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How to Create a French Braid

After you have mastered a simple braid, the next step is to learn this very easy French Braid. A French Braid is a Simple Braid that is secured to the scalp by picking up extra hair as you go.

In the above illustration, you will recognize the three-strand braid from the previous page with a few additions.
The areas in red are new strands of hair that are added to your braid.

Begin your French Braid by starting a simple three-strand braid. Make at least two full turns of braiding before you begin to Pick-Up.
  1. Take the outside strand - in the illustration, Strand B - pick up a new strand of hair from underneath or close by.
  2. The new strand becomes part of strand B and is taken over the top of Strand C into the center.
  3. Pick up strand A along with a new strand of hair from that side of the braid. The two strands become one and are taken over the top of B into the center.
  4. Pick up strand C along with some new hair from that side and take it over the top of Strand B into the center.
  5. Continue picking up new strands of hair each time you take the outside strand to the center.

Each time you pick up a new strand of hair, you are anchoring the braid to your head.
Make your French Braid much closer and tighter than is shown in the illustration.

Variations:
This style works well for hair that is all one length and is at least shoulder length.
Start your braid at the top center of your head. When you ‘Pick Up,’ take the hair from the side hairline, bringing it up into the braid.
Next. ‘Pick Up from the other side at the hairline.
In this way, continue picking up from the hairline with the actual braid being formed in the center. All of your hair will be pulled up into the braid. When you run out of ‘new’ hair at the nape of your neck, make a few turns of braiding without picking up and then secure the ends with an elastic band. If the ends are long enough, tuck them under and secure with bobby pins.

Layered hair can be braided too. Before beginning, coat your hair with serum or light hair wax to give your hair body and control the ends. As you braid, make small tight turns and make sure that you tuck the short ends into the braid. The serum or wax will help keep the ends in place and to secure the braid. However, when you are finished, spray the braid well with hair spray.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Lynne Chapman. All rights reserved.
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