How To Braid Hair With Layers: A Step-By-Step Tutorial

Master braiding with layers to unlock your hair styling potential

Written by , MA (English) Shreya Mukherjee MA (English) linkedin_icon Experience: 2 years
Edited by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature) Aparna Harry MA (English Literature) Experience: 3 years

Layered hairstyles have taken over the world! And while these layers look fabulous on their own, they take on a whole new life when braided. But, if you are not sure how to braid hair with layers, you are in the right place!

Layered hairstyles have become a timeless go-to for adding dimension and movement to one’s mane. However, while layers are often praised for their ability to elevate any look, braiding them can be a challenge, mainly due to the inconsistency in hair length. This inconsistency can make achieving a seamless braid a bit trickier, requiring a strategic approach and attention to detail. However, with the right techniques and a bit of practice, anyone can master the art of braiding with layers. Keep reading to find out how to braid your layered hair, interesting braided hairstyles, maintenance tips, and more. Scroll down to unlock a world of versatile hairstyles that are both chic and effortless!

How To Braid Hair With Layers?

When your hair has got layers, braiding can get tricky! Those shorter bits just love to stick out and the longer parts do not always reach where they are supposed to. It takes some serious skill to get a layered hair braid looking neat and tight, but with a bit of practice and attention to detail, you can totally rock it!

Here are a few steps to wear a perfect braid:

Step 1: Decide On The Style

Woman with braided pigtails
Image: Shutterstock

Choosing the perfect braid style is all about considering your hair length, face shape, and the occasion you are dressing up for. Certain braids can work wonders for adding volume to fine or thin hair, while others exude a casual vibe or sophisticated elegance. Whether you are going for a laid-back look or aiming for a touch of refined charm, there is a plait style out there to suit your unique preferences and complement your overall ensemble from Dutch and French braids to fishtail and mermaid ones.

For this tutorial, we are going with a simple double braid pigtail hairstyle, as it suits most face shapes and is very easy to try.

Step 2: Prep Your Hair

woman detangling her hair
Image: Shutterstock

Once you have decided which braid you want to try, you need to prep your hair next. Ensure it is clean and styled appropriately for your texture. Wash the hair with the right products that suit your hair texture. Let it dry with a soft microfiber towel and gently brush out any tangles with a paddle brush. You can use a comb or your fingers to separate the layers for a smoother braiding process. If you have straight hair, it is recommended to braid day-old hair (wash your hair and wait for a day), as the natural oils give your tresses some texture, allowing for better grip.

Step 3: Gather Your Tools

To braid your layered hair, you will need essential tools such as:

  • a fine-toothed comb
  • bobby pins
  • hair ties

Step 4: Curl Your Hair

woman curling her layered hair
Image: Shutterstock

Curling your hair is an optional step in braiding layers. Curled strands offer a smooth, voluminous texture, facilitating easier braiding. Using a curling iron or wand, wrap small sections around the barrel away from your face for a natural look. Also, curling helps blend the layers seamlessly.

Step 5: Split Hair Into Sections

  • Part your hair down the middle to make two sections and smooth them out with a comb or your fingers.
  • Clip up one section of hair. Divide the other section into three: two side subsections and a middle subsection.
  • Start weaving the braid by passing the side subsections over the middle subsection until you reach the end.
  • Repeat the braiding process on the other section, ensuring consistency in size and tightness.

Step 6: Braid Hair From The Top

When braiding hair with layers, begin at the top and work your way down. This ensures that the layers are incorporated evenly into the braid.

  • Use smaller sections of hair when braiding to prevent shorter layers from sticking out. This keeps the layers secure within the braid and creates a neater style.
  • Divide longer hair into larger sections to avoid gaps or holes in the braid. Gather equal amounts of hair from each side of your head to maintain an even and balanced braid.

Step 7: Leave Pieces Out To Create Texture

Braid your hair, but leave out a few strands to give your braid an ethereal look. You can use a wide-toothed comb to gently pull sections of hair from the sides of your head. This technique also adds texture and volume, especially if your hair has long layers.

