We're entering a whole new decade, which means it’s time to risk it all—and try something new like a waterfall braid. The waterfall braid, aka the cool cousin to the traditional French braid, is an easy and romantic style that even an absolute beginner can master in a few easy-to-follow steps.
Keep scrolling for some expert intel from celebrity and Mayvenn stylist Dontè Mitchell, who works with Tia Mowry, Gabourey Sidibe, Veronica Webb, and Christina Hendricks, and celebrity stylist and UNITE hair ambassador Graham Nation of Ken Paves Salon, on how to nail the waterfall braid, once and for all.
Don’t Sweat The Technique
When it comes to waterfall braids, the options are endless. “French braids and halo braids can be manipulated into a waterfall braid,” explains Mitchell. “It really just depends on how creative you want to get.”
- Be prepared! Bobby pins and hair pins are very important. “I always bring my full kit just because you never know what type of texture the hair will turn to once product has been put on it," explains Mitchell.
- Prep your hair. “Prepping the hair with the right hairspray or pomade first, is the first step to all day hold,” he adds.
- Begin the braid and know your hair type. "Working off of what hair type you have is imperative," explains Nation. “If you have fine hair, you won’t want to put a massive waterfall braid in your hair because it will look off balance. The same applies for putting a small braid in your hair when you have loads of hair—this will only make the braid look lost in your sea of locks.”
- You've got to secure the style. Rubber bands are another must for both Mitchell and Nation.
- Make it messy. “You can start pulling apart to braid to give it the volume and shape you want and a few sprays of texture product to add hold and body to the style," adds Nation. "Believe me, your braid won't be going anywhere all day!”
Below, a video tutorial from YouTuber Missy Sue on how to get started.
Every Texture Can Get The Look
Nation notes that curly hair like a 4C won't show off the style as well if it's not straightened, but that doesn't mean natural hair types can't rock this style. “It won’t look like a waterfall braid that we are used to seeing, where it cascades down the hair, but will end up looking more like a box braid or twist going around the head," explains Nation. "Another option for curly hair textures is to leave the braid looser so it doesn't have a twist or box braid effect."
Peep the video below for a visual example from YouTuber Naturally Glam.
Mitchell also suggests that natural girls opt to “blow dry the hair smooth, after a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. [For those comfortable using heat] you can also smooth out the hair using an iron on low heat to give the braid a clean polished finish.”
So, are you ready to braid yet?
Here are two more watch-worthy videos we recommend to get those fingers moving—and grooving.
Janell M. Hickman Janell M Hickman is a writer and editor based in New York.