There are a multitude of styling options that incorporate using the traditional French plait. They can be worn on many occasions, from a fun day at the park to an elegant dinner out. French plaits also work on a variety of ages and hair types, which makes this hairstyle choice great for just about anyone. One caveat: Essence.com suggests you "prevent breakage by letting your stylist know if the braids are too tight."
Crowns and Bands
Crowns and hairbands are flexible ways to wear French plaits. They can "be an elegant hairstyle for a formal occasion or an easy-to-maintain hairdo on a casual day," according to "French Braids." With crowns, all your hair is in a French plait that is braided in a circle going around the top of your head. When you use hairbands, the French plaits go across the front of your head like a traditional headband. Crowns and headbands can be thin or thick, depending on hair length and how much hair you use. Braiding hair loosely results in a more casual look. Other styling options include having ringlets dangle by your ears or leaving some hair in the back down.
Side styles are fun looks for French plaits. Techniques include styling a French braid, starting by the right ear with the end hanging over the left shoulder. Or, you can split the hair down the middle and have two braids curving to the right. Another option is having one braid going down the right and one down the left. The braids are attached at the nape, resembling a horseshoe pattern. Hair can also be left out by braiding a French plait on one side and leaving the other side hanging. It may take practice to get the side French plaits neat, but once you do, there are a number of styling choices.
Buns are a fashionable addition to French plaits. "Braids blended into a chic chignon give your evening updo an unexpected edge," according to Essence.com. Also, a French plait starting at the nape and leading up to a cinnamon-roll bun at the crown of your head can be dramatic. One alternative is a French plait in the front with the loose ends in a high ponytail. Or, a French plait in the front with a French twist in the back. Other buns that work well are doughnut buns or simply tucking your ponytail ends under.