How to French-Braid Your Own Hair

by Baird Daily ; Updated September 28, 2017

A French braid is a stylish way to keep your hair contained, especially if you have a job that requires that your hair be away from your face or pulled back into a hairnet. French braids can be worn to both casual events and dressed up for formal occasions. Though they look complicated, French braids are easy to achieve with a bit of practice.

Brush or comb your hair so that it is tangle free.

Separate the hair at the crown of your head from the rest of your hair. Include your bangs if they are long enough.

Divide this section into three different pieces. Begin braiding by crossing the piece on the right side over the center piece; the piece on the right side will now be in the center.

Cross the left piece over the center piece. Now, the left piece has become the center piece. Keep the braid tight by holding the pieces you have braided in your left hand. You will use your right hand to pull in new hair.

Grab a section of hair from the right side of you head. The smaller the amount of hair, the finer the braid will be and the longer it will take to finish your entire head. Merge this new hair into the piece of the braid on the right side. Cross this piece into the center.

Take up a new section of hair on the left side of your head. Merge this hair with the left hand piece of the braid. Cross this piece over the center piece, this section will now be the center of the braid. Repeat the process of incorporating hair from the left and right sides of your head until all your hair is in the braid.

Finish the braid by crossing over pieces until the length of your hair is braided. Since there is no more hair to incorporate into the braid at this point in the process, you will just be alternating crossing left and right pieces until you reach the ends of your hair. Wrap the rubber band around the ends to secure the braid. Pin any loose sections into place with bobby pins.


  • You can create a different look by stopping your braid at the nape of your neck, when you have stopped adding in new hair. Secure with a rubber band and wrap into a bun. Secure the ends underneath the bun with bobby pins.

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About the Author

Baird Daily is an English instructor. She is published in the "World Literary Review" and has written about music and arts for the "Daily Athenaeum." She holds a B.A. and M.A. from Western Virginia University and is a doctoral student at the University of Kentucky.