The art of braiding hair has been in existence for thousands of years. While most women desire to wear longer braided tresses, men prefer to have a shortened style of braids. Take, for example, Allen Iverson of NBA fame.
"AI," as he is affectionately called, has been seen on the basketball court with a variety of braid styles, and changes his hair styles quite frequently. During a one-week period, he had two different styles - much to the delight of his fans! In this article, we will discuss how to achieve the "zigzag" style of braids (or cornrows, as they are often called) that AI has made so popular. This particular style will be divided into four sections. Here's how to get started:
As with any hairstyle, the first step in styling is to assure the hair is properly shampooed, conditioned, blow dried and combed through. When you've completely prepped the hair, use a comb to section the hair vertically creating four equal sections. Clip or band three of the sections, as we will be focusing on one at a time. You are now ready to begin the braid style.
The braiding technique is based solely on the positioning of the parts (or sections) of hair to be braided. In most cases, the individual sections of the hair determine the outcome of the style.
Beginning on the far left, part the hair horizontally from the top part of the section to the temple in one-half inch partings. Each half inch part should be laid, alternately, from left to right, according to the direction in which it will be braided.
When the entire section has been parted, start at the front half inch section and begin to braid downward toward the temple, using the three strand method. Once you've reached the end of the braid, reverse direction and begin braiding the next half inch section from temple to part. At the end of that section, again, proceed to the next half inch parting, braiding from part to temple.
Continue alternating in this pattern until the entire section of half inch partings are completely braided. You may either secure the end of the braid with a small rubber band, or simply braid it to the end and let it hang. Move on to the next vertical section of hair, and follow the directions as stated above.
Upon completion of the entire head, use an oil based conditioner to "grease" the scalp to prevent flaking or dry skin.