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If you’re in love with braids but want to go a step further than a traditional three strand or Dutch, boy have we got the look for you. Allow us to introduce you to the zipper braid. Seen on the hair of major celebrities, the expert-level zipper braid may seem like it’d be difficult to create at first glance, but the end look is oh so worth the effort. As with all technical braided hairstyles, practice makes perfect—so you better get your fingers ready to weave repeatedly until you master this must-wear look. Below, find our tutorial for creating a zipper braid.
Get the look by following these simple steps:
Step 1: Dampen your hair. Believe it or not, braids can be significantly easier to create when your hair is slightly damp. So, spritz on a little water before you begin your zipper braid.
Step 2: Start with a small section at your hairline. Grab a section of hair that’s about two inches wide and divide it into three even strands.
Step 3: Create your first base weave. To do this, take the middle strand over the left strand, followed by the new middle strand over the right strand. Congratulations: you’ve created your first base stitch. Not too difficult so far, right?
Step 4: Here’s where things get a bit more complicated. After your first stitch, take the new middle strand over the left strand before looping it under the two strands to the right. This process secures the stitch in place so that no hair will slip out of your zipper braid. Make sure to hold that strand in place while moving to your next step.
Step 5: Grab a small section of hair from the right side of your head. This will be your new strand since the other one is locked in place.
Step 6: Stitch your new right strand. Loop it over the middle section and under the left. After completing these two stitches, your base is officially set and it’s time to begin zipper stitching. Yup, that wasn’t even the hard part. Just make sure you still have that right strand in your hand held tight so that your work doesn’t unravel.
Step 7: It’s zipper time! Grab a section of hair from the left side of your head and take it over the middle section and under the right section. Hold this section in your hand, along with the other section you’ve been holding, without combining them together. At this point of juggling strands, you might wish you had a little help. If you someone else is around, consider getting them involved!
Step 8: Complete your first zipper stitch. Take the first right strand out of your friend’s hand and weave it under the new section you just gave her so that you can add it to the middle strand. Just think of this as a little sandwiching technique around the section you just gave her.
Step 9: Complete the same process on the right side of your head. Grab a chunk of hair, take it over the middle strand and under the left strand, holding it with the first left strand that was held out of the way. Then wrap the first section in your hand under the new section to add it to the middle section.
Step 10: Repeat the process all the way to the ends. It’s tricky, but as you continue weaving, you’ll quickly watch your zipper braid take shape. Once you reach the ends, just finish your braid off with a clear mini elastic and fluff it up a bit for a more voluminous-looking braid.
If your hair tends to fall out of braids as the day goes on, be sure to give your pretty new look a spray of the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle LOCK IT Bold Control Hairspray.
Next up: Check out our article, How to Create a Skeleton Braid, for another super-fun hairstyle tutorial. You’re about to become a braiding pro!