Learning how to braid hair is a rite of passage for any young girl, but many of us only ever learned how to do a simple three-strand braid. For some, the closest we've ever come to completing a French braid is trying it out on a friend, but learning how to French braid your own hair can open up a world of hairstyle possibilities. That's why we created this Back to Basics series, to help you master those simple enough braids that you may not have had a chance to over the years.
The French braid is classic and timeless, can be worn in a double variation, and is perfect for second or third day hair. While it may look complicated to achieve on yourself, the French braid is simple and easy to learn. All it takes is a bit of practice. We've put together a step by step tutorial so you can master a perfect French braid—simply watch the following video or scroll down for written instructions.
For a longer, thicker braid, clip-in hair extensions provide an easy, safe and fast fix. Karin wears her 220g Dirty Blonde Luxy Hair extensions, which add instant volume and length to her braid.
Karin wears the 220g Dirty Blonde Luxy Hair extensions for instant length and volume to her braid
How to French braid: step by step
Take some hair at the top and separate it into three equal sections left, middle and right.
Take the left section, cross it over the middle one and combine it with the right section.
Take right section, cross it over the middle and combine it with the left section.
And again, take the left section and cross it over the middle one, combining it with the right section...and you’ve mastered the technique! Add more hair from the right, cross it over the middle. Add more hair from the left, cross it over the middle, and continue this pattern all the way down.
Once you reach the nape of your neck, bring your hair to one side and finish off with a three strand braid.
Now that you are familiar with how to do a French braid, there are multiple hairstyles you can achieve with this braid. Feel free to pancake the braid by pulling on the sides of it to get a more voluminous and loose look. If you need even more length and thickness to your braid, a few wefts of hair extensions will do the trick.
Relaxed French braid
French knot half up-do hairstyle
Triple braid hairstyle
Other videos in this series
How to do a waterfall braid
How to do a Dutch braid
Have you mastered a French braid? Are there any other braids you just can't get the hang of? Let us know by commenting below.