French braids look beautiful, and they also often look very complicated. However, as a matter of fact, the process of how to do French braids is actually surprisingly simple. If you can learn a few extra steps on top of a basic braid, you can actually enjoy French braids very easily. Here’s the step-by-step guide to doing a French braid in just five individual steps.
1. Comb and Part the Hair
The first step is to comb and part the hair. This is especially important if you’re doing two French braids, as they’ll go down opposite sides of your head. Remember that French braids work best on unwashed hair, so you’ll likely want to use a detangler brush to help with this step.
2. Gather Sections at the Front of the Head
Next, you’ll want to gather three individual sections of hair at the very front of the head on whatever side you’re planning to start braiding. These sections don’t have to be very significant; it’s possible for you to gather only small sections, then to add plenty of hair throughout. However, it’s important that all your sections are equal, so the braid looks even.
3. Braid All the Way Down
Now you’re going to braid from the very top down to the nape of the neck, then all the way down to the end of the hair. Every plait or two plaits, you’ll want to add some extra hair into the braid. Keep your hands close to the hair and try to maintain a regular tension so that you can keep the braid equal all the way down.
4. Secure in Your Preferred Manner
Once the braid has gone all the way down to the end of the hair, you’ll need to secure it. There are typically two ways to secure the braid. You can either add an elastic at the very end, which will make it look very traditional, or you can give the illusion that it’s not secured at all by adding the elastic 1-2 inches above the end of the braid. This way, it’ll look more natural.
5. Add Styling Gel
Lastly, end the style with some styling gel. Styling gel helps tame flyaways and allows the braid to stay intact for much longer than if you didn’t have any styling gel at all. Just put some gel on your fingers, then daub it on anywhere that you may need some extra holding. That may include just small areas where you notice flyaways, or it may be across the entirety of the braid.
A French braid is one of the most versatile styles out there. If you’re interested in starting to expand your horizons when it comes to different hairstyles, a French braid should absolutely be one of your first choices. It’s simple, beautiful, and elegant, and it’s something anyone can learn how to do. With these five steps, you’ll be able to master the French braid in no time.