Strand & Lock

How to French Braid Your Own Hair

French braids, otherwise known as the inverted or inside braids, are a classic and timeless hairstyle. Learning to master the French braid might seem daunting at first, but once you give it a go you’ll find it’s actually a lot easier than it looks.

Knowing how to french braid will also allow you to do a huge range of hairstyles, so it’s a no-brainer to learn this simple technique. It’s also the kind of hairstyle that you can pull off for two or three days straight and you will still look put together. Don’t forget it’s heatless, too.

Here’s our foolproof step-by-step guide on how to french braid your own hair. All you need is practice, more patience and a good hair tie!

1. Prepare for Braiding

Start with clean, dry hair. It is a good idea to get everything set up before you start braiding, as both your hands will be utilised for the braid. You’ll only need a hair tie and brush.

Prepare your hair by combing it through, ensuring there aren’t any tangles. Any knots will make the process trickier!

If you have thinner hair, you might want to add a little bit of dry shampoo to provide extra thickness and volume to your braid. The texture of Aveda’s Shampure Dry Shampoo should make it easier for the braids to stay in place, too.

Top Tip: Braiding on yourself can be hard at first. Try setting up two mirrors so that you can see the back of your head. You likely won’t need to do this once you’ve got the hang of it, but it can be very useful when learning.

2. Section the Hair

Brush all of your hair towards the nape of your neck. In this guide, we’ll only be doing one french braid on the whole head, but if you wanted to do pigtails, now is the time to part your hair all the way down the middle so you have 2 sections.

Grab a small section of hair at the centre of the front of your head (in between your eyebrows is a good point for reference).

Split this section into 3 equal parts. It is important that you make sure the sections are even so that you don’t get a lopsided braid.

3. Begin the French Braid

This is the trickiest part of the french braid. Firstly, start by taking one of the side pieces over the middle section, and do the same with the other side (as if you are doing a normal braid).

Now, going back to the side you started on, take a small section of hair along your hairline and add it to the piece. Then, take them over the middle and repeat on the other side. Continue doing this down your whole head, following the edge of your hairline and pulling as tightly as you can to eliminate any bumps.

If you get stuck, just remember that the only difference between a French braid and a regular braid is that every time you go to cross a section over the middle, you add a little more hair.

4. Finish the French braid

Once you reach the nape of your neck, all your hair should be in the braid. You no longer need to pick up any hair and can continue a normal braid until you reach the end of your hair. Secure tightly with a hair tie, and you’re all done!

You might want to smooth away any flyaways with some hairspray. Why not try the Aveda Air Control hairspray for an amazing hold? For a grungier, more effortless look, pull the braid out a little bit.

Keep in mind that it isn’t likely you’ll perfect the technique of this beautiful and practical hairstyle straight away. It is a fiddly process and certainly an arm workout, but if you keep at it then you’ll learn to french braid in no time! Once you’ve mastered the french braid, depending on your hair length, it should take no more than 20 minutes.

Top Tip: If you’re still practising the french braid, do it at night before bed. You can wear them to sleep for perfect beachy, natural waves when you wake up in the morning!

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