Hair: Braids
By Rio

Step 1 Step 2 Step 1
OK, you're thinking "What's up with the braiding instructions?!?!". Well, I think that you'd draw braids better if you knew how to braid. So use your own hair, wheedle someone to letting you braid their hair, or just look at the purty pictures...

First of all, separate the hair into three sections. Try to make them the same size as much as possible.

Step 2
Now, take the left most section of hair and cross it over the middle section.

Step 3 Step 3
Now, take the right most section of hair and cross it over the left most section, now the center.

Step 4Step 4
Now take the center section, that is now the left section and cross it over the right section.

Step 5
Then, take the left section that was moved to the right and cross it over the middle section that went over the right section of hair. ...If this sounds confusing just look at the pictures and see where each hair section is going.

Step 5Step 6
So just keep crossing one section of hair over the other until you run outta hair to braid. If you actually braided someone's hair, you'll notice that it's pretty much one continuous line for each section. Step 6

So when you _are_ drawing braids, make sure that they actually connect with one another and not just drawn for the sake of it.

If you didn't notice yet, braids are kinda tear or heart shaped. Oh yeah, you can simplify the braid and not add too many details if you want. Some braided hair examples are Hikaru from Rayearth, Miyuki from You're Under Arrest!, and Ranma from Ranma 1/2.

Here are some examples of other ways braids can be put on the hair from very intricate to very simple drawing style.

Ranma-type Braid Hikaru-type braid General Braid

Some more examples of how braids can be used on the hair!
1) Corn Rows - Mostly worn by black people with the occasional white actress/singer/athlete/ghetto girl sporting the look.
2) Mid-Braid - This braid starts at the front and stops at the top back of the head. I haven't seen this hairstyle in about a decade but it's been around for a long time!
3) Almost French Braid - I call this the "Almost French Braid" because a French braid begins all the way at the front of the head and continues to the back. This starts about mid-way. Notice the braids are a lot wider than a regular braid.

Corn Rows Mid-Braid Almost French Braid

Here's some more tips on how to draw braids if the above instructions didn't sink in..

This example to the left shows the basics of drawing a braid at its side. Notice the shape of the braid is pretty much the same shape of a parallelogram repeated over and over.
The final image is just basically curved and has more hair lines added to it for a realistic effect.

To draw the hair as it turns to a braid, this is how it is done shown to the right. What happens is that there is three sections that form a "V" shape. One on each side and a smaller one in the middle.
Then from that, the braid begins as shown. Braids are the same shape as well repeated over and over again. The only noticeable difference is the detailed lines of the hair.

Finish off a braid as shown in the example below. See the second drawing down below? That is the basic skeleton of a braid as it ends with an item to hold the braid in place. The last two images shows different ways of tying a braid - rubber band and beads. A ribbon can be used too.