How to French Braid Your Own Hair: A Beginner’s Guide to Single and Double French Braids

How to French Braid Your Own Hair: A Beginner’s Guide to Single and Double French Braids

French braids are the go-to hairstyle for hot summer days when you can’t stand the sticky strands around your neck. But there’s no denying they’re challenging to achieve on your own.

If you don’t have an extra pair of hands, how can you do the ever-trendy French braid? That’s what we’re here for!

We’ll tell you how to French braid your own hair, along with a few tips and tricks to take your braiding game to a new level!

How to Single French Braid Your Hair in 5 Easy Steps

How to French braid your own hair: Single French braid tutorial

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If you want to put your hair into an elegant single French braid, here are the steps you should follow:

1. Prepare Your Hair

To get the best results, prepare your hair accordingly before putting it into a braid. 

First, you should dry your hair completely. Otherwise, wet hair strands will stick together and become more prone to tangling.

Second, if you have thin hair, adding dry shampoo will give it more volume and make French braiding easier. On the other hand, if it’s thick, you can add a few drops of leave-in conditioner to make it more obedient and prevent a frizzy look.

Finally, use a detangling brush or a wide-toothed comb to remove any knots that might ruin your French braid.

2. Section Your Hair

Grab a chunk of your hair at the center of your head, taking equal amounts from the left and right sides.

Try to stick to the same row and not grab hair strands upper or lower than the center of your head. If you do so, it might clump and make your braiding more challenging.

Now that the chunk is in your hand, section it into three equally-sized strands.

3. Start a Traditional Braid

Start putting the three strands in your hand into a traditional braid. To do it, hold two strands in one hand and one strand in the other so that you have a left, middle, and right strand.

Cross the right strand over the middle strand. Then, cross the left strand over the new middle strand. Now, the originally left strand is in the middle, and the originally right strand is on the left. 

Repeat this for only two or three rows, then move on to the next step.

4. Thicken the Traditional Braid

Start adding more hair strands from the left and right sides and bringing them into your crossing-over moves.

It’s important that you grab hair from around your face and neck and avoid sticking to the area near the braid. You don’t want your French braid to look bulky in the middle and thin on the sides.

As you go down your hair length, add more strands to the braid until you reach the nape of your neck. Now, all of your hair should be inside the braid.

Continue braiding your hair into a classic three-strand braid until you reach the ends. Then, secure it using an elastic or silk tie to stop the braid from unraveling.

5. Add the Finishing Touches

Now that your French braid is in place, it’s time to add some finishing touches to make it look more glamorous.

If you want to keep your strands in place and prevent them from slipping out of the braid, add a texturizing or setting spray. Then, gently pull some strands to volumize the braid and give it unruly vibes.

Also, to hide loose tufts that slipped out of your hand while braiding, you can use bobby pins to tuck them inside your braided hair. 

And voila! You can now flaunt your braiding skills and your beautiful French braid around.

How to Double French Braid Your Hair in 3 Easy Steps

How to French braid your own hair: Double French braid tutorial

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Although we love a single French braid, we admit that double braids have an impeccable charm. If you want to give French braid pigtails a go, here’s what you should do:

1. Section Your Hair

Use a fine-toothed comb to part your hair from the middle, starting at your forehead and moving toward the back. Make sure you do a straight line to avoid a messy-looking hairstyle.

2. Braid the Right Side

Start with the right side of your head, and grab a chunk of hair from the middle of it. Section the chunk into three strands, and start a regular braid.

As you go down this side, add hair into the braid until all your strands are tucked inside it. Keep going until you finish braiding the entire right side of your hair, then secure it using an elastic tie.

3. Braid the Left Side

Repeat these steps for the left side of your head. However, make sure that the first chunk you work with is the same size as the one you started with on the right side. This way, your French braid pigtails will look symmetrical and neat.

Tips and Tricks to Perfect Your French Braids

It’s no secret that perfecting French braids will take some time and practice. But they’ll look much better if you keep the following tips and tricks in mind.

  • Maintain a tight grip: Grip your hair strands tightly to prevent a loose and messy braid. Also, make sure that the tightness is consistent until you finish. You don’t want some parts of the braid to be tight and some parts to be loose.
  • Keep the hair sections equally sized: For a neat-looking braid, make sure to have all the hair sections in equal sizes. The same goes even for the ones you pull from around your face and neck while braiding.
  • Detangle your hair as you go: If you find knots in your hair while braiding, detangle the strands using your fingers while working to avoid a clumpy braid and ensure a smooth look.
  • Don’t use a mirror: Using a mirror while braiding isn’t ideal, as it’s challenging to see the back of your head. You’ll have to use two mirrors and constantly move your head around, making you less focused on the braid.
  • Use small hair sections: Using small hair sections rather than large ones may take you a longer time to finish the braid, but they’ll give you a neater and less bumpy look.
  • Start with a double braid: If you’re a first-timer, it’s better you start with a double braid because it’s easier to manage than a single one. You’ll work with your hands on the side, not on the back, so you’ll feel less arm pain and have better control over the strands.
  • Decorate your braid: For an embellished wedding or event look, decorate your braid using pearls, shiny bobby pins, flowers, or whatever you have on your hands.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Difference Between a French and Dutch Braid?

In essence, a Dutch braidOpens in a new tab. is a reverse French braid. Instead of crossing your hair strands over each other, you’ll cross them under each other so the braid will be more prominent on top of your hair. It’s more challenging to master than the French braid, but it’ll give you a more sophisticated look.

What Is the Difference Between a French and Fishtail Braid?

A French braid starts with three hair sections, while a fishtail braid starts with two. The latter is also done using thinner hair strands and looks more elaborate and neat at the end.

To Wrap Up

French braiding your hair isn’t the easiest task out there, but the beautiful results will have you attempting it every other day.

To try it, grab a chunk of your hair right at the center of your head and separate it into three sections. Then, braid the separated sections into a traditional braid, grabbing more strands as you go down your hair length. Finally, top off the French braid with an elastic tie and some bobby pins to tuck loose strands, and you’re good to go!

If you want to get personalized expert hair care tips, get in touch with us today!

Paulina Romain

Paulina Romain is an entrepreneur and artist in the beauty industry. She is the founder and owner of The Art of Ink Studio, where she provides services such as permanent cosmetics, microblading, and artistic ink, focusing on personalized body art. Additionally, she owns Mill Pond Salon, through which she aims to deliver big-city salon services in the comfort of a small town. Apart from her hands-on work in her studios, Paulina Romain is also active on social media platforms like TikTok, where she showcases her fine line and cosmetic tattoo work. Furthermore, she's been in the salon and beauty industry for over 14 years and operates Team True Beauty with Sam Romain. This platform includes a blog on various beauty-related topics and marks the opening of two beauty brands by the couple.

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