How Do You Prepare Your Hair For Tree Braids? | 2023

Preparing your hair for tree braids involves a few critical steps. First, it’s essential to start with clean, well-conditioned hair.

Begin by shampooing and conditioning your hair, and then thoroughly detangling it. You may want to apply a leave-in conditioner or a hair oil for extra moisture.

Trim any split ends to ensure your braids look their best. Finally, ensure your hair is completely dry before braiding to prevent any potential damage or scalp issues. Now, let’s dive into the details.

To prepare your hair for tree braids, you should follow these steps.

Step 1: Cleanse and Condition

How Do You Prepare Your Hair For Tree Braids

The first step in preparing your hair for tree braids is thoroughly cleaning and conditioning it. Start by rinsing your hair with warm water to open the cuticles and remove any initial dirt or oil.

Following this, apply a generous amount of a clarifying shampoo. This shampoo is designed to deeply cleanse the hair, removing all product buildup and residue.

Massage the shampoo into your scalp, pull it through the lengths and ends of your hair, then rinse thoroughly.

Next, use a moisturizing conditioner. The conditioner will add moisture back to your hair that was removed by the shampoo. It will also help to soften your hair, making it easier for you to style and manage.

To make the most of your conditioner, apply it to the ends of your hair (where hair is typically driest), then work your way up to the scalp. Leave the conditioner in for the recommended time on the package before rinsing.

Remember to rinse the conditioner thoroughly, as any residue can lead to buildup and make braiding more difficult.

After rinsing, gently pat your hair dry with a towel to remove excess water, ensuring it’s not soaking wet before the next steps.

Your hair is now cleansed, conditioned, and ready for the next step of the tree braiding process.

Step 2: Detangle

Detangling is an essential step in preparing your hair for tree braids. To start with, you’ll need a wide-toothed comb or detangling brush.

These tools are designed to work through tangles and knots without causing breakage or damage.

Begin detangling from the ends of your hair, then gradually work your way up to the roots. This method minimizes strain and reduces the risk of snapping or damaging the hair.

Always be gentle to avoid causing unnecessary stress to your hair strands.

Applying a leave-in conditioner or detangling spray during this process can be beneficial, as these products provide extra slip, making it easier to remove tangles and knots.

They also nourish and protect the hair, leaving it soft, manageable, and ready for braiding.

Once your hair is fully detangled, you have successfully prepared it for the next step in the tree-braiding process.

Proper detangling will ensure your tree braids are smooth and tangy-free, resulting in a neat final look.

Step 3: Trim.

Trimming your hair is crucial in preparing for tree braids, especially if you have split ends. Trimming your hair ensures that your braids look neat and last longer.

To start, you’ll need a pair of sharp hair scissors, a comb, and a mirror. It’s important to use hair scissors rather than regular scissors because they are specifically designed to cut hair cleanly without causing any damage.

Regular scissors can blunt the ends of your hair and lead to split ends.

First, comb through your hair to remove any tangles. Once your hair is fully detangled, pick up a small section and slide your fingers towards the ends.

Look carefully for any damaged, split, or uneven ends. With your hair scissors, carefully trim off these ends.

Be sure only to trim the damaged parts of your hair, usually the last quarter to half an inch. If you need more confidence in trimming your hair, having a professional do it for you might be a good idea.

After trimming, your hair should be healthy and even, making the braiding process easier and more polished. Once you’ve completed this step, your hair is well-prepared for the tree braiding process.

Step 4: Dry.

Drying your hair properly is another critical step in preparing for tree braids. After trimming, it’s time to dry your hair in a way that maintains its health and prepares it for braiding.

Start by patting your hair gently with a towel to remove excess water. Avoid roughly towel drying, as it can cause breakage and frizz.

Instead, consider using a microfiber towel or t-shirt, which is gentler on your hair and can help reduce frizz.

Next, allow your hair to dry naturally. This is the best way to dry your hair as it reduces damage caused by heat.

