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From the fishtail to the French, it’s safe to say knowing how to braid hair has become a must-have skill. Whether you prefer to wear a traditional plait or something a little edgier, there’s a braided hairstyle out there for everybody who’s looking to spruce up their beauty look. Want to get in on the woven action but have no idea where to start? We’re here to help you kick off your newest obsession with the steps and hairstyling products needed to create our five favorite braids. That’s right, we’re sharing how to braid hair—including how to do a Dutch braid, how to do a French braid, and more. Follow (and weave) along!
Classic and simple, this braid is the easiest to master. With three strands and an overhanded weave, you’ll be able to transform your hair into a super chic ‘do.
What you’ll need:
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Get the look:
Nothing’s worse than trying to make braid magic happen only to be disrupted by a head full of tangles! Carefully brush out your hair starting at the ends to ensure there are no knots in sight.
Whether you want to do a low or high ponytail braid, you’ll split your hair into three sections: a left, right, and middle. Hold the left section in your left hand and the right section in your right hand.
Start crisscrossing your strands, moving the left section over the middle section. Once you cross the left section over, it will be the new middle section.
Now, cross the right section over the middle. You can probably see where this is going—the right section will become your new middle section.
Keep going, left-right-left-right. Make sure to pull the sections tight to prevent flyaways and keep your braid from coming undone.
Once you’re getting close to running out of hair, tie your braid off about an inch from your ends. Finish the look with a spritz of hairspray.
Love traditional braids but want to amp it up a bit? Use the same left-right-left-right technique; only this time, be sure to add in extra hair with every back and forth weave.
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Gather the topmost section of hair at the crown of your head and divide it into three sections.
Just like with a traditional braid, cross the left section over the middle section, followed by crossing the right one over that middle.
Instead of continuing to create a traditional braid, you’ll want to pick up new sections as you go, incorporating them into each new weave. This is the key difference that makes your style a French braid! Remember to pull tightly as you work your way down your head.
Grab a clear hair elastic and secure your French braid, then spritz on some hairspray. Gorgeous, right? Oui, oui!
Similar to the French braid, you will pick up pieces as you go to bring this braid to life. Unlike the French braid, however, instead of weaving overhand, you’ll add every new section of hair under the middle strand. Although the process isn’t that much different, the end look definitely is. Hello, inverted braids!
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Get the look by following these simple steps:
Divide the top layer of your hair into three equal sections.
Cross the left section of hair under the middle section, making it the new middle section. Then, bring the right section of hair under the middle section, which will make it the new middle section.
Keep braiding your hair, crossing the sections on either side underneath the middle strand, but each time you do so, add in a little more hair from the bottom layer of your mane.
Continue the same pattern all the way down, stopping about an inch from the ends of your hair.
Twist a hair tie around your ends and gently pancake your braid for a blogger-worthy end look.
Prefer to wear your locks down but love the look of braids? Look no further than a romantic waterfall braid!
This is another braided hairstyle where knots and tangles just won’t do, so grab your brush and tame your tresses. While you’re at it, part your hair. We love pairing this braid with a side part!
To start your braid, grab a section of hair at the front of your head that’s about two inches wide. Split the section into three smaller pieces and braid as if you’re starting a traditional braid.
Now, it’s time to get to what makes this braid resemble a waterfall. First, incorporate a little more hair into the right strand and cross it over the middle strand. Then, let go of the left strand and grab a new piece of hair to replace it. This will create the cascading effect that distinguishes the waterfall braid. Next, move the new left strand over the middle strand. And that’s your first stitch!
Repeat step three, guiding your braid in a horizontal line across the back of your head as you go. This may take a bit of practice, but keep at it! Once your braid wraps around your head, secure the ends with a clear elastic. You can also use bobby pins to hide your ends under the top layer of hair for a more seamless look.
There’s no rule saying you can only pair a waterfall braid with curls or waves, but it is an amazing combination! If you’re up to completing one more step, use a wide-barrel curling iron to create loose, carefree waves, or a smaller curling iron if you want to end up with tight ringlets.
Three strands not really your thing? You can get a killer braid with two, too! Here’s how to braid hair into a fishtail braid.
Rat tail comb
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Using a rat tail comb, create a side part, and bring all of your hair around to one shoulder.
Using the two thick sections of hair created by your side part, take a small chunk of hair from the outer section and cross it over to join the other side. Then, take a small chunk of hair from the outermost edge of the side you just added to and cross it over to your other section. Repeat this process all the way down to the ends of your hair. Secure your braid with a mini clear elastic.
Fishtail braids look especially gorgeous when they’re slightly undone, so gently tug apart your braid starting at the ends and working your way toward the top.
For an especially romantic feel, pull out a few face-framing tendrils for extra-effortless appeal. Once your braid looks just right, seal everything in place with a spritz of hairspray.
Next, how about moving on from the basics to something a little more advanced? Here’s How to Create a Beautiful Crown Braid.
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