How To: Big, Messy Side Braid (3 Ways!)

In the summer, I find myself jumping from one activity to the next, like swimming at the pool and then off to dinner. And if I don't feel like washing and redoing my hair, I'll throw it in a side braid--the messier the better. But I love faking thick hair and making the braid appear big. Today I'm sharing 3 ways to get a Big, Messy Side Braid.

Method 1:
Use a teasing brush or comb and tease your hair. Add some volumizing hairspray too before braiding.

Method 2:
Use a curling wand (or a no-heat curling method) to give some volume to hair before braiding. The smaller the barrel size the better.

Method 3:
Spray dry hair with a beachy waves spray and scrunch hair or allow to air dry to give some texture and volume. You can also apply the spray to your waves from Method 2 for more texture.

Or all 3 at once!

To finish the braid:
Pull hair to one side and divide into three sections.

Slightly and gently twist each section and then braid.

Secure with an elastic and the pull at the braid. I rub my finger and thumb through it section to "fatten" the braid.
If your hair is layered, and you want a cleaner look, secure loose strands with bobby pins. I like spraying them with a little dry shampoo first.

Have a great week.


  1. I love this! My hair has lost a lot of its volume, and I'm always trying to make it look thicker. Your hair looks like "Little House on the Prairie" hair (in a good way). :)

  2. side braids are the best! this hairstyle is so pretty! :D

    <3, Mimi
    Firmoo Giveaway

  3. I love the look of that! I'm not good with my own hair, but this seems easy enough to try :)

  4. Beautiful! I need to get some of that beachy wave spray.


  5. pretty! my hair can only be braided when it's damp because it's so damn thick and "slippery" that everything just falls out and instead of having that messy-put-together look, i just end up looking like a homeless person :(

  6. Love a good side braid but I have such fine hair, so this is perfect! Thanks :)

  7. I love side braids. It the only kind of braid I know how to do.

  8. Teasing the hair before braiding is a good idea for those who want the thicker look.:)
    I've always loved braids, and will probably be doing this the whole summer:D

  9. A perfect summery hairstyle, I have to wait for my hair to grow a little longer to achieve this pretty laid back style.

  10. Oh I just love a side braid, totally going to be doing this during the summer when I go to the pool or the beach!

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  11. This is such a pretty beachy summer look, Elle!

    (PS- had to delete my previous attempt at this comment because I submitted the wrong URL after my name... Genius, Ashley! Ha!)


  12. I love side braids! Very pretty.

  13. I love a great side braid! It is so easy and chic!

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  14. great tips! this is definitely my go-to summer hair actually but they don't look that thick. imma try all methods! =)

  15. That looks like a great hairstyle for my daughter!

  16. I love love love your hair sweety )

    New post - Kisses

  17. Pretty style! Braids are perfect for summer.

  18. It was great hearing your trend insight on my last post...Happy End Of The Week!

  19. I love your big braid! This is great, there are tons of times when I so do not want to do my hair at the end of the day.


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