How To Braid With Layers: An Easy Hair Guide You Can Follow!

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Braids have always been popular among women. The various styles that are nothing short of stunning are what draw many to get their hair braided.

And while it should be a straightforward process, it might not be for some whose hair is layered. After all, when you braid with layers, the shorter locks can stick out of the braid, resulting in a messy, unkempt look.

A close-up image of woman getting her hair braided into a fishtail.

If you’ve been dealing with that struggle for a long time, this article will end your frustration!

We’ll comprehensively dive into details and tips on how to braid when you have layers, so keep reading!

Fast Facts

  • You can braid layered hair with French braids, French fishtail braids, halo braids, box braids, side braids, Dutch braids, waterfall braids, side cornrows, baby braids, pigtail braids, and ponytail braids.
  • To successfully braid layered hair, choose the right braid style and follow a step-by-step process that includes prepping, curling, dividing, and braiding the hair.
  • Using bobby pins and hairspray can help secure the braid and keep shorter layers in place.

Easy Braids for Layered Hair

Having hair in varied lengths shouldn’t be a reason to avoid braiding it. By following a few tricks, your hair can pull off any gorgeous hair braid style. 

In the following sections, we list some of the easy braids that can be done on layered hair:

French Braid

French braid, one of the common and easy braids to follow even if you have layered hair, usually starts high on the head where three small hair sections are interweaved alternately over one another until you reach the desired braid length. 

It’s the opposite of the Dutch braid since the protruding side is underneath.

Here’s a video you can watch to learn how to french braid hair even with layers:

French Fishtail

The French fishtail braid is a hybrid between the French braid and the fishtail. 

It’s an intricate braiding hairstyle where two instead of three sections of the hair are taken, and a smaller portion from each section is crossed over from one side to another until all hairs are thinly braided. 

With this type of braid, those with layered haircuts can mostly conceal the trims of their locks since the braid starts from the top and goes all the way down to the tips of the longest part of the hair. 

Here’s a short video showing how to do a French fishtail:

Halo Braid

The halo braid is an angelic braiding style where three small hair sections are crossed over (if French braid) or under (if Dutch braid) alternately from one to another.

This typically starts from the center near your hairline and circles around your head, much like a crown. 

With this crown braid, you can catch your trims and conceal them within your edged hairdo. 

Here’s a short video you can reference on how to do a halo braid:

Box Braid 

You can also braid with layers by following this particular style. 

However, please note that this hairstyle is culturally significant to those of African ethnicity. Those wearing this style outside of this ethnicity might be met with criticism or backlash.

Box braids are generally done by dividing your hair into small, square sections, splitting each into three strands, and braiding them down to the tip. 

This is one of the ideal braids for hair with layers since they can be excellently incorporated within the small dimensions of plaits.

Here’s a video you can follow so you know how to do box braids with layers:

Side Braid

If you are braiding long hair with layers or even medium-length hair, the side braid is one of the many styles that will work for you. 

Depending on how you want your side braid to be, you can either put your hair on one side and weave your three small sections or start French (or Dutch) braiding from one side and continue it sideways until you reach the tips.

The side braid is great for layered hair because it lets you gather all your longer layers to one side while letting the shorter layers slip out to frame your face.

Check out how to do a side braid with layers through the short video below:

Dutch Braid 

You can also braid the Dutch way if you have layered hair. 

The Dutch braid is where you start from the top with three small sections of hair. You then cross one underneath the other alternately all the way down, showcasing a braid that protrudes. 

This is great for layered hair because it lets you interweave the varied lengths seamlessly, resulting in one neat braid.

Watch how to Dutch braid with layers through the short clip below:

Waterfall Braid

The waterfall braid looks like what it’s named after. This distinct braiding style is technically a half-French braid, with middle strands that are repetitively enclosed and dropped down like a waterfall between an intertwined weave. 

Those with layered hair would love this whimsical hair braid style not just because of the cascading waterfall braid but also because it keeps the layers from sticking out. 

It’s one of the ideal braids for layered hair at medium length or longer length since waterfall braids are versatile and can adjust to any of these lengths. 

Here’s a short tutorial showing how to waterfall braid:

Baby Braid

By opting for baby braids, you can braid with layers without too much effort. These are styles you can do in under a minute or two!

It’s super uncomplicated since all you need is to take a small section from one side of your hair, braid it up to the tips, and do the same on the other side.

Whether loose or tight, baby braids help frame your face well. Plus, since they’re small braids that can incorporate the whole strand, those with hairs in uneven lengths won’t struggle to sport this hairstyle.

The video below shows how to baby braid:

Side Cornrow

If you want the shaved side part look, then it’s the side cornrow you need to try. This is when you part your hair unequally, and the smaller side is what you’ll be braiding. You can French braid them or do it the Dutch way.

You can create as many braids as possible, depending on how small you want them to be. Using smaller braids means you can weave the layers more tightly together, preventing the little hair strands from sticking out.

Just like box braids, however, note that this hairstyle is culturally significant to those of African ethnicity.

To learn how to do side cornrow, here’s a tutorial you can watch:

Pigtail Braid

Pigtails are common for kids, but adults like you who want to have fun can rock such a hairstyle, too, even if you have layers.

Ideally, if your layers are short, your braided pigtails should be worn high on your head to include the short strands in the weave. 

Meanwhile, if the layers are longer, you may wear them high on the head or low on your shoulders. 

