Braid Tutorial #3: Classic French Braid

Our last braid this week is a simple, classic messy French braid, tucked under for a fancier look. It looks amazing with Ali’s ombre, and in fact all braids look great with any kind of highlights in your hair. For this one I braided Ali’s hair, but I do this braid on myself all the time, so you could attempt it yourself or grab a friend. A note about braiding your own hair: I’ve been doing it since I was a kid, so just remember: practice makes perfect! Don’t be discouraged.

Classic French Braid
Recommended supplies:

A wide tooth comb
Clear elastic bands, like these
Bobby pins – if you can get them, these Japanese pins are the best, you can also get them in Japanese beauty supply stores
Optional: a teasing brush, like this
Tips: Dirty hair is better for braids! Greasy? No problem, it will hold better.

Ali has finer hair, so she gives a great tip for starting a braid on this type of hair – backcombing. Hold a handful of hair straight up and comb the back of it down – basically teasing it lightly. This will give your hair texture to help it stay in the braid better, plus give it a little bump on top. However, this braid looks great messy, so don’t worry about strands coming loose or it being perfectly smoothe. You could also prep your hair with mousse or gel. For this braid we started a few inches back – starting a classic French braid too close to your hairline will give you an alien-like look. Braid all the way down to the nape of the neck and tie it off with an elastic band. Because Ali’s hair is shoulder-length, we pulled the elastic down a bit to loosen it and flipped it under the braid, pinning it in place. This is a pretty way to finish the braid and hides the little stump of hair that shorter braids result in.

A bonus shot of how short people braid hair. This stool is my best friend and I take it on photoshoots as well!

Film photos, #1 & #3 by Kate Miss, taken with a Mamiya 645. Tutorial photos and photo #4 by Laure Joliet. Ali’s lipstick is by Wet ‘n Wild (yes!) and necklace by Kate Miss

Credits: (please kindly include if you re-blog, pin or put on tumblr)
Photos: Laure Joliet & Kate Miss
Model: Alison Brislin (twitter/instagram)
Braid by: Kate Miss


    • Gàgá says

      I am from India, and it was always an Indian Braid for me. And I was amazed when I first saw these braids on French girls (it is very common in France).

      Later I read, that in English they call it French baird; thought it’s just a conincidence that the braid is similar in style in France and India.

      Now that Alice says it is called Indian braid, in native France; I am more confused. Where did this braid originate from? :)

  1. Jessica says

    These braids are making me wish I had longer hair! ps. if you don’t mind me asking, what brand are the jeans you’re wearing?

  2. says

    Ooooh can’t wait to grow my hair again! This is most encouraging for me, to help me suffer through my mullet phase!Did you make that step-stool? I love it!

  3. says

    Oh! I don’t think my hair is long enough, but maybe I’ll show this to my roommate and have her try it on mine. Thanks for this tutorial! :)

  4. says

    This is so beautiful (and the stool is funny but quite useful). My mom used to do braid my hair like this when i was a little girl, I had really long curly hair which had its own personality, so every time she did this I felt tortured LOL

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