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While you are using a traditional braid to braid your hair, you generally section off three large pieces of hair from the entire head or you will bring all the hair into a ponytail to braid a bit father down the hair. This being a large section on the right side of the head, a large section in the middle of the head and a large section of hair from the left side of the head.
French braiding hair is not so different from traditional braiding with the exception that you will only be working with small sections of hair that you will gradually add to the braid as you move along the braiding process.
Supplies you will need:
– Scrunchie or some type of material covered elastic hair band
Keep in mind that damp hair is most often the best to work with while braiding hair; however, you can also French braid your own long hair while it is dry. Although, there are many who would rather work with hair that may need a good washing for this updo hairstyle, I do prefer to work with clean damp hair. The choice of course, while doing your own hair is your own.
You will comb or brush out all the tangles from your hair before you begin. Doing so will help ensure a smoother movement while braiding as well as make for a much nicer updo hairstyle.
After brushing out any tangles and smoothing the hair, you will begin by placing your index fingers at the front top hairline and gather a section of hair from the front top of your head. After smoothing this out you will separate this section of hair into three separate smaller sections of hair to begin your braid. This involves crossing the right section of hair over the middle section of hair, and then crossing the left section of hair over the middle section of hair in the same manner, as you would while using a traditional braiding technique.
The hand you hold your hair with may differ from mine, since I am right handed. You can hold the right section of hair using your right hand, while holding the left section of hair while using your left hand. The middle section you can hold in either hand, between your thumb and one of your other fingers when you are French braiding your own hair. Remember that while you are braiding your hair that you will need to pull the various sections of hair tightly in order to keep the braid together and not falling loose in your hands or after you have completed this updo hairstyle.
* Special Note: For myself, when I am doing this first small section of braiding, I will actually braid this entire first section of three strands to the end and then secure with a small hair band. I feel that this gives my braid a bit more foundation and it stays longer than when I do not. You may or may not choose to do so with your own hair.
You will add a little more hair from the right side of the head to add to the section of hair on the right. You will cross this larger right section of hair over the middle section. The middle section is now the right side section and the larger right section is now the middle section.
You will add a little more hair from the left side of the head to add to the section of hair on left. Using the same technique, you will cross this larger left section of hair over the middle section. The middle section is now the left side section and the left section of hair is now the middle section.
Step 5 involves repeating Step 3 and Step 4 until you have added all the hair of the head into the braid.
* For myself, I generally add the last bit of hair that is on the bottom middle to the middle section of hair to complete.
Once you have added all your hair to the braid you will simply continue braiding until you have reached the ends. You will then use your scrunchie or material covered hair band to secure the ends to keep the braid from falling out. You may want to leave a bit of hair at the end hanging down, or you may double the extra hair at the end and fold it over itself to secure for a neater look.