To follow this style, here’s how to pigtail braid:

Ponytail Braid

Want to know how to ponytail braid with layers? It’s pretty simple. It’s one of the easiest braid hairstyles you can do!

You only have to gather all your hair on top of your head, make sure all layers are scooped in the center, and tie them in a single section. Then, you can start braiding them down tightly so some pieces of hair won’t stick out.

Here’s a video showing you another way you can do a ponytail braid if you’re using hair extensions:

7 Steps on How To Braid Hair With Layers

While layered hair is gorgeous and adds volume, movement, and shape, you will automatically rethink whether you made the right decision to opt for this uneven hairstyle once you decide to braid it. 

However, by following the steps below, you’ll be able to achieve the refined look that you’re after. 

1. Decide on Your Style

The first step involves deciding which of the braided hairstyles for layered hair you want.  

You may have to consider the length of your shortest layer and see your options. 

For example, if the shortest strand ends on the line level on the nape area, your hair braid style should start anywhere above it. You can try the French braid, fishtail, Dutch braid, cornrow, and waterfall, among others. 

A beautiful woman with halo braided hair posing on a white background.

2. Gather Your Styling Tools and Products

Next, you must prepare all the hair styling tools and products you need. 

Here’s a list of the things you should have when you braid with layers:

3. Start Prepping Your Hair

Once all is set, you can proceed to prepping your hair. 

This involves washing it with shampoo and conditioning it to make your strands smooth and soft, especially if you have dry, coarse hair. 

You can then spray your heat protectant to avoid severe hair damage from the styling tool you’ll be using later and mousse all over your wet hair to add volume and texture to your strands and hold your braid for hours. 

If you prefer using a hairspray, you may do this step after you have completely braided your hair. 

4. Curl Your Hair

This is often deemed an optional step, but it can significantly help keep your hair from jutting out of the braids. Generally, curling allows your tresses to fall down in one direction, making them easier to work with. 

To do this, you can grab your curling wand (you can also utilize a hair straightener) and set the heat below 200 degrees Fahrenheit for thin hair types, like the 1a, 1b, and 1c

Meanwhile, you can opt for less than 300°F for thick and coarse hair types, like 3a, 3b, and 3c

A woman wearing white top is sitting on a couch with a pink hair curler.

You can then start wrapping a section of your hair near the roots around the iron until you’re left with only a few inches-length of your hair, which you’re holding. 

Wait for around five to eight seconds, and release the strands. Repeat this step until all hair sections are curled. 

5. Divide Your Hair Into Sections

After doing the fourth step, it’s time to section your hair for braiding. Do you want a middle part or a side part?

Once you’ve decided, you can grab a small section from where you’ll start braiding. 

6. Start Braiding

With the first section you took, divide it into two (if fishtail) or three strands and start interweaving them together to achieve your desired hair braiding style. 

You can grab another section alternately from the sides and merge them with your sections until you reach the end of your hair. Secure the braid using a hair tie. 

However, if you want baby braids, pigtail braids, or ponytail braids, you only have to braid the section from the roots to the tips of your hair without incorporating more sections from your locks. 

Quick Tip

If you want braids for short hair with layers, it’s ideal that the weaves are small so the shorter strands are tightly and neatly contained within the bun. 

7. Use Bobby Pins or Hairspray

Once you’re done braiding your layered hair, inspect which areas show hairs that stick out.

The regions where hairs poke out can be tucked into the braid using bobby pins. Ensure you get them within the pin and bury them inside your weave to securely keep them in place. 

Do the same for the rest of the stubborn spiky hairs. 

Lastly, don’t forget to spritz your hairspray all over your hair. This helps set your hairstyle in place, including your short layers. 

Young asian woman wearing white tube top with pigtail braided hair on a beige background.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Okay To Braid Thin Hair?

It’s certainly okay to braid thin hair. In fact, braiding can create a fuller look if it’s done loosely and you use volumizing products. 

Simply ensure that you don’t braid your hair too tightly to the point that the style is causing tension to the roots and cuticles, which may lead to breakage on the hairline since this can cause it to recede. 

Can I Braid My Hair Every Day?

Braiding your hair every day is fine unless the hairstyle is too tight or heavy that it’s already pulling on your scalp. 

It doesn’t matter whether you have thin or thick hair. 

If you want to get your tresses braided daily, it’s best to opt for styles that are easy on your strands to maintain healthy hair that’s not prone to breakage.

Don’t Let Layered Hair Stop You From Getting Braids!

Can you braid layered hair? Of course!

By following the steps on how to braid layered hair outlined in this article, you will no longer shy away from sporting knitted hairstyles or wait for your hair to grow before you have the confidence to rock it. 

These braids can give you the volume boost your hair needs or add sophistication to your head without the dreadful short hairs sticking out.

Now grab all you need and start fiddling with your strands for that gorgeous braided hair transformation!

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  • Felice Albay

    Felice, has a Bachelor of Science graduate in Food Science and Technology. Since 2017, she has honed her skills as a content writer and editor, with a special interest in the ever-evolving worlds of skincare, makeup, and fashion. Juggling her role as a devoted mother, Felice finds inspiration in the dynamic landscape of TikTok, where she keeps a keen eye on the latest trends. Her expertise lies in transforming these discoveries into engaging content, connecting readers with the pulse of the beauty and fashion industries.

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