112 Provocative French Braid Hairstyles for Your Bold Self

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A simple French braid can create the kind of look that changes your mood. Many of us are surely dreaming of long, shiny hair that can be braided into a loose braid done in the French style. A nonchalant look that doesn’t reveal exactly how much effort you put into it is easy to obtain once you know how to French braid your hair like this.

A classical hair braiding style, the French braid gets a modern update. Omnipresent in numerous international fashion shows, it is now highlighted thanks to its versatility. There is more to the French braid than the good girl look. In fact, you can style your hair in a very provocative manner once you learn the basics.

Regardless of your personal style, this short guide will show you how to create romantic or even athletic hairstyles by just braiding a portion of your hair or all of it. Moreover, you will browse through more than one hundred ideas for you to try.

  1. Half up French braid mixed with a fishtail

french braid

2. Double reversed French braids on long hair

3. Medium blonde hair put up in a French braid

4. Romantic look achieved with two classical braids

5. Hair flows like water in a cascade

6. Side braid hidden in a low bun

7. Playful hairstyle for those who feel young

8. French braiding style adapted to wider patterns

9. Backwards French braids for a neat look

10. Reverse French braid done in the middle

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French Braid – Learning the Basics of a Classical Hairstyle

Prerequisites for obtaining a French braid are shoulder-length hair and the desire to try it! Braiding shorter hair is more challenging and requires more skill. However, you can’t deny the way it can perfectly hide your bangs and help you grow them out.

Generally, you only need one or more hair elastics, a few hair clips, a hair brush, some hairspray, and some shine spray for the French braid. The best braided hairstyles like the French braid are available to everyone and are suitable for every hair color. For curly hair, the French braid is just as suitable as for straight hair. It looks especially beautiful undone.

Hardly a braid looks so elegant and is at the same time as easy to style as the French braid. It owes its name to a weaving technique that – surprise – comes from France. In contrast to other types of braids, the hair is not divided into three strands of the same size from the beginning, but first in three thin strands, to which new hair is added during the braiding process. Tightly bound, the French braid looks elegant and glamorous. Conversely, when it’s a little looser, it confers a more nonchalant or sporty look.

11. Two braids for a little girl’s look

12. Natural hair parted in the middle and braided on the sides

13. Low bun embellished with a braided strand of hair

14. Making bows from hair and braiding the rest

15. How is the fishtail pony different

Keep in mind that this example serves you by showing you which braiding style you can also try, which is not the classical French.

16. Different sized French braids on blonde hair

17. Space buns and two cute braids

18. Masterful side braiding unites into one

19. Start braiding from the nape of the neck

20. Tame your hair with a looser braid

Step by Step Instructions – Become a French Braid Expert

The basic look of the French braid is very easy and can be learned quickly with a little practice.

Before you start, you should brush your hair properly and then comb it backwards, away from your face. In order to braid the hair, grab a thicker strand from the top and divide it in three. Next, braid that portion of hair twice.

Now that you have the first three strands intertwined, add new parts of hair to the side strands. Repeat this process until no loose hair is left on the top of your head.
The braid is then braided all the way to the ends of the hair and then tied together with a thin hair elastic.

For extra support, the French braid can optionally be fixed with hair spray.

21. How to make a bang braid

A bang braid can contribute to a feminine and delicate look, especially when the rest of the hair is let loose and slightly waved.

22. Steps to achieve a crown French braid

23. A style done by braiding the hair backwards

24. Put a crown made of hair on your head

25. Loose French braid finished with a fishtail

26. The classic look originated in France

27. Romantic look achieved with a side braid

28. Spectacular pattern step by step

Besides the spectacular outcome, this guide also shows us how important hair accessories are as well.

29. Really long hair styled with a simple braid

30. Accent braid worn as an accessory to a pony tail

French Braid vs. Reverse French Braid

At first glance, the two braided hairstyles are very similar, but on a closer inspection the French braid can be easily distinguished from the reverse French braid, which is also called the Dutch Braid.

