There’s no denying the beauty of a braided hairstyle. From French to Dutch to zipper, there are so many intricate styles to choose from! One of our personal favorites? The waterfall braid. This beautiful braid is the perfect special occasion hairstyle for your prom or wedding—or any day you want to feel extra amazing. Want to learn how to do a waterfall braid with curls? Keep reading for our step-by-step waterfall braid tutorial.
STEP #1: PREP YOUR HAIR
Before you start braiding, wash your hair with a shampoo and conditioner that will keep your locks frizz-free. Try the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Frizz-Defy Shampoo and the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Frizz-Defy Conditioner. The line provides long-lasting humidity and frizz control, so it’s perfect for achieving a smooth style.
STEP #2: GRAB YOUR BRUSH
Hair brushing may not seem like a key part of how to do a waterfall braid, but tangles and knots will only get in your way. Gently brush your hair to ensure it’s tangle-free, then part your hair as you normally would. This style can be done with a side or middle part, so it’s totally up to you!
STEP #3: BEGIN YOUR BRAID
Knowing how to waterfall braid is all about practice and patience. Start by grabbing a section of hair at the front of your head that’s about two inches wide. This will serve as the anchor of your waterfall braid. Split the section into three pieces of equal size and braid as you normally would by placing the right strand over the middle strand and then the left strand over the new middle strand.
STEP #4: BRAID SOME MORE
Once you’ve anchored your braid, it’s time to start weaving. First, add some hair to the right strand and move it over the middle strand. Then, let go of the left strand and grab a new piece of hair to replace it. This will create the cascading effect that distinguishes the waterfall braid. Next, move your new left strand over the middle strand. You’ve just finished the first stitch of your waterfall braid!
STEP #5: REPEAT
Repeat step four, making sure to guide your braid in a horizontal line across the back of your head. Once you’ve reached the other end of your head, secure your braid with a clear elastic and use bobby pins to tuck the end under your hair for a seamless, romantic look.
STEP #6: ADD VOLUME
Add thickness and volume to your braid by using the pancaking technique. This involves gently tugging on the edges of the braid to loosen it, which will create the appearance of a fuller braid.
STEP #7: CURL YOUR STRANDS
You can rock a waterfall braid with straight or wavy hair, but we’re partial to a waterfall braid with curls. To complete your style, reach for your curling iron size of choice. Use a wide-barrel curling iron to create loose, carefree curls or a smaller curling iron to form tight ringlets. Curls complement this braided hairstyle well and amplify the waterfall effect.
STEP #8: LOCK IN YOUR STYLE
Don’t forget to lock in your beautiful style! Use a strong-hold hairspray, like the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray Strong Hold, to keep your strands in place.
3 WAYS TO ACCESSORIZE YOUR WATERFALL BRAID
Once you’ve mastered our step-by-step waterfall braid tutorial, you may want to take your waterfall braid to the next level. Add an accessory to further the dreamy aesthetic of this hairstyle. Here are three ways to accessorize your braid:
OPTION #1: FRESH FLOWERS
While artificial flowers will totally do the job, nothing says romance quite like incorporating some fresh flowers into your ‘do. Place them throughout your braid and bobby pin them in place. If you’re really feeling the floral vibes, you can also add them throughout the length of your mane.
OPTION #2: JEWELED HAIR ACCESSORIES
If your style is more on the glamorous end of the spectrum, you may want to add a jeweled hair accessory into the mix. Not only will this make your waterfall braid seriously elegant, but it’ll also balance the bohemian vibes of the braid with the luxurious aura of sparkly jewels.
OPTION #3: TEMPORARY COLOR SPRAYS
Looking for an option that screams fun and carefree? This is for you. Temporary hair color sprays wash out in just one shampoo, so you can play, wash, and repeat as often as you’d like. We recommend the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color Spray or the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup Temporary 1-Day Hair Color. Try adding a few colors to the ends of your curls for a dip-dye effect.
For more braided hairstyle ideas, read our article, How to Do a 4-Strand Braid.