How Do I Do French Plaits?

Updated April 17, 2017

A French plait, also known as a French braid, is tight hairstyle that begins at the hairline and pulls the hair away from the face. This type of hairstyle works well with hair the falls just below the shoulder. French plaits may be worn while exercising, at the office or at a wedding.

Brush the hair with a hairbrush or comb to remove tangles.

Divide a 4-inch section of hair into three equal sections of A, B and C. Hold section A in the left hand and hold section C in the right hand. Section B should hang loosely between A and C.

Overlap section C with B, then A over C and finally B over A. Pull the first plait snug.

Take a 1-inch wide section of hair from the left side of the head, and add it to section C before overlapping C over B. Take a 1-inch wide section of hair from the right side of the head, and it to section A before overlapping A with C. Add a 1-inch wide section of hair to section B from the left side of the head and overlap B with A. Continue braiding until 3 inches past the nape of the neck.

Secure the end of the plait with a non-rubber hair elastic.


Incorporate smaller pieces of hair throughout the plait for a tighter, secure hairstyle. Greasy hair is easier to plait than recently shampooed hair.

Things You'll Need

  • Hairbrush
  • Comb
  • Non-rubber hair elastic
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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.