While the French braiding style involves diving the hair in 3 sections and placing the sides over the middle strand, the Dutch braiding goes right the opposite. More specifically, the side strands go under the middle strand. Thus, the obtained effect is a braid that acts as if rested on the hair.

31. Elegant hairstyle with a high bun and a back braid

32. Platinum hair braided from the forehead to the nape of the neck

33. Reverse French braid on little girls

34. Flawless braiding French style with a decorative end

35. Every woman can have a crown on her head

36. Middle Dutch braid overlaps a ponytail

37. Loose braids done with hair extensions

38. Highly elegant hairstyle with a flower made of hair

39. When two braids become one

40. Loose French braid for a casual, relaxed look

Intriguing Hairstyles Using the French Braiding Technique

French Braid on the Side

With a little skill, you can vary the classical French braid. For this purpose, the braid is plaited as in the classic variant, just along the side of the head. This means that you can start braiding either from the right or left side of the head. Start at the level of the temples and weave the hair up to the back of the head. You can either weave only one side and leave the other side of the hair open or you can integrate the entire hair and put the braid sideways on one shoulder. Also the half braid (seen with Jenny Packham) can be imitated in this way easily.

The Crown or the Gretchen Braids

The crown is probably the most romantic version of a French braid. It is not for nothing that it is a long-time favorite as an Oktoberfest (German beer holiday) hairstyle – it goes well with the dirndl, but also looks feminine and playful with other dresses. For the Gretchen braids, the first step is parting the hair in the middle. Afterwards, two French braids are braided close to the head. Next, you can put the braids around your head like a crown and fix it with a few bobby pins. Voila, the simple hair crown is ready!

The Boho Version of the French Braid

If you like your hair done in a more elaborate way, try this version. This braid is positioned along the forehead, using the same technique. The hair is parted on a side for this look. Next, start braiding from the temple, across the forehead. This hairdo is particularly good for growing out bangs without disturbing the hair in any other way. To do this, simply thread the strands on the forehead into the French plait.

41. Sophistication doesn’t require much effort

42. Mini braids fade away in a big braid

43. Black roots contrast enhanced by braiding

44. Short hair looks cute with braids

45. The waterfall effect and beach waves

46. French braid twisted half up

47. Do it yourself middle French braid

48. Natural gray hair braided beautifully 

49. Royalty look done with simple braids

50. An elaborate pattern for long hair

Combine More Than One Braiding Style

The classic French braid can be easily modified by combining it with other braiding techniques. Models show a variant of the braid, which is easy to implement and yet conjures up an effective hairstyle. For this purpose, a thin French braid is braided laterally at the temples. The remaining hairs in the middle of the head are then also braided into at least two other, normal braids. Finally, all braids are secured with a hair elastic. This creates the effect of a wide French braid.

Steal a Runway Braided Look

The French braid can easily be placed in different positions on the head (especially with thick hair). At the catwalk presentation by Calvin Luo in New York, the models have shown another variant of the classic hairstyle. For the runway look, a French Braid was braided directly on the side of the hairline, using only the hair from the front. The hair from the back of the head was instead braided into one or two separate French braids, which are secured with thin hair ties.

Mini-Braids as a Refined Detailed Hairstyle

Who says that with a French braid all the hair has to be processed? We love subtle braids! For this purpose, fine strands are braided close to the scalp. The remaining hair is worn open and styled in casual beach waves. The small French braids can give any hairstyle a special touch and are quick and easy to implement.

Do the French Upside Down

This cool braiding style is not braided from the front to the back. Instead, it starts from the neck upwards. This braid looks best when it is combined with a bun. Moreover, it is perfect for hot summer days and beautiful beach days.

This is how it works:

Brush your hair neatly and divide the top section from the back section. Next, you can sit or stand and bow your head forward. Take a strand of hair from the neck and divide it into three parts. Now, braid a French braid along the back of your neck at the back of your head until you reach the top. Next, secured the hair together in a bun. If you want to make the bun more voluminous, you are welcome to use a sponge.

