If you’ve never gotten around to learning how to French braid or simply need a refresher, we’re here to bring you three easy-to-follow tutorials — a traditional French braid, a French braid ponytail, and a French braid bun.
You can never go wrong with a classic French braid. From a laid-back day running errands to fancy events, it’s a look that can be worn in so many different ways, which is why it will never go out of style. Though French braids might look rather intricate, they’re actually pretty easy to achieve.
All you’ll really need to begin is an elastic hair band (or two, depending on what style you’re going for), bobby pins, and a comb or brush to get rid of any tangles. If you want to check out how your braid looks, have an extra mirror nearby so you can get a good view of your stunning creation.
Traditional French Braid
If you’re wondering how to French braid, look no further. Begin by dividing your hair into three sections — one on the left, one in the middle, and one on the right. You can start from the top of your head or lower down by your neck, depending on what kind of look you’re going for.
Then, cross the left section of hair over the center section, so that they have switched places. Adjust your hands if necessary. Repeat this same motion but on the other side, crossing the right section of hair over the center section. Follow these alternating motions to create the rest of your braid, picking up additional pieces of hair from the left and right side each time you cross over the center section.
Once you reach the nape of your neck, continue braiding but without picking up any additional hair. Secure your hair at the ends with the elastic band and voila, you know how to French braid.
You can also create French braided pigtails by dividing your hair into two sections once the French braid reaches the nape of your neck. Then, braid each of these two sections and secure each with a hair elastic.
French Braid Pony
When it comes to a French braid pony, you’re going to follow the same steps as a traditional French braid, but once you reach the nape of your neck (or wherever you want your ponytail to begin), simply tie the rest of your hair into a ponytail with a hair elastic. If you want to lean into the trendy 90s resurgence, you can tie your pony with a cuts scrunchie.
For added flair, you can leave one small section of hair out of your ponytail, then wrap it around the hair elastic and secure it in place with a bobby pin. This elevates the look a bit more, making it a great option for an event or formal occasion.
French Braid Bun
Once again, you’ll begin your French braid bun with the same steps from the traditional French braid tutorial. After you finish the braid, wrap it around to create a bun at whatever height you prefer. Fasten the bun with bobby pins and if you want extra security, give it a spritz of hairspray to complete the look.
There you go — now you know how to French braid three ways for a variety of occasions.