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How to Fake Thick Hair With a Seriously Pretty Hairline French Braid

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  • Hairstylist Joel Benjamin knows 60 different braids and counting (check out the proof on his Instagram - he's doing a

  • 100braidsofhappy challenge), and insists there are braids to suit any hair type. We put him to the test by letting him loose on our hair (fine, shortish and kinky), and asking him to show us just how to achieve his pro braids at home. Here's how he styles hair that sits too fine and flat...STEP ONE: Take a small strand from the front of your hairline and start a traditional three-strand plait. A couple of inches in, add a thicker strand (say, double the width of the first) from one side of the original plait. Continue plaiting for another couple of inches before adding another thicker strand from the opposite side of the plait, and so on.

  • STEP 2: Continue to plait like this until you reach the nape of your neck. The key to this style is to use only strands collected from the hairline, so the plait sits on the surface of the hair without interfering with the bulk still lying underneath - hence the 'fuller' look.

  • STEP 3: Once you've reached the nape of your neck (with all hairline strands pulled in), continue to plait the length of the hair in a traditional three-strand plait. Secure the end with a snag-free band, then pancake (that's code for, gently pull and muss up).