The New Braiding Handbook by Abby Smith: Fun Braids for Dummies

A couple months ago, I received this wonderful book by Abby Smith (from Twist me Pretty). You've probably seen her before, she is all over Pinterest and always sporting the prettiest, most intricate blonde braids you've ever seen.

Photo Credit: Urban Outfitters
Photo Credit: Twist Me Pretty

I would say that I have basic braiding skills, which means I can do regular braids pretty quickly, my French braids look okay and my Fishtail braids are messy but wearable. I have read the whole book, and let me say she is a true artist. Some of the braids, even with the book, I could never dream of achieving. She says it herself though: it takes a lot of practice. Even with step-by-step instructions, some of the braids cannot be achieved on the first try. My main limitation is that my arms and shoulders get tired quickly, so I lose patience and become sloppy. The results are not always polished like hers.

In the book, each hairstyle comes with step-by-step instructions with photos. Like college classes, some hairstyles have prerequisites: one cannot hope to achieve a fishtail bun without mastering the fishtail braid! This book has been helpful in the way that it made me realize that some hairstyles, like milkmaid braids, are way easier than they seem! Here is my version:

Not so bad, right? And I've got medium-length hair. I'm not particularly meticulous in the way I do my hair, so I think that with this book and practice, there is hope for the braid-challenged gals out there. Be on the lookout for new braided looks on the blog in the future! This books has definitely helped me discover new styles I didn't even know existed. My only complaint is that the step-by-step explanations are not directly under the pictures, which sometimes makes it hard for a visual person like me. Other than that, the instructions are clear and the pics, beautiful and inspiring!

The book is available on Amazon and at Urban Outfitters.

Do you style your hair in a braid often? What is the best way to learn for you? Videos? Books? Tutorials? With a friend? What's your favorite braid? I want to know!


  1. That's beautiful ! Did it stay in place well ? Now, I realize why blond hair looks better in braids...the contrast of the different strands of hair color make the braid so much more three dimensional as opposed to a brunette braid : ( ...Another reason why blonds have more fun : )

  2. It did! It seems difficult but it's so easy! You seem like you have a lot of fun as a brunette too! And braids look great on every hair color: you can have multidimensional hair with any color!!! ;)


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