Rat tails are long, thin braids that hang down your back and start at the nape of your neck. The tail usually isn't trimmed; it grows longer than the rest of the hair. As it grows, re-braid to it to keep it tight and stop it from fraying at the top. Some people keep a long section of hair for a rat tail before cutting the rest of their hair off or even shaving their head.
Select a small section of hair to braid. It should be at the bottom of your scalp near your neck, approximately the size of a quarter. If the section is too thin, it can easily be ripped out during sports or other activities. Decide whether you want the braid centered in the middle of your neck or if you want it hanging on one side, and select hair from this area.
Divide the hair into three separate sections of equal size. Braid by crossing the left side over the middle piece, then holding it and the right section in your right hand. Grab the middle piece, which is now the left section, with your left hand and pull all three tight. Lay the right piece over the middle section and grab both the left piece and the new middle piece with your left hand while you hold the remaining right piece with your right hand. Pull tight. Continue this process, pulling as tight as possible without breaking the hair, until you finish the braid.
Braid all the way to the very end of the hair. Secure with an elastic band. Consider placing a bead a the bottom of the braid to decorate and give it weight.
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Cara Murphy holds a Master of Arts in communication with an emphasis in online journalism. Murphy is a stay-at-home mom who has worked as a writer for several years and appreciates that writing allows her to spend more time with her son.