3 Ways To Get The Perfect French Braid
The French braid is a classic braided hairstyle that has withstood the test of time, perfect for styling your hair for a workout or staying on-trend with the latest looks. Luckily, achieving the perfect French braid isn't hard, and there are plenty of different hair tutorials out there. Whether you're a braid beginner or looking to step things up, there's more than one way to get a stylish French braid.
Here, we're profiling three different hairstyles featuring the classic French braid. First, though, it should be noted that you'll achieve the best braid by starting with the right canvas. Hairstylist Annagjid "Kee" Taylor tells HelloGiggles that it's a good idea to start the process with hair that is already clean and dry. If your hair is finer, you may want to add some dry shampoo for a little texture, while those with thicker hair can apply a tiny amount of leave-in conditioner to avoid frizziness.
Once you have mastered the technique on your own hair, you can move on to braiding other people's hair. Conversely, you might find it easier to practice on someone else first, so you can see what you're doing.
The single plait is a classic
You can't go wrong with putting your hair into a single French braid, and this is coincidentally going to be the easiest way to achieve this style. As Real Simple demonstrates, the whole process is really simple to do.
For a single plait, begin by dividing your hair into three equal sections. The difference between a French braid and an ordinary three-strand braid, Southern Living points out, is that you're starting from the top of your head rather than at your neck, which is why you'll need to begin from your hairline.
From there, you will cross the right section over the middle, then the left over the middle, adding hair to the respective right-side and left-side sections as you keep braiding. Then, you'll want to repeat this as you continue down the length of your hair, moving into a standard braid when you have no more hair to add from the scalp, and tying it with an elastic band once finished.
Doing two plaits isn't hard
Once you have the art of the single-plait French braid mastered, it's time to move on to double braids. HelloGiggles explains that the main difference is in sectioning off the hair into two parts rather than using the whole head for a single braid. For most people, this means parting your hair in the center and then dividing those sections into three equal parts. However, you can still choose to keep a side part if you prefer.
Braid each individual section of hair as you did with the single braid technique, crossing over and adding to the sections on your way down. Keep in mind when braiding two sections of hair that each side can be thought of as their own separate entities, so you're not crossing over any hair between the two. Everyday Hair Inspiration writes that this should only take 20 minutes, but it may take you a little longer while you get the hang of it.
Get creative with your French braids
Beyond a single braid and doubling it up with two, French braids are the perfect hairstyle to incorporate into other hairstyles. One popular style is the half-up, half-down style featuring two French braids that wrap around the head like a crown. A Beautiful Mess confirms that the style is easier than it looks to pull off.
After parting your hair such that you're leaving the majority of your hair unbraided, you'll want to begin the first braid from the front of your head in the same way you would braid downward. The only difference is that you're taking hair from the front of your head as you add to the sections of the braid. Once you get to the point that you cannot add any more hair to the braid, you'll continue with a regular braid. Then repeat the process on the opposite side of your head, securing the braids one under the other with bobby pins for the crown shape.
To complete the look, Missy Sue advises using a curling iron to create soft waves in the rest of your hair. You can also use heated tools to tame any flyaway pieces around the face and hairline.
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Article written by Mary Wojcicki for glam