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Last updated: February 07, 2022

Jumbo Knotless Braids: 3 Tension Tips For Maintaining Control

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Braiding Education: 3 Need-To-Know Tips For Protective Styles

Knotless braids are the perfect style for clients that want to protect their natural hair with minimal stress on their scalp. Looking to add this service to your menu? We tapped braiding expert Pearl Ransome (@pearlthestylist_) to share her expertise on how to maintain control when braiding, tips for uniform braids and how to avoid the appearance of bald spots. Keep scrolling for all the tips and tricks and click here to become a BTC University Member and receive unlimited access!



What we learned:

You can learn Pearl’s full technique in her 90-minute course, but we’re teasing these tips you need to know now!


Tip #1:  Secure braids with control—not tension

Movement and minimal tension are the main benefits of a jumbo knotless style, but that doesn’t mean the braids are loose. To secure the style, use your fingers to maintain control of the strands while working, instead of focusing on tension to keep the braids tight. 


“It’s not about pulling,” Pearl explains. “You don’t want to pull on the hair when braiding. Instead, just hold it securely and don’t allow the strands to buckle or twist,” she adds. 


Pro Tip: Pearl recommends her clients wait two to four days before putting their braids up in a ponytail or bun. “Even though the braid is knotless and has movement, there is some tension on the underside of the braid. So pulling that up immediately can cause discomfort to the scalp,” she explains. 


Tip #2: Avoid unwanted scalp exposure with staggered partings

Strategic partings aren’t just about creating a unique design, they also help avoid the appearance of thinning hair. That’s why Pearl creates her partings and braid placement off-center. 


“I never place a parting from say, the hairline to the nape because that is a lot of exposed scalp. This not only causes a lot of tension in one area of the head, but also a large parting can create the illusion of a bald or thinning spot, which can make the client feel uncomfortable,” she explains. 


Tip #3: Feed-in braids are not one-size-fits-all 

When feeding extensions into a section, don’t just grab and add. Hair is naturally thicker or more abundant on certain areas of the scalp, so Pearl suggests getting a feel for the braid size when working to determine how much hair is needed.


“Don’t be afraid to break up the extensions into the amount of hair you need to make every braid the same size. Uniform braids are visual but also use your hands and make sure they feel the same size as well,” she explains. 


Pro Tip: Start each braid with a small amount of hair being fed-in, adding more hair towards the middle of the braid. This will ensure the braids aren’t heavy from the start and drag on the client’s natural hair, pulling on the scalp. 


Click through the slideshow for the Before & After!



Have questions? Pearl has answers!

One of the benefits of watching a course on BTC University? Artists are able to answer your questions in REAL TIME! Here are some technical questions viewers had for Pearl during her livestream:


Question: How do you ask clients to prep their hair for this service?

Answer: “I ask my clients to come in with clean hair so I can blow-dry it out for braiding. It’s also very important that they do not apply any grease or oils to their hair before they come in. Products like this will prevent the hair from becoming straight during the blow-dry, especially natural texture. If they prefer to book a shampoo service before we get started they totally can, but if they wash their hair at home and come in ready to go, it will save time behind the chair.”


Q: Do you ever trim the feed-in hair to make sure the braids are the same length?

A: “I do not, braids naturally taper down towards the bottom so as long as you are adding less hair when working down, the braids should be the same size. You can also add the hair at the same height when getting close to the end of the braid so the braids all end up around the same length but, I usually trim the excess hair at the end of the service so they will be even anyways.” 


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