Side braid hairstyles, also known as lemonade braids, are one of the many great protective styles for natural hair.
I recently did this style on one of my favorite natural haired clients!
Having done this young ladies hair since she was itty, bitty, I like switching it up on her!
Don't get me wrong, side braids have been around for many, many years. They gained more popularity after Beyonce's lemonade video came out a few years back. Thankfully, these beautiful hair braids are here to stay!
Remember, the best way you can extend the life of your braids is by braiding the hair in small sections and also working with detangled, blow out hair. Braiding on wet hair will bunch up and frizz as the shrinkage sets in.
For this style you'll need:
As always, I began with shampooed, conditioned hair. If you plan on leaving braids in for any long length of time, it's beneficial to deep condition first as your hair will appreciate the extra moisture!
You and your client will need to decide which side you want the cornrows going towards. Be mindful of how the hair was previously styled and how it was parted. Because we want the hair to "wear evenly", you should be trying to switch up the parting as often as possible.
We added in braiding hair, but that step is completely optional.
Parting out small sections, I began bringing the hair over my clients shoulder, adding in a small amount of braiding hair at a time. This method is often called the "feed-in method".
If you look closely, you may see the row of individual braids on the under side. I did this to thicken up the style. Again, this is completely optional.
Once I'd completed the side cornrows, I dipped the ends of the braiding hair into boiling water to keep them smooth.
On her edges, I used a little Gorilla Snot, as pictured right, to smooth and shape her baby hairs. I feel like this helps the style to look more polished, but again, another optional step.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that friction increases frizz. Minimize the friction, and it'll extend the life of your hair style. Showering and tossing and turning in bed will create frizz, be proactive in purchasing a satin bonnet and a fitted shower cap.
My client told me that she'd gotten a lot of compliments with her braids!