How to Do an Inverted French Braid

Updated April 17, 2017

The inverted braid is an advanced technique using the basic skills of French braiding. With a standard French braid, hair sections are braided over each other. With the inverted braid -- sometimes called the inverted French braid or Dutch braid -- the sections are braided under each other, resulting in a relief-style effect. Be comfortable and confident with your French braiding techniques before attempting the inverted braid.

Remove tangles and knots by combing hair smooth with a fine-tooth comb.

Separate a 4-inch wide section of hair above the forehead. Divide this section into three parts, A, B and C.

Hold sections B and C between your index finger and thumb, while adding a small section of hair from the side to section A. Move section A under section C. Add another piece of hair from the side to section B and move it under section A. Continue braiding the sections under, instead of over, each other.

Braid down the back of the head, until there is no hair left on the sides to include into the main sections. Leave 2 to 3 inches of unbraided hair at the end, below the nape. Grasp the end of the braid with your fingers to prevent unravelling.

Wrap a non-rubber elastic around the hair just below the braid. Re-wrap the elastic to tighten, if necessary.


Practice inverted braiding on unwashed hair. The silky, slippery texture of freshly-shampooed hair unravels and slips easily in a braid. The key to proficient braiding is practice. Don't give up if your first braid doesn't turn exactly as you envisioned.

Things You'll Need

  • Fine-tooth comb
  • Non-rubber hair elastics
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About the Author

Christina Bednarz Schnell began writing full-time in 2010. Her areas of expertise include child development and behavior, medical conditions and pet health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.