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From the fishtail to the French, 2017 is officially the year of the braid. Whether you prefer to wear a traditional plait or something a little edgier, there’s a little something for everybody who’s looking to spruce up their 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 tutorials for our four favorite braids. 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.
Get the look by following these simple steps:
Step 1: Start by brushing your hair. Nothing’s worse than trying to make braid magic happen only to be disrupted by a head full of tangles to make everything fall apart.
Step 2: Divide your hair into three even sections. 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.
Step 3: Cross the left section over the middle section. Once you cross the left section over, it will be the new middle section.
Step 4: Cross the right section over the new middle section. Once you cross the right section over, it will now be the middle section.
Step 5: Continue the pattern. Left-right-left-right. Make sure to pull the sections tight to prevent flyaways and your braid coming undone.
Step 6: Tie it all together. Once you’re getting close to running out of hair, tie your braid off about an inch from your ends.
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.
Step 1: Start at the crown of your head. Gather the top most section of hair at the crown of your head and divide it into three sections.
Step 2: Make your first weave. Just like with a traditional braid, cross the left section over the middle section, followed by crossing the right over that section.
Step 3: Add the French technique. Instead of continuing with just the section of hair, you’ll want to pick up new sections as you go to incorporate into each new weave. Remember to pull tightly as you work your way down your head.
Step 4: Secure your plait. Grab a hair-colored hair tie and secure your French braid. 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!
Step 1: Start at your crown. Divide the section of hair into three equal sections.
Step 2: Begin weaving…underhand! Cross the left section of hair under the middle section, making it the new middle section. Then take the right section of hair under the middle section, making it the new middle section.
Step 3: Repeat. Continue the same pattern all the way to about an inch from the ends of your hair.
Step 4: Tie it off. Twist a hair tie around your ends and gently pancake your braid for a blogger-worthy end look.
Three strands not really your thing? You can get a killer braid with two, too!
Step 1: Create a side part. Using a rat tail comb, create a side part and wrap all of your hair around to one shoulder.
Step 2: Start braiding. Using the two thick sections of hair created by your side part, take a small section of hair from the outer thick section of hair and cross it over to join the other thick side. Then take a small section of hair from the outermost edge of that thick side to cross over to the other thick half. Repeat this process all the way down to the ends of your hair. Secure your braid with a mini clear elastic.
Step 3: Pancake your plait. Fishtail braids look especially gorgeous when they’re slightly undone, so gently tug apart your braid starting at the ends and working your way towards the top. For an extra 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, like the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray.