One part throwback, one part futuristic, all parts cool-girl-hairstyle-of-the-year.
You’ve probably seen every other celebrity rock this fierce, distinctive look. And no, it’s not something you play on the street with a jumprope, and neither is it the newest flavor of ice cream. Braid aficionados know Dutch braids not only as a reverse French braid, but also as one of the hottest and most-copped hair trends redoing the rounds too.
Dutch braids, especially when worn Double-Dutch style (a.k.a. pigtails), keep your strands completely and securely away from your face, with little risk of unraveling. This is perhaps one of the reasons why this braided pigtail look is so popular during the hotter, more humid, no-hair-around-my-face-please months.
This could also be why some female athletes, martial artists and boxers tout it as their unofficial ’do of choice in the ring, giving rise to the style’s slightly controversial moniker of “boxer braids.”
You can call ’em whatever you want, but do try and see what the fuss is about! Click on to see how to achieve this edgy look:
How to Create Dutch Braids
Step 1: Start with clean hair.
Dutch braids—and most braids in general, for that matter—are easier created on residue- and grease-free hair (personally, we find that you get more styling traction on freshly washed strands). Wash and condition your hair with a gentle strand-strengthening system like Suave Professionals Biotin Infusion Strengthening Shampoo and Suave Professionals Biotin Infusion Strengthening Conditioner (because, y’know, all that tugging). These formulas will also help moisturize your hair without weighting down your locks.
Step 2: Prep hair.
Spray on a thermal protectant like TRESemmé Thermal Creations Instant Heat Tamer Spray to help shield strands from damaging direct heat from your tools. Blow-dry your hair until it is at least 90% dry.
Step 3: Create a middle part.
Using the end of a fishtail or rat-tail comb for precision, section hair into two parts from the front hairline all the way around till your nape, as if prepping for pigtails. Clamp up one section for now—you’ll be working on one side at a time.
Step 4: Divide the loose section into three smaller sections.
Starting close to your forehead, begin to plait hair as you would a French braid, but cross hair underneath the middle strand instead of over it—this gives that ridged, raised-braid effect that is the hallmark of the look. Remember to still incorporate small gathers of hair from left and right as you move downwards to keep the braid attached to your scalp.
Step 5: Continue all the way to the ends.
Switch to a regular three-strand braid once you go past the nape. Secure the very tips with a hair tie.
Step 6: Remove the clamp on your other side.
Repeat steps four and five.
Step 7: Pancake the ends
Pigtail braids tend to get thinner as they reach the tips, so for a more uniform, Instagram-worthy look, gently tug at each plait to fatten it up.
Step 8: Apply some hairspray.
Mist some frizz-fighting hairspray like TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Frizz-Free Hold Hairspray to help keep those baby frizzies at bay, as well as to keep your look intact for any summer soirées, gym hairstyles or boxing matches!
Looking for more braided hairstyles? Check out our tutorial on how to create milkmaid braids.