Why Sticking a Pencil in Your Hair Will Help You Achieve a Perfect Ribbon Braid

If you’re at all up on the latest fashion trends, then you know that braids are officially back in, and we couldn’t be happier about it! From French braids to Heidis to fish tails— it seems that women (and some long-haired fellows out there too!) are back to showing off these unique and sometimes intricate ‘dos.

That’s why, whenever we learn about a new braiding technique, we jump at the chance to share it with you right away!

Recently, Rachael Ray featured a braiding expert on her program who showed the audience a step-by-step process for achieving a notoriously difficult braid—the ‘ribbon’.

Now, we know what you may be thinking. We agree that this is one of the tougher ones out there. Full disclosure: we were never even able to successfully make one of these ourselves until we tried it her way—with a pencil.

Yep, you read that right, a pencil. In the popular clip, the hairstylist explains that keeping a pencil in the hair while braiding helps to anchor the strands, as well as give them that elegant, looped shape.

Here’s how you can do the genius technique on your own, all in under 5 minutes…

  1. Start with the basics

    Tie your hair up into a high pony tail, making sure that your strands are smooth, frizz-free, and ready to be braided.

  2. Add that pencil

    pencil braidingRachael Ray Show

    Carefully stick a pencil behind the inner layer of hair so that it sits parallel with the band on the outside of the pony tail.

  3. Start braiding

    Grasp onto the ends of your locks, and separate them into three equal sections. From there, simply make a basic braid (the classic over-under using three sections).

  4. Remove that pencil

    Once you are finished braiding, secure the end with a hair band, then move your hands so that they sit at the crown of your head.

    From there, you can finally remove that pencil by simply pulling it out horizontally by its eraser. You should then be met with some seriously beautiful loops surrounding the original basic braid.

  5. Secure it tight

    At this point, you can either choose to leave your hair as is, or you can tuck the leftover strands in by using a couple of bobby pins. Personally, we prefer the latter, but don’t worry, this extra step is super easy to complete!

    Just take the pins and attach one at the base of your original pony tail and one right underneath the very end of the braid.

Believe it or not, the hair stylist says that this is a look that can be done completely solo and, as we mentioned, in under 5 minutes flat!

To see the absolutely gorgeous end result of this ribbon braid method, be sure to click on the Rachael Ray Show’s video below. Who knew a pencil could do so much?

What do you think about this hair braiding hack? Have you ever tried this technique before? How do you achieve perfect ribbon braids? Tell us all about your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!