I would recommend not putting anything like showsheen or any product in the tail prior to braiding because it makes the hair slippery. If you wet the top part (on the dock) before you start, it'll make it easier to keep the strands together, and keep all the little fly-aways in. :]
ALSO, when you're braiding, don't pull down, it'll make the braid loose and saggy. You want keep it tight and pull out from the dock... if that makes sense.