How To Do Hair In a French Braid
It might look complicated, but don't let that fool you: Learning how to do hair in a French braid is easier than you'd think. You want to start by brushing out all the tangles from your hair, then smooth your hair down with a mousse or holding gel. The mousse will help keep your hair in place while you work on it.
You will then take a section at the front of the hair where the bangs are or would be. This section should be from temple to temple (right above the ear line).
You'll want to separate this section into three parts, then start braiding the right section over the middle one. Since you don't want any hair slipping out of your grasp, hold on tight to the braid.
Now, you pull the left section over the middle section. When you're learning how to do hair in a French braid, you can keep a spritz bottle of water next to you in case the hair dries out some. Handling wet rather than dry hair is so much easier.
The next step is to use a comb to take a strip of hair from your head, on the left side. You'll be taking this strip of hair about an inch down from the temple. Then you will add it to the left section of the braid.
You will do the same on the right side of the head. Then, braid the right section of hair over the middle section. Then the left strip of hair needs to be braided over the middle section.
Keep on braiding and adding new sections of hair until you finally reach the bottom of your head. Finish up the braid by braiding the bottom or the loose part of the hair into a regular braid.
Use a ribbon or pony tail holder to tie the end of your hair. It's easy to learn how to do hair in a French braid if you practice.
he French Braid is deceptively complex in appearance. It is, in fact, simply an English braid with an additional step.
Instead of beginning with three strands that incorporate all your hair, the French braid begins with a thin ponytail skimmed from the top layer of hair.
As you braid, you gather additional thin sections of hair and add them to the strands of the ponytail, resulting in gracefully draped hair on either side of the braid.
The appearance of the drape varies with the amount of hair you add with each step and the tension you keep on each strand. Experiment to find the look you like best.
These steps were taken from the books, Beautiful Braids & More Beautiful Braids by Patricia Coen. Fortunately, these great books are just back in print after being temporarily out of print for the past year.
1. Place your thumbs above and slightly behind your ears. Draw them slightly back and upward, gathering hair that meets at your crown into a ponytail. Don't anchor it.
2.Fashion one English plait, crossing the left strand over the center so that the two strands trade places, then the right strand over the center so that those two strands trade places.
3. Hold the plait in your right hand, separating the three loose strands below it with your fingers. Place your left thumb above and behind your left ear and use it to draw a strand half as thick as one of the original strands towards the ponytail.
4. Add the newly gathered hair to the left strand and cross this increased strand over the center, taking the center strand to the left as in ordinary English braiding.
5. Hold the plait in your left hand, separating the three loose strands below it with your fingers. Place your right thumb above and behind your right ear and use it to draw a strand half as thick as one of the original strands toward the ponytail.
6. Add the newly gathered hair to the right strand and cross this increased strand over the center, taking the center strand to the right as in ordinary English braiding.
7. Continue gathering hair from the left and right and adding it to the strands just before you cross them over the center.
8. After several plaits, there will be no loose hair left to gather.
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