How to Do French Braids Step-by-Step

by Kathryn Hatter

French braids have been a popular and common hairstyle for many years. The exact origin of this braiding technique is unknown, as is the date it came to be. French braids have stood the test of time, however, and remain a hairstyle that people of all ages wear often. Whether the hair is French braided into a ponytail, two pigtails, cornrows, a twist or a formal updo, the timeless beauty of French braiding sets this hairstyle apart as something special.

Items you will need

  • Spray bottle filled with water
  • Wide toothed and fine toothed comb
  • Elastic hair bands
Step 1

Spray the hair lightly with the spray bottle to dampen it slightly. This will help you control the hair better. Comb through the hair first with the wide toothed comb, and then with the fine tooth comb to remove all tangles and make the hair smooth.

Step 2

Determine the French braid hairstyle you will create. If you want a larger braid, start with a larger starter section divided into thirds. If you want a smaller, finer braid, start with a smaller starter section divided into thirds. Also decide where you will start and end the braid and if you are making one or more braids.

Step 3

Separate the starter section at the point where you want the braid to begin. Divide the starter section into equal thirds.

Step 4

Pass the right section over the middle section (the right section is now the middle section). Pass the left section over the middle section (the left section is now the middle section). Add a small amount of hair along the right side of the braid to the right section and pass this section over the middle section. Add a small amount of hair along the left side of the braid to the left section and pass this section over the middle section.

Step 5

Continue adding a small amount of hair to the right and left sections before you pass them over the middle section, alternating back and forth. By the time you reach the nape of the neck or the end of the scalp, you should have incorporated all of the hair from along the right and left of the braid into the French braid.

Step 6

Braid the hair in the standard braid fashion until you reach the ends of the hair and fasten a hair band around the hair. Another option is to fasten a hair band around the hair right at the point where the French braiding stops. This will create a combination of a French braid and a pony tail.

Tips

  • French braiding works best on medium to long hair.

    Some people have trouble French braiding their own hair. Practice French braiding often to learn the braiding technique. Try French braiding someone else's hair to practice also.

References

Photo Credits

  • taliesin/morguefile.com

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.