Regardless of the type of braiding you are using for your hair, you will want to ensure that you are adding equal amounts of hair into each section as you move along the braid.
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Doing so will ensure that your have a nice even braid rather than a braid that looks too heavy or lopsided upon completion of the braiding process.
The best thing to do while French braiding your long hair is to make sure you are in a cool area, and take your time while you are braiding. When you take your time to braid, you will be able to create a lovely hairstyle; one that you will enjoy wearing. When you put in the time to do anything right, it takes time. People will notice that your updo hairstyle is lovely and will most likely compliment you on your appearance.
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Sometimes after French braiding my hair, I may tuck the bottom under the braid near the nape of the neck and then secure with large bobby pins.
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If you are going somewhere special, you may want to include some hair jewelry to the French braid for lovely special effects. For instance, some times I may add and secure a colorful ribbon into the middle section of hair, just after I begin French braiding my hair.
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Personally, I do not care for hairspray; however, if you feel the need for securing your updo hairstyle you may want to include the use of hairspray.