French Braids

An Introduction To French Braids

French braids are classy looking when done well, and the right type of braid is chosen to suit the occasion. They are also easier to do than their appearance might suggest, though admittedly it takes a certain amount of experience to do a good job of it.

It's usually better to start with a basic French braid and get somewhat good at making one before proceeding to one of the more difficult braids, like the Crown. At the risk of oversimplifying, one could say it's all in the fingers. One has to divide the hair strands evenly and keep the hair under tension while braiding it. The strands have to be of a uniform thickness, and the tension has to be more or less constant throughout the braiding exercise for the best result.

Arm Strength Will Help - For those unaccustomed to creating a French braid, one of the first lessons learned is that it can quickly become tiring to hold the arms up long enough to complete the job. More than one person has had to stop in mid session and either rest the arms without undoing the braid or releasing the tension, start over, or wait until another day. In any event one should usually start with the basic three strand braid. The three strand braid can be used later on in a number of variations.

Backwards, Forwards, Diagonally, Whatever - In the basic French braid the hair sections are crossed over one another as braiding progresses. Once this technique is mastered, one could attempt what is called the Dutch braid. Here the hair sections are crossed under one another which leads to a braid that stands out a bit more. The basic braid is started from the back of the head at the nape of the neck and one works forward. If one goes from the top of the forehead and works backwards, the end result will be what is called a French ponytail, a ponytail not characterized by straight hair held in place by an elastic, but rather a braid held in place by an elastic.

French braids can be single or double, they can go from front to back, back to front, or diagonally. A French braid may cover the top of the head like a crown, or form a spiral braid on the side of the head. Two strands of hair instead of the usual three can be used, the resulting braid known as a Fishtail braid.

Pearls In Your Hair - So, there are all sorts of different styles one might consider, and it then becomes a matter of finding what style seems to look best on you. Some styles are more formal than others, while some manage to look elegant though are not particularly formal. As you get better at it, and if you want to be a little creative, you can always try braiding a ribbon, a string of beads, a string of pearls, or some other material in with your strands of hair.

View A Video Or Get Personal Help - The basic technique isn't difficult to master but some helpful tips include brushing out any tangles in the hair, having the hair slightly moistened and preferably conditioned, and keeping the hands a little ways from the top of the head (which of course will contribute to tired arms, but will yield a better result). Directions, even for most of the variations and styles, are usually quite straightforward, but the best instruction of all would come from watching a video on the subject, or having someone who has some skill in creating French braids help you out. Once you get good at it, you may have trouble stopping.