What can we say? French braids do it better.
We’re braiding enthusiasts here at All Things Hair: We love everything from complicated five-strand weaves to fishtail braids to easy-peasy French braid hairstyles. Actually, most days you’d probably see at least one of us with our hair tucked back into charming French braids, a.k.a. the ’90s throwback of the year.
We’re obsessed with French braid hairstyles because they add texture into a regular hairstyle. If you are a braid lover yourself, you need to check out our favorite casual French braids hairstyles, as they’re a great jumping-off point for the more complicated looks you’ve probably seen on the streets.
Read on to see our top French braid hairstyles:
1. Messy French Braid
This is our baby steps iteration of French braid styles. If you need it, we have a step-by-step tutorial showing you how. We love this messy version because mistakes are welcome! They add more texture and amplify that tousled finish. For French braids styles like this, we recommend prepping hair out of the shower with Dove Style+Care Volume Amplifier Mousse. It can help give more volume at the crown of your head, as well as help hold your braided style.
2. Chic French Braid Ponytail
This ponytail is the one, right? It’s so simple but so elegant. Get this look by braiding your hair like normal, starting from your hairline working back. When you reach the crown of your head, stop adding more hair to the braid. Instead, finish the rest of the way down like a normal three-strand braid. When the braid is complete, tie all of your hair, braid included, into a low ponytail. Bonus points for covering your hair tie with a small section of hair.
3. The Tucked French Braid
Did you know that when you do a standard French braid, there is a little gap created between the braid and your scalp? This little gap is what makes it possible to tuck the braid inwards. This technique works best on shorter hair, where there is less to tuck up. Just plait hair as usual all the way to the ends. Then, take the little tail of your braid and fold it up and into that gap. Pin into place, and you just gave yourself an updo in, like, five minutes.
4. French-Braided Half Updo
For a simple beachy style, try this French braided half updo. It lets your long hair loose and keeps your hair out of your face. To get that wind-swept vibe, start off by scrunching in Bed Head By TIGI Queen Beach Salt Infused Texture Spray. Then, just French-braid downwards, transitioning into a three-strand braid below the crown of your head. Tug the links of your braid apart to loosen it up (a.k.a. “pancaking”) to create your wider, and fuller look.
5. French-Braided Box Braids
If you’re rocking box braids, you’ve got to try adding French plaits into the mix. We adore this half-up braided crown. To get the look, start off this style like a normal French braid crown, and once you’ve gone past your forehead, stop adding more sections into the braid and switch to a three-strand braid till you reach the back of your head. To complete, just secure with hairpins if needed.
6. Pierced Upside-Down French Braid
Who says you can’t pierce your hair? We’re a little obsessed with this too-cool-for-school look. Hair piercings are really just little earring hoops looped through a braid so they’re held in place and is a look that’s been gaining ground around the festival circuit. We love how sleek this whole style looks, so to get the same effect, start by blow-drying your hair straight. You can prep your hair with TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Shine Serum for even smoother, softer hair. Then follow this tutorial for creating an upside-down braid, adding in the piercings as you go!
7. Dueling Half-Up French Braid
Want a double-trouble hairstyle? Check out how cool the effect is when you pair up French braids parallel to each other. This style starts off like you are creating French braid pigtails, a look that’s huge on celebs, social media and other style stars. When you get to your ears, stop adding in hair and just braid all the way down. Copy on the other side to recreate this awesome look.
8. Extra-Voluminous French Braid
Want to instantly add volume to your braid? Make it a Dutch braid! This hairstyle is similar to a French braid, but instead of braiding overhand, you’ll braid under. Finish this style with a good dose of Bed Head By TIGI Flexi Head Strong Flexible Hold Hairspray, as it helps keep your braid in place but without the stiff feeling.