If you’re pressed for time, you can use a blow-dryer, but be sure to use it on the lowest heat setting and keep it moving to avoid concentrating too much heat in one area.

A diffuser attachment can also help distribute the heat more evenly.

While your hair is drying, avoid brushing it, as wet hair is more susceptible to breakage. If you need to detangle your hair, use a wide-toothed comb and start from the ends, working your way up to the roots.

Once your hair is completely dry, it’s ready for the next step in the tree-braiding process.

Proper drying will ensure your hair is in the best possible condition for braiding, making the process smoother and more successful.

Tree Braids

Pros and Cons of Tree Braids


  • Natural appearance.
  • Protects natural hair from daily styling and environmental damage.
  • Versatile styling options.
  • Suitable for various hair types.
  • Long-lasting (typically 4-6 weeks with proper care).


  • Time-consuming installation.
  • Requires professional expertise for the best results.
  • It can be heavy if too many extensions are added.
  • Maintenance is needed to prevent tangling and maintain the style.

Additional Tips.

While preparing your hair for tree braids, it is crucial to remember certain practices that can further enhance your hair’s health and the braiding process’s overall outcome.

To keep your hair healthy, remember to hydrate it regularly. You can do this by including deep conditioning treatments as part of your hair care routine.

Deep conditioners help restore moisture, enhance softness, and reduce frizz, making braiding easier.

Secondly, avoid harsh chemicals. Hair products containing sulphates, alcohols, or parabens can strip your hair of its natural oils, leading to dryness and potential damage.

Opt instead for natural or organic hair products.

Lastly, maintaining a healthy diet can significantly influence hair health. Consuming foods rich in vitamins and nutrients, particularly Vitamin E, B vitamins, and Omega-3 fatty acids, can enhance hair strength and shine, ensuring your hair is in prime condition for tree braids.

What Kind of Hair Is Needed for Tree Braids?

Tree braids require high-quality, durable hair that can withstand the braiding process.

Many people opt for natural human hair for its realistic appearance and texture, but synthetic hair can also be used as a more affordable alternative.

Human hair is preferred for blending seamlessly with your hair, creating a natural look.

This type of hair can also be styled, dyed, and treated like your own hair, providing versatility. However, it’s more expensive than synthetic hair.

On the other hand, synthetic hair is a budget-friendly choice that offers various colours and textures.

It’s also lightweight, which makes it comfortable to wear. However, synthetic hair cannot withstand heat styling and may tangle more easily.

Whether you choose human or synthetic hair, selecting the correct length and thickness for your desired style is important.

Thicker hair is best for fuller, more voluminous braids, while thinner hair is ideal for smaller, more intricate braids. Your exact length depends on how long you want your tree braids.

How to Do Tree Braids?

Tree braids are a protective and stylish hairstyle that is a great way to let your hair rest while still looking fabulous.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do tree braids:

Step 1: Hair Preparation

How Do You Prepare Your Hair For Tree Braids

Your hair should be clean, conditioned, and detangled before you start the braiding process.

Use a good-quality shampoo and conditioner that provides moisture and nutrition to your hair. Rinse thoroughly and let your hair dry naturally, or use a hairdryer in a low-heat setting.

Step 2: Sectioning

Divide your hair into sections. The size of the sections depends on the braids you desire. Remember, the smaller the section, the smaller the braid. Secure each section with a hair clip or rubber band.

Step 3: Start braiding

Take a small section of the hair extension and align it with the section of your hair.

Begin to braid your hair normally, integrating the hair extension as you go. After a few stitches, start leaving a bit of the extension hair out of the braid.

Step 4: Continue the Process

Repeat the braiding process throughout your entire head, consistently leaving bits of the extension hair out of the braids. The left-out hair creates the “tree” effect, hence the name tree braids.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Once all your hair is braided, go through each braid and gently fluff out the left-out hair to enhance the tree effect. Apply a little hair oil to add shine and prevent frizz.

Different Types of Hair Extensions for Tree Braids

  • Synthetic Hair: Affordable and widely available, synthetic hair extensions come in various textures and colours.
  • Human Hair: offers the most natural look and feel, can be heat-styled, and comes in various grades and textures.
  • Curly or Straight Extensions: Choose extensions that match your desired style, whether you want a curly or straight look.

Maintenance Tips for Tree Braids

  • Avoid excessive manipulation to prevent frizz and maintain the style.
  • Cover your hair with a satin or silk scarf or bonnet at night.
  • Regularly apply hair oil or conditioner to keep the extensions hydrated.
  • Retouch your edges if they start to loosen after a few weeks.

How to Do Tree Braids With Human Hair

To do tree braids with human hair, you should start by washing, conditioning, and drying your hair.

Divide your hair into sections, and braid or cornrow it close to your scalp. Then, feed the human hair extensions through each braid, making sure to secure them tightly.

Braid the extensions along with your natural hair, and you can choose the length and style you prefer. Trim any excess hair, and you’re ready to enjoy your tree braids.

How to Prepare Black Hair for Braids

Preparing black hair for braids involves several steps. You should begin by washing your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo and using a deep conditioner to moisturize it.

Gently detangle your hair with a wide-tooth comb and ensure it’s fully dry. Before braiding, apply a leave-in conditioner or hair oil to keep your hair well-moisturized.

If you plan to add extensions or apply heat during the braiding process, use a heat protectant for added protection.

How Long Does It Take To Do Tree Braids?

The time it takes to do tree braids varies based on factors like your hair’s length, thickness, and the stylist’s skill.

On average, a stylist can complete the process in 4 to 8 hours. If extensions are being added, it may take longer.

It’s essential to be patient during the process, as rushing can lead to an uneven or messy result. The extra time invested often results in a more polished and long-lasting style.

Best Hair for Tree Braids

When choosing the best hair for tree braids, consider using human hair or high-quality synthetic braiding hair.

Human hair offers a natural look and allows you to style it just like your own hair. High-quality synthetic hair, designed for braiding, provides a more affordable option and still looks great.

Select hair that matches your desired texture, whether it’s straight, wavy, or curly. The best choice depends on your budget, style preferences, and how long you plan to keep the braids in.

Celebrities Who Rocked Tree Braids

Tree braids have been worn by several celebrities, although they are not as popular as other hairstyles. Some famous individuals who have sported tree braids include:

  • Brandy Norwood: The singer and actress have been known to wear tree braids, showcasing their versatility.
  • Eve: The rapper and actress have rocked tree braids on various occasions.
  • Keri Hilson: The singer and songwriter has been seen with tree braids, adding to their popularity in the entertainment industry.


And there you have it! A comprehensive process on how to prepare your hair for tree braids. With these steps, you can confidently embark on your tree braiding journey, knowing you protect your hair while flaunting a fabulous chic hairstyle.

Remember, hair care is crucial before and after braiding for maintaining healthy, beautiful hair. Happy braiding!

Frequently Asked Questions.

Should I oil my hair before braiding?

Yes, oiling your hair before braiding can help nourish your strands and prevent hair breakage. It also enhances the shine and overall look of your finished braids.

Should you straighten your hair before braiding?

It’s not necessary to straighten your hair before braiding. In fact, for some styles, such as tree braids, natural or curly hair textures can hold the braids better and provide a fuller look.

However, some people may find that straightening their hair makes it easier to manage during the braiding process.

Do braids help with hair growth?

Braids can help protect your hair from damage and breakage, promoting healthier growth.

However, it’s important to note that braids do not directly stimulate hair growth. A healthy diet and proper hair care are necessary for optimal hair growth.

What hair texture is good for braids?

Braids can work on many different hair textures. They are often popular with curly or kinky hair types because these textures can hold the braids well.

Straight and wavy hair can also be braided successfully, though the results may have a different look and feel.

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