web analytics

Ask David: How to Add Volume to Your Flat Braid Without Backcombing

How to avoid a flat braid, add volume

Yes, see that braid? It has volume, is a very small piece of hair, and this is second day hair and I didn’t even use a dry shampoo to do it! I did it following David’s directions below. First, here’s this week’s question!

How to braid your hair so it doesn’t look thin and limp? (Without backcombing or teasing?)

David’s Answer:
First, you’ll need to improve the appearance of your hair’s thickness.

Blow dry your hair with a volumizer, this will add the fullness that you need.

When you are braiding, you’ll want to be careful not to braid tight to your scalp. Instead, start about 1/2 to 1 inch off of the scalp, this will add a lot of volume. If you’re going to be braiding your hair all the way down then start the braid at midshaft and braid all the way down, rather than starting at the very top of your hair. The free flowing section from your scalp to mid-shaft will add the appearance of more volume.


How to avoid a flat braid, add volume

So, this morning I spent a little time playing around with David’s directions. You can see that I braided my hair with his directions and the “traditional” french way, which was wrong. There’s actually a lot more hair in that flat looking braid, I couldn’t even pin it in place! Hence, the ugly little butterfly clip. Obviously I wouldn’t wear it like this in real life, only on the interwebz for 2 minutes!

How to avoid a flat braid, add volume

David’s little tip makes a huge difference! Do anything and everything you can to avoid pulling that braid tightly against your head. I loosely held my 3 sections, started braiding roughly 1″ from my scalp, and kept each “fold over” nice and loose. Pulling extra hair from only 1 side, rather than both sides, also helped. In person my hair looked quite a bit larger, so I skipped the step of pulling my braid a little bit in certain areas to make it a bit looser, but you could certainly do that as well.

David L Hensley is the Chief Creative Officer, Head Stylist and basically hair guru for Laid Brand Hair Care, one of my newest obsessions. David has worked in both Los Angeles and Florida and works with both celebs and us normal people. He has a great understanding of hair and how to work with hair to create great looks!

David has agreed to help with a series of posts answering your hair care and styling questions. Please let me know if you have questions you’d love to see addressed!

Laid Brand Hair Care
David L Hensley

Sign up for updates

About Me

I’m a doctor, a mommy and a bit of a beauty addict. If you let me, I can take 2 hours to get ready in the morning. Really. I'm on a quest for faster beauty that works!

Leave a Comment


  1. 5.27.12
    Kelly said:

    What a great look! Thanks for the tips Especially with the warmer weather here, I will certainly be trying this out. BTW; love your eye makeup in the photos. What color is that? Looks great with your brown eyes!

  2. 5.27.12
    Tiffany said:

    Love it! Thanks for the tip, I love doing my hair like this. Btw, your makeup is so pretty here!

  3. 5.28.12
    Christine said:

    Thanks so much Kelly and Tiffany! I took pics while doing my makeup, I need to put together a post about it. The blue is the Navy Matte from Make Up For Ever's new Aqua Shadows.

  4. 5.29.12

    Simple after you explain it but not obvious to me as I try to do stuff with my hair on my own! Thanks for the concept of being more relaxed about the do instead of focusing on securing it down so it stays put. Hmmm, interesting as a big concept too for me. Nice series.

  5. 5.29.12
    Christine said:

    I know! I have a hard time braiding my own hair. It's hard for me to coordinate my fingers when I can't see them. I think I need to practice more!

  6. 2.6.13
    Anonymous said:

    That is adorable:) I can't wait to try it!