After multiple DIY fails, it can be easy to believe that the fishtailed, caged, and milkmaid plaits that we envy from Pinterest have been created by a mystical hair magician. Achieving the perfect amount of tease and volume without destroying your style might seem farfetched but DIYing these majestic braids is actually a lot easier than you think.
The secrets to these styles lie in a technique called pancaking (no, it has nothing to do with your sweet stack of breakfast cakes), but the process is simple. Start with a tight braid in any style of your choice. Then, gently pull it apart from each direction using short, precise tugs. Strategically separating the braid will result in it being flatter, like a pancake, but will also make your plait appear more full and voluminous. The clever method is ideal for longer strands and can also work well on shoulder-length locks, but be extra careful when separating shorter hair as it tends to unravel faster.
You can find the process carefully broken down in this video. We've also rounded up some styles to further prove that Pinterest-worthy hair is possible! Scroll through this stack of perfectly pancaked braids to get inspired.