French braiding hair can seem like a complicated task; with practice, however, you can become quick and skilled at creating this unique look. French braids can be the perfect way to keep your child’s hair neat and out of her face, or to give yourself a dressy look for an evening out. Creating double French braids is as simple as doing two French braids, then fastening them in your choice of styles, depending upon the look you’re trying to achieve.
- Skill level:
Wash the hair that is going to be French braided. It is best not to condition before French braiding hair, because doing so make the hair slick which can cause it to slip out of the braid as you are working.
Divide the hair into two equal parts. You can divide evenly down the middle of the head, or if the hair is thick and there is a lot of it, you can divide it with a side part for a different look. Fasten the side you will not be braiding first with a ponytail holder, in order to keep it out of the way.
Begin the first French braid by lifting a segment of hair in the middle front of the half of the hair you are braiding. Lift this first section as close to the fringe--or front hairline if there are no fringe--as possible.
Hold the first segment you separated in your left hand. With your right hand, separate and lift a small segment of hair, about ½-inch in diameter, to the right of the initial hair section. Pass this section of hair across the first one, crossing it over to the left hand. Switch both segments of hair, kept separate by a finger, to your right hand.
With your left hand, separate and lift a small segment of hair, about ½-inch in diameter, to the left of the initial hair section. Pass this section of hair over, placing it between the two sections which are being held in your right hand. This hair segment is now the middle of the French braid and you have the three pieces which will be built upon from this point forward to form the braid. Pull gently on each hair segment to tighten them up against the head.
Separate and lift another ½-inch section of hair from the right side of the head, joining it to the far right segment of the three you began with. Pass this whole segment, which is now one piece, over the middle strand while moving the middle strand to the right, making the newly formed hair section the middle piece. Snug up all three braid strands again.
Separate and lift another ½-inch section of hair from the left side, joining it to the left-hand strand of hair. Pass this newly formed segment over the middle strand while passing the middle strand to the left, making the new segment the middle piece now. Snug the strands up separately once again.
Continue in this manner until you reach the bottom and all hair has been French braided in. If you want to, continue braiding normally all the way down to a couple of inches above the end of the hair. Fasten with a ponytail holder and repeat on the other half of head.
Tips and warnings
- Fasten the ends of both French braids into one ponytail holder for a different style.
- Wrap the braids up around the opposite sides of the head and fasten with hair clips for a dressy look.
- Spray French braids with hairspray to avoid flyaways.