Step 8: Use Bobby Pins

using bobby pins to secure braided layers
Image: Shutterstock

As you braid your hair, use hair-colored bobby pins along the way to secure the layers in place. Insert them before you finish the last few strands of your braid. This technique ensures that stray hairs are kept in check and helps maintain the structure of your braids, especially if you have layers.

protip_icon Quick Tip
If you prefer not to display the hair tie, you can accessorize your braided hairstyle with decorative clips, ribbons, or even floral pins for a stylish and elegant touch.

Step 9: Use Hairspray For Extra Hold

After braiding your layered hair, lightly mist hairspray over the braids to hold them in place. Focus on spraying the areas where the layers might be prone to slipping out. Using hairspray helps to secure the braids and maintain their shape throughout the day.

These are the basic things to know while braiding your hair with layers. The points discussed above can help you perfect the braid of your choice. However, here are a few styles that you can try with your layers.

Braid Hairstyles For Layered Hair

1. Side Braid With Ponytail

woman with side braid ponytail
Image: IStock

This style involves braiding the hair on one side of the head and securing it with a ponytail at the nape of the neck. It is a great hairstyle for layered hair as the braid adds texture and dimension, while the ponytail showcases the layers beautifully.

2. Dutch Braids

woman with Dutch braids
Image: Shutterstock

Dutch braids, also known as inverted or inside-out braids. While in a regular braid, you would weave the middle section under the side sections, it is the opposite for the Dutch braid; the side sections go under the middle section, creating a raised braid. This braid is typically worn close to the scalp and ideal for layered hair, as it keeps the layers neatly tucked away and provides a stylish and intricate look.

3. Crown Braids

woman with crown braid
Image: Shutterstock

Crown braids involve braiding the hair around the head, creating a crown-like effect.

This style exudes elegance and sophistication, making it ideal for special occasions or events. It is suitable for layered hair as the braids wrap around the head, incorporating the layers into the braid and adding texture to the overall look.

protip_icon Pro Tip
If you have short hair, part your hair at the front into two sections. Braid each section towards the back, adding hair from the sides, then secure with ties and leave the back loose.

4. Messy Fishtail Braid

woman with messy fishtail braid
Image: Shutterstock

A fishtail braid involves weaving together two sections of hair to create a textured, ‘fishbone’ effect. This messy style braid has a relaxed and bohemian vibe, with strands intentionally pulled out to create a messy look. It is great for layered hair as the fishtail technique allows the layers to peek through, adding an effortless and tousled appearance.

5. Messy Side Braids

woman with messy side braids
Image: Shutterstock

Messy side braids involve braiding the hair to one side in a loose and tousled manner.

This style offers a carefree and effortless look, perfect for everyday wear or casual outings. It is ideal for layered hair as the loose and messy nature of the braid accommodates the different lengths, creating a relaxed and textured appearance.

6. French Braids

a girl with French braids
Image: Shutterstock

French braids involve weaving three sections of hair together, adding more hair to each section as you braid. This classic style creates a sleek and polished look, with the braid lying flat against the head. It is suitable for layered hair as the French braiding technique helps to secure the layers in place, preventing them from sticking out and creating a smooth and refined finish.

You can also try side French braids if your layers are too short for a normal French braid like Rebekah, a food and lifestyle blogger. She had really short layers that could not be styled into any hairdo. She braided it to the nape of her neck and put a ponytail holder to secure it. She wrote, “To my astonishment, it worked! I had the pretty, low side thingy going on that I love on other people!  And the back looked pretty darn cute if I do say so myself! (i)”.

Braiding with layers can be tricky but it is not a very difficult task if you know the right tricks. Continue reading to know how to make these braids last longer.

How To Make Braids Last Longer With Layers?

You can make your braids last longer by following a few simple tips.

  • It is important to smooth out the flyaways or static strands with a leave-in conditioner or serum before braiding to ensure a long-lasting and neat look.
  • The tension you apply on your hair while braiding should be consistent throughout. This practice helps secure the layers and prevents the sticking out of stray strands.
  • Mist your hair with a hairspray before and after braiding to keep the layers secured.
  • Experiment with your hair and find out which braid works best for your layers. Some work better with layered hair than others. It depends on the thickness and volume of your hair.
  • While braiding the short layer, make sure you adjust the strand width as much as possible to keep things even and prevent them from slipping out.
  • Secure your layers with bobby pins wherever necessary. Secure the area where you feel the braid is loose and might stick out with bobby pins matching your hair color.

