create extra texture for the braid.

4. I bring all of my hair over one shoulder and start braiding it from below my ear. “If you’re going for a more casual look, leave out a good chunk of your ends when you secure the elastic,” says Dunton. I’m definitely going for that vibe, so I secure my braid several inches before I reach the ends.

5. I use my fingers to loosen up the look, and let the braid fall over the front of my shoulder.