How to French Braid Hair

Whether you're learning how to French braid your own hair or someone else's, our easy step-by-step hair braiding tutorial shows how to master the perfect braided hairstyle in no time.

A French braid may appear complicated—especially if you're attempting hairstyles like a side French braid or a French braid bun—but this video shows the look is nearly effortless to pull off and makes a great quick fix for a bad hair day. Follow these simple steps for easy braiding, and soon enough you'll be the one teaching others how to French braid.

What You Need

  • Hair band
  • Brush

Follow These Steps

  1. Brush Hair: Smooth out any knots or tangles.
  2. Gather Hair at Top of Head and Divide Into Three Sections Starting at the Hairline: Get enough hair from the top of the head to start a regular braid. Divide it into three equal sections. Hold the right section in your right hand, the left section in your left hand, and the middle section between your thumb and another finger of either hand.
  3. Cross the Sections: To begin the braid, cross the right section over the middle section, then repeat this move with the left section, smoothing the hair down as you go. Pull sections fairly tight; you don't want the braid to be loose and come undone.
  4. Add Hair to the Section: Gather a little bit of additional hair from the head's right side and add it to this section; now cross this larger portion of hair over the middle section of the braid. Tip: Make sure that the sections of the hair you're adding are roughly equal, or the braid will look lopsided.
  5. Add Hair to the Section on the Other Side: Gather a small section (of equal size to the one you just gathered) of the remaining hair on the left side of your head up and into the left section, and cross that over the middle section. Tip: Slightly dirty hair has less "slip," making it easier to braid.
  6. Repeat Adding Hair and Crossing Sections: Repeat steps 4 and 5, adding hair until you've gathered in all additional hair strands. Finish at the bottom with a regular braid.
  7. Secure the Braid at the End With a Band: Once you reach the bottom of the braid, secure the end with a hair band, wrapping it tightly around the hair. To make the braid appear fuller, gently pull out the hair strands for added volume. After you've mastered the French braid, try out three easy braided updo hairstyles.
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