How to Do Micro Braids Yourself for Free

hair image by Dubravko Grakalic from

Micro braiding is a common hairstyle among the African American population. The hair is braided into numerous thin and fragile braids. Micro braids are especially popular because this hairstyle doesn’t cost much to maintain. However, if you’re looking to save money, you can braid your own hair. Micro braids are also sometimes referred to as “invisible braids.” Shoulder-length hair works best for micro braiding. Shorter hair may not look very good once its braided, and longer hair is more susceptible to damage.

Ask your stylist for a hair trim and a hot oil treatment. Even if you’re going to be braiding your hair yourself, you want to make sure you start off with your strands in their healthiest state. Don’t attempt to trim your hair yourself; have a professional do it. You could cause more split ends if you try it on your own. Begin prepping your hair for micro braiding two weeks before you start. Moisturize consistently so that you're working with healthy, soft hair.

Separate a thin section of your hair and split it into three equal sections. Take a section of hair that’s two to four inches wide. You’ll want the hair to be no wider than a pencil.

Braid these thin pieces of hair by crossing the left section over the middle section, and then the right section over the middle section. Braid your hair all the way down to the end.

Tie the bottom of your braid with a small rubber band, or use a slip knot to secure the ends.

Continue to braid the rest of your hair in this same way.

Maintain your new hairdo by keeping your scalp conditioned, but make sure to not use thick conditioner, shampoo or pomades, which can be difficult to remove from your braids. If these products get trapped in your braids, they’ll turn flaky and cause an itchy scalp. You can apply a light moisturizing oil to your scalp every few days to keep is conditioned. Also, have someone massage your scalp every few days.

Take out your braids after two and a half months and re-braid if you want.