A French braid is a great way to keep your hair neat and beautiful at the same time, especially on days when a ponytail just won’t do. If you’re long-haired and if you’ve always wondered how to do a French braid, read on.
What You’ll Need
Comb or brush
Hair elastic, hair tie; or ribbon
Shoulder-length hair or longer
Water, hair gel or hairspray
French Braid Your Hair
You can ask someone to help you to braid your hair, but you can also do it on your own. French braiding your own hair may take some practice, but don’t get discouraged.
Thoroughly comb your hair, making sure that your hair is free of tangles. If your locks are particularly slippery, you can opt to use styling gel or mousse to help keep them in place.
Combing from your forehead to the back of the crown of your head, take the middle section of your hair and grasp it together in your fingers, forming a section around an inch thick. This should form what is commonly known as a “half-ponytail”.
Separate this section into three equal parts. Grasp the right side of the section with your right thumb and pointer finger, and the same goes for the left section with the other hand. The rest of your fingers will keep the middle section secure.
Starting from the right hand, put the right section of your hair over the middle section, but under the left section, pulling tight.
Grasp the left section of your hair and put it over the right section of your hair. At this point, you will notice that you have already done the first step in making a braid. Continue this process.
As you progress further downward, you may notice that the original sections are beginning to thin down.
Section off the loose hair with the section nearest them and integrate them in the braid.
Continue this until you’ve reached the tail end of your braid. Secure the braid with an elastic band, and you’re done.
If you don’t like the look of the tail end of your braid (some people don’t like how it can look like a brush), you can either stop the braid in the middle, making half of your French braid a ponytail. You can also tuck the tail end of your braid, curling towards your nape, to make a bun.
If loose strands of hair fall out during the day, you can tuck them back in using hair gel or bobby pins.
Tips and Tricks
Braiding your hair on your own isn’t going to be easy. You’ll most likely end up doing the whole thing three to four times until you’ve finally gotten it right. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make braiding your French braid easier:
Use water or comb through your hair with a wet comb to make your hair slightly damp. This will make sectioning off your hair and braiding easier.
Tie your braid as tightly as you can. Loose braids always look unkempt. Tight braids will usually loosen throughout the day.
Short hairs can be tucked away using bobby pins, hairspray or hair gel.
Generally, it is easier to braid your hair if your hair is long and has only one length. Layered hair or hair shorter than shoulder-length hair can pose as a problem.
Maintain the thickness of each section at all times. Unequal thicknesses can give an asymmetrical look. Keep in mind that each section should be a third of an inch thick each, the same thickness as when you started your braid.