French Braid How-To: French Braid Your Own Hair in 10 Minutes

I’m going to show you how to quickly and easily french braid your own hair in just a few minutes–I’ve got an excellent video and a few

tips and extra resources for you to help you learn how to not only do this style but also how to spice it up a bit. Often, this hairstyle is preferred to a normal braid because it holds the shorter hairs that are on top of the head in the braid so they don’t come loose and wave around–unlike a normal three-strand braid, the French braid does this by beginning with

small sections of hair at the top of your head and then a little more hair is added to each section of the braid as it progresses down your head. First, a few things you need to know before you start:

  • Doing this for the first time takes some getting used to and it may take a few tries before you get really good at it. Watch the video all the way through first, and then try to braid your hair just one step at a time. You’ll probably get a bit frustrated, that’s ok, just keep trying.
  • Keep your hair snug, but not so tight that it hurts. If you braid it too loose it won’t look as nice, whereas if it’s too tight it’ll give you a terrible headache.
  • Sit down when you do this, it’s much easier this way than standing up. You need to make sure you’re not catching your hair in anything and that your arms aren’t restricted, though.
  • When you do sit down, do it facing away from a large mirror, and have a smaller mirror there that you can hold up to your face and angle it so you can see the back of your head in the mirror. Even better if you can set the small mirror up on a desk or table in front of you so you don’t have to hold it.
  • The best way to deal with the loose ends and baby hairs is to tuck them into the braid with a bobby pin, and then gel or hairspray the really short ones.

Alright, let’s get down to business, here’s what to do:

Added Bonus: How to Dutch Braid Hair

A Dutch braid is just a French braid where you braid under instead of over the middle strand. The resulting look is of a braid standing up from the rest of your hair, instead of being under it. Here’s how to do it:

Additional Resources and Further Reading

If you really want to get good at this and learn how to make some really beautiful and complicated braids, I can not recommend highly enough Hair: A Book of Braiding and Styles, by Anne Johnson. I bought this book a while ago and reviewed it on Amazon, I’ll repeat what I said there: It gives clear, concise, step-by-step instructions not only on how to make the braid (and many other styles) but where exactly to place your hands while doing it. The more complicated styles have two sets of instructions: a short one for those who are more experienced at hairstyling, and another that breaks it down into easy steps that even a klutz (like me) can follow. It also provides numerous hints and tips on general hairstyling, and tells what types of hair work best with each style.

Since I got this book, I’ve been trying a new style from it every day, and have gotten many compliments from co-workers. There are special-occasion styles as well as everyday ones. The book is geared towards adults, unlike many of the other similar ones I’ve seen which are aimed more at little girls.

Here’s another excellent website with step-by-step instructions and diagrams for each step on how to properly french braid your hair.