51. Summer look for medium to long hair

52. Level up your skills to get this

53. The French and fishtail combination

54. Two Dutch braids and a bun

55. High bun with extraordinary back detail

56. Femininity accentuated with hair bows

57. Loose and messy half braided hair

58. Gentle waves and a side braid

59. Casual hairstyle done in under 5 minutes

60. Use a scarf as a hair accessory for braids

Tips and Tricks to Flawless Classical Braids

Braided hairstyles like the French require a bit of skill and above all, practice. So that braiding always succeeds even in stressful situations, one can observe the following tips:

  • To avoid knotted hair or streaks, brush your hair thoroughly before braiding.
  • Use dry shampoo or texturing spray if your hair is freshly washed. The hair is otherwise too soft and not coarse enough to braid.
  • You can achieve a similar effect by slightly moistening your hair. This works with some water, which is applied with the help of a spray bottle.
  • The best way to succeed with this hairstyle is not having freshly washed hair. It is therefore our go-to to delay the hair wash another day.
  • When braiding the hair French style, it is important to keep it as close to the head as possible and to pull the hair relatively tight.
  • If you want to loosen it up in a messy way, you can do this after the braiding is done. With the help of your fingers or a comb, the French Braid can easily be transformed into a trendy unfinished look.

61. Bride hairstyle beautifully braided

62. Sporty style with double Dutch braids

63. Hair parted unequally and braided

64. French braid versus Dutch braid

65. Closeup view of a loose braid

66. A mesmerizing braid pattern on long hair

67. High ponytail and tight braiding

68. A hairstyle perfect for school

69. Braided hair results into curly hair 

70. Beach hairstyle ends in a high bun

71. Girl’s hairstyle featuring a braided bun

72. Flawless reverse French braiding style

73. Straight hair braided in two different styles

74. Step by step instructions for Boxer Braids

75. A complicated pattern that requires skills and knowledge

76. Easy steps towards a fairy tale hairstyle

77. Boxer Braids connected with hair strands

78. The simplest way to braid all hair

79. Short to medium hair styled loosely 

80. Effortless look is harder than it looks to achieve

81. Braid a fishtail like it’s French

82. Combine a braid with a ponytail

83. Hair in multiple platinum shades braided beautifully

84. Two rows of braiding end in one side tail 

85. Two rows of braids arranged as crowns

86. Braiding level required: expert

87. Neat braids for an active person

88. Comfortable and practical hairstyle for kids

89. Speechless hairstyle is a work of art

90. Braid the hair in the back, not the front

91. Sides braided and secured in a ponytail

92. Cross the braids in the back

93. Half up hairstyle with French braiding

94. Identify the fishtail, not the classical braids

95. Create a heart from your own hair

96. Braids look more detailed on lighter hair

97. Rose bun made of two braids

98. Long hair allows you to braid freely

99. Loose braid on the side and waves in hair

100. Snail hairstyle done with braided hair

101. Visual effects with natural blonde hair

102. Ombre hair braided in a waterfall

103. Tight braid is not the only way

104. Thick hair is ideal for the French hairstyle

105. Not your everyday braided hairdo

106. Multiple layers of hair braided differently

107. Spectacular look using a different braiding technique

108. Three layers of fabulous on long hair

109. Mini French plus loose French equals awesome

110. Tight classic braiding secured in a bun

111. Red hair highlights a braid better

112. Easy festival look for this summer

The French braid is a classic that can always be reinterpreted. Although this hairstyle needs a bit of practice, the result is worth it. We have shown you step by step how to get it done and how diverse it can be. So, it is now up to you to put everything you’ve learnt in practice.

Don’t get discouraged if you cannot make ample patterns with your hair just yet. Moreover, some hairstyles are impossible to do yourself, so don’t beat yourself up! Just choose a hairstyle you like and then go for it. Practicing on friends or family is also an option.

However, if you’re not interested in learning how to braid your hair French style, then just choose a pattern and seek for a professional to have it done. Usually having your hair braided at the salon isn’t as expensive as you may expect.

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