Is it just us, or is there something exciting about rocking a braid? Maybe it’s because braids remind us of summer; maybe it’s because braids aren’t necessarily an everyday look (though they should be!). Either way, braids give us a major confidence boost, so we’re all for finding ways to incorporate more of them into our style.

If you’re at home and on board for the challenge, look no further. Below, Campus Wave Ambassador Lana DeGuzman shares her best advice for braid perfection. Have you tried all these tricks to master the perfect braid at home?

1. Pancake Your Braids
Your stylist’s worst-kept braiding secret? Making braids look thicker and fuller by pancaking (aka pulling and tugging at the edges of the braid). For the perfect plait, start at the top of the braid, and gently fan each section of the braid outward. Make sure to do this before you secure with an elastic, or even multiple times as you’re braiding!

2. Use Product to Smooth Frizz
Nothing ruins a cute braid faster than unruly flyaways. Enter the Beachwaver Co. Balm Pre-Braid Prep. Braid Balm preps hair for braiding by smoothing frizz and taming flyaways that pop up after you’re finished braiding.

Bonus tip: for no-heat, mermaid waves, start with damp hair and Braid Balm. Braid -> sleep -> wake up. You’ll have defined, frizz-free waves in the morning!

3. Go Dutch
Are you a pro at the French braid? Ready to change it up? Next time, bring each section under instead of over, and you’ve got a whole new look—the Dutch braid! Braiding Dutch makes the braid look like it’s laying on top of the head—giving it a cool, 3D effect…hello, festival season!

4. Give It Some Grip
If you find braiding tough because your sections tend to slip, add some grip before you braid with some dry shampoo. Dry shampoo—like the Beachwaver Co. Second Chance Dry Shampoo—adds a non-slip texture to your hair, making braids easier to style while also providing a gentle hold. Plus, Second Chance doesn’t leave behind a white residue—so the focus will be on your amazing braids!

5. Embrace the Mermaid Life—Try a Fishtail!
Here’s how:

1. Split your hair into two sections.
2. Take a small strand of hair from the left section and cross it under, adding it to the right strand.
3. Now take a small strand of hair from the right section and cross it under, adding it to the left strand.
4. Repeat these steps until you have incorporated all your hair, then secure with an elastic!

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