How to Do an Inside Out French Braid

Updated April 17, 2017

The inside-out or reverse French braid is a variation of the traditional French braid hairstyle. Instead of lying level with the surrounding hair, the braid is raised as if sitting on top of the hair. The style is sometimes referred to as a Dutch braid. The technique for achieving a reverse braid is similar to a French braid, but involves crossing the outer sections of hair under instead of over the middle section.

Brush your hair straight and smooth using a flat brush.

Separate off a small panel of hair running from the hairline at the forehead back toward the crown of the head using your hands or a comb. Do not gather any hair from the sides of the head at this stage.

Comb the panel of hair smooth and divide it into three even strands.

Cross the right hand strand under the middle strand so that the strand that was originally on the right has now become the middle strand. Gently pull all three strands to tighten the braid.

Cross the left hand strand under the middle strand so that the left strand becomes the middle strand. Again, gently pull all three strands to tighten the braid.

Section off a narrow band of hair along the right side of the head by running a tail comb horizontally against the scalp a little below the braided hair, working from the right front hairline to the centre of the back of the head. Join the narrow band of hair with the existing right hand strand.

Section off a narrow band of hair on the opposite (left) side of the head using the same method. Join the narrow band of hair with the existing left hand strand.

Gently pull the strands again to tighten the braid.

Pass the side strands under the middle strand as per Steps 4 and 5.

Continue to gather and braid more bands of hair until you reach the hairline at the nape of the neck.

Secure your reverse braid at the nape of the neck with a hair band. Alternatively, plait the hair until you reach the ends before securing.


Dutch braids are easiest to achieve on medium or long hairstyles. The style is ideal for incorporating shorter layers into an updo. Apply styling moose, spray or serum to your hair before braiding the hair for easier manageability. Mist the finished style with hairspray to keep it in place.


Avoid braiding the hair too tightly to prevent damaging the hair.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat hair brush
  • Tail comb
  • Hair band
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Based in London, Lisa Green has been writing entertainment and women’s lifestyle articles since 2004. She has contributed to the MyVillage and Glam networks and is the former editor of Entertainmentwise. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from De Montfort University and a City & Guilds journalism certificate from the City of Bristol College.