Though braids are a classic hairstyle that goes with almost all types of hairstyles, there are a few advantages and disadvantages of braiding with layers. Keep reading to find that out.

Pros And Cons Of Braids With Layers

Braided layers offer versatility in styling but may pose challenges in maintaining uniformity due to varying lengths. The pros and cons include:


  • Layered braids add volume and movement to thin, straight, or fine hair. The balanced volume creates a flattering look that enhances facial features.
  • By strategically removing bulk and redistributing volume, layered braids prevent the hair from appearing triangular and offer a vibrant, dynamic appearance.
  • These braids reduce the weight of heavy hair, leading to quicker drying times and making it easier to manage.
  • The dimension and depth created by layered braids enhance facial features and can conceal imperfections like scars or wrinkles.
  • Layered braids offer versatility in styling, allowing for various looks such as curls, straight hair, or updos, all resulting in stunning outcomes.
  • They balance the hair, removing excess weight while adding free-flowing movement to complement all hair textures and face shapes.


  • Maintaining well-defined braided layers demands frequent salon visits, the application of styling products, and extensive styling with blow dryers.
  • Layered hair can result in prolonged periods for hair to grow out evenly, as shorter layers require time to reach the length of longer ones.
  • Individuals with layered hair may find it difficult to tie their braided hairstyles due to the presence of shorter layers that often escape from hair accessories.
  • Layered hair, with its varied lengths, increases the likelihood of scattered split ends, especially when subjected to frequent heat styling or damage from external factors.
  • Split ends are dispersed throughout the hair due to its layered structure, necessitating additional care and maintenance to prevent further damage and maintain hair health.

When it comes to mastering the art of braiding hair with layers, understanding the intricacies of styling becomes essential. Learning how to braid hair with layers involves attention to detail and practice, from selecting the right braid style to prepping the hair with the appropriate products and tools. Remember certain styles complement layered hair beautifully, adding texture and dimension to the overall look. Despite the need for frequent salon visits and styling efforts, mastering braiding techniques such as French braids and crown braids can result in stunning hairstyles that flatter different face shapes and suit various occasions. However, braided layers present both challenges and opportunities for creating stylish and versatile hairstyles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I braid tightly or loosely for layered hair?

For layered hair, it’s generally advisable to braid loosely to accommodate the varying lengths and prevent shorter layers from sticking out. However, the tightness of the braid ultimately depends on personal preference and the desired style.

Should I braid my hair wet or dry with layers?

It is generally recommended to braid your hair when it is dry, especially for layered hair. Wet hair is more prone to breakage, and braiding it while wet can cause the strands to stretch and potentially result in an uneven braid due to the varying lengths of the layers. Braiding dry hair allows for better control and ensures a more uniform and secure braid.

How do I care for my braided hair with layers overnight?

Caring for your braided hair with layers overnight is essential to maintain its appearance and prevent tangling. Start by gently securing your braids with a silk scarf or satin bonnet to protect them while you sleep. Also, you can loosely tie your braids with a scrunchie or hair tie at the nape of your neck to keep them in place. Avoid sleeping directly on your braids to prevent flattening or distortion of the braid pattern. In the morning, carefully unravel the braids and use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to gently separate the strands and add volume. Finally, refresh your braids with a lightweight leave-in conditioner or hair oil to hydrate and nourish your hair.

Key Takeaways

  • Choose the right braid style, considering factors like hair length, face shape, and occasion to achieve a flattering look.
  • Prepping your hair with proper cleaning and styling products ensures smoother braiding, especially for layered hair.
  • Using appropriate tools like combs, bobby pins, and hair ties, along with mastering braiding techniques, are essential for successful braiding with layers.
  • Techniques like smoothing flyaways, maintaining consistent tension, and using hairspray help secure the braided layers.

Braiding your layered hair requires patience and precise technique. Wondering how to achieve a flawless and polished look with layered hair? Watch this video to learn how to braid your hair with layers.

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Shreya Mukherjee

Shreya MukherjeeBeauty & Lifestyle Writer

Shreya is a beauty and lifestyle writer with two years of experience. After graduating from Christ University, Bengaluru, she started as a writer for a non-profit organization, Bhumi, as an intern. She then wrote for a progressive content website. Shreya started out writing for ship-breaking industries and display board industries, but as she began experimenting and indulging with makeup full bio