Chunky Side Dutch Braid Tutorial
I’ve been doing this thing where I set quarterly goals for my blog/business. Every quarter, I pick a prize to work towards and if I hit those goals, I can treat myself to my prize with no guilt. And these prizes are good prizes, too – they are things that I have always wanted but would never buy on my own on a regular Tuesday. They are reaching prizes – and I’m so so proud of myself for hitting ALL of my quarter one goals and being able to treat myself to my prize with no guilt: hair extensions!
I’ve had clip-in hair extensions before and they were nice and a great place to start off in the hair extension world. This time, though, I wanted to go all out and get extensions that stayed in all the time and that I could style a variety of ways (doing big messy buns with clip-ins is not easy and pretty painful.) I also was ready to have my long hair back – ever since chemo, my hair just hasn’t grown the way it used to. It seems like I’ll never get it back to the length or thickness that I had before and I was tired of being reminded of what happened to me every time I tried to style my hair.
So, after I hit all my goals for Q1, I made an appointment with Alexis at Intrepid Studio Salon in Orem to get my extensions put in. I’ve been seeing Lex for my hair for over a year now and she’s taken me from blonde to dark and from short to long and everything in between. I highly recommend her if you are in the Utah area and are looking for a trustworthy hair girl! After custom coloring my hair and extensions and cutting them so they blended in with my real hair, I finally had the princess hair that I had been dreaming about for years.
One of my FAVORITE things about having hair extensions is the ability to do my big chunky side dutch braid. It’s one of my favorite ways to braid my sisters’ hair and I love that I can now braid mine the same way. It’s ideal for day 3 hair and it’s awesome for when you want your hair out of your face but you don’t want to do a ponytail or messy bun. I’ve had a lot of requests on Instagram stories to do a tutorial on this hairstyle and I’m so glad that I finally had the time to photograph it. I’ll also be going live on Instagram later today (4:00 MST) to do a video tutorial on how to get this braid!
To achieve this chunky side dutch braid, I highly suggest you have the following hair tools/products/supplies!
Bath Pack Brush – Or any brush, but I highly HIGHLY recommend the Bath Pack brush. It’s better than any wet brush, tangle teaser, regular brush out there and it’s SO affordable (ie: 5 buckaroos.) This brush works on both wet and dry hair, gets all the snarls and knots out fast and painlessly, and is also great for extensions! Seriously, if I could only have ONE hair tool for the rest of my life, it would be the Bath Pack brush.
Hair Elastic – I really love the Goody Ouchless hair elastics – they have been my ride or die for years and years. They are tight enough to hold my hair in place, but they also have enough stretch to not cause damage to my hair. Oh and also, they really are ouchless.
Bobby Pins – Goody sent me some of their bobby pins recently and I LOVE how secure they are. These are great to have when you have pesky flyaways or if your braid gets a little too loosey-goosey and you need to put a few pieces back in place.
Dry Shampoo – Dry shampoo is great for giving your hair a little extra grit, texture, and volume, which is ideal for getting a braid like this to stay in place. I always recommend Batiste for those who need a solid performing dry shampoo but who don’t want to break the bank. If you want to go a little more high end, I am a fan of the Living Proof Perfect Hair Day dry shampoo.
Day-old Curls – Okay, so this isn’t necessarily a “tool” but I find that this braid works best when you have day-old or two-day-old curls. The curls give your hair some extra texture and shape that helps the braid stay in place. I find that you can also achieve a thicker and chunkier braid with this kind of hair over freshly clean and blow-dried hair.
How to get the Chunky Side Dutch Braid
- Begin by spraying your hair with dry shampoo to add some texture and volume to your roots. If you have thin hair, spray it down through the ends of your hair as well. After, brush out your hair to smooth out any flyaways and to get rid of any tangles!
- If you don’t wear part your hair on the side, create a deep side part. The side with the most hair will be the side your braid goes down.
- Next, starting at the top of your part, take three sections to start your braid. The important part of this braid is to take three pieces for your braid across your part, instead of taking a small section closer to the front of your forehead.
- Begin braiding – if you are new to a Dutch braid (or inside-out braid, as I like to call them) make sure you braid UNDERNEATH instead of OVER. That is the difference between a traditional French braid and a Dutch braid.
- As you braid, remember to keep your braid straight down the side of your head. For the first few strands, pull hair from the width of your part. After you get your braid to your eyebrow, start pull hair from the back of your head. The goal of this braid is to have the braid go straight down the side of your head and over your shoulder, so you have to pull your hair around the back of your head (and eventually, from the left side of your head) to the braid.
- I always start small when it comes to pulling hair into the braid from the back of my head and then take hair farther and farther away from the braid. I find that this helps keep the hair smooth and allows me to cover my wefts from my extensions.
- I also always braid nice and tight, so don’t freak out if your braid looks tiny and weird. The chunky part comes later!
- Since my real hair is a lot shorter than my extensions, I can only braid a tiny bit down before I start losing my ends and they start poking out. That’s why I always fasten my braid off with significantly longer tail compared to others. If you have naturally long hair, or if your hair is longer then mine, feel free to braid it all the way to the end!
- After you tie off your hair, it’s time to “chunk it up!” I start at the top of the braid and I slowly start to tug the braid and pull it out to make it look thicker and more full. THE KEY TO THIS is to start by only pulling the very outer parts of the braid (not the whole strand of hair) and then moving your way in. If you pull the whole strand of hair, you’ll get big gaps in your braid.
- Slowly pull at the strands down the whole braid until you get to your desired amount of chunkiness. It sometimes takes me a couple passes to get my braid to look as thick and chunky as I want it to be.
- Once your braid is chunky, feel free to tug at the hair around your head that’s feeding into your braid to make it a little looser and more effortless. This also is great to do if you have extensions and need to hide your wefts a little bit better.
- I also like to pull out some whispies to frame my face!
Ta-da! You’re done and you did great! If you are nervous about your braid falling out, feel free to finish it off with a spritz of hairspray (I recommend this one) or some texturizing spray (I LOVE this one.) If you got a little too ambitious with the chunking of your braid, feel free to tuck a few pieces back into your braid and secure with a bobby pin!