How to French Plait Your Own Hair

by Contributor

The French plait (or French braid) is a very pretty hairstyle, but doing your own French plaits takes practice. Brush your hair really well before starting, and have an elastic band ready to secure the completed French plait.

Items you will need

  • Brush
  • Elastic band
  • Hair combs & hair spray (optional)
Step 1

Grip a small section of hair at the top of your head between your thumb and forefinger. Separate this hair into three equal strands; plait the strands once, crossing the left strand over the middle, then the right strand over the middle.

Step 2

Grip the French plait in your right hand and keep the sections separated with your fingers. With your left hand, grab a small, even section of hair from the left side of your head and add this to the left strand, but do not plait it again.

Step 3

Switch the French plait to the left hand, keeping hair strands separated between your fingers. Grab an even section of hair from the right side of the head and add it to the right strand. Plait hair again, left over middle, then right over middle.

Step 4

Repeat Steps 2 and 3, pulling the hair tight each time you French plait a new section into the braid. When you get to the nape of your neck and don't have any more hair to add from the sides, continue with a basic braid and tie the end of the French plait with an elastic band.


  • Secure any short pieces that may fall out of the French plait with hair combs. Use hair spray if desired. If you've got really long hair, your arms may get tired; to give your arms a rest, put your elbows on a table while holding your French plait.

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