An easy guide to this versatile style
Believe it or not, the hairstyle best known as "French braid" originated in North Africa. From there, it expanded around the world and has remained popular for centuries. What keeps it in style? The answer probably lies in its versatility. Once you master a basic French braid, there are so many other styles at your fingertips. Follow these steps for a basic single French braid.
Prep damp or dry hair How much moisture? For a tighter braid, you’ll want to go with damp hair. For a looser, more styled look, go for dry hair. Either way, make sure it’s completely brushed so you avoid painful snarls. A little leave-in conditioner can help if your hair is especially prone to tangles.
Divide hair at crown of head into 3 sections Ready, set, separate! Gently gather the hair at the top of your head into one hand. Make sure it’s centered, then separate it into three equal sections. You’re off to a great start. Tip: Hold each section between your fingers to keep them apart.
Cross an outer section into the center Isolate one of the side sections from the other two. Then, cross it into the center. Hold this new arrangement, pulling it tight. Got it? Go ahead and repeat on the other side.
Repeat, adding more hair You should be back to the side where you started. Before continuing, add more hair to the section you’re about to cross. Do this by running your finger in a horizontal line on your scalp, starting from the outside and finally joining it with your section. Once the new hair is added, cross the now-larger section into the center. Repeat on the other side. Keep repeating over and over, adding to sections evenly as you go down.
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