Braids, for both men and women, have been popular from times immemorial and have evolved in response to a society’s evolution. Over time, all the different styles found their way to the global scene and are now named after the country from where they originated. The European culture always had a special place for braids and hence many styles are named after European countries. The French braid is no exception. This braided hairstyle is so common all over the world due to its convenience and ease that it is widely used both for formal and informal occasions. It is a style that stays in place much longer in comparison to other hairstyles. Today, using French braids is almost a standard amongst school-going girls who have reasonably long hair. Medium length hair too, manage to look great with half French braids alongside a ponytail. The French braid is a hairstyle considered both trendy and elegant. Amongst the various styles of braiding hair, the French braid being more common is discussed in the following section, in further detail, with the most wide-spread of its variations.
Basic French Braid
- For the basic three strand braid, first separate a section of hair from the top of your head; this is the section with which you would start.
- Divide this section into three strands. Cross the right strand over the middle one and then the left one over the middle one.
- Pull the strands tight and add a little more of the loose hair from the right side to make the right strand thicker. Similarly, add some loose hair from the left side to the outermost strand on the left.
- Cross the right strand over the middle one and then the left one over the middle one like before. Again add some loose hair and repeat the braiding process till you reach near the end of the hair.
- Now secure the end with an elastic band.
The Five Strand Braid
- For this hairstyle, start by separating a section of hair from the rest at the place you would want to start.
- Divide the lock into three strands.
- Take the right strand and pass it over the middle one. Then take the left strand and pass this also over the one in the middle.
- Pull tight to secure the braid.
- Take some of the loose hair from the right side; this becomes the fourth strand.
- Pass this strand under the strand next to it and over the middle strand.
- Take some loose hair from the left side—this will be the fifth strand—and repeat the procedure.
- Continue doing this till you reach the end of your hair.
- Secure with a clip or an elastic band.
- To do a Herringbone braid, separate a section of hair on top of your head at the point where you would want to start the braid.
- Divide this section into two portions all the way down.
- Hold the hair in your left palm using the index finger to keep the sections separate.
- Take a little loose hair from the right side and join it with the left strand.
- Move the two strands to your right hand.
- Take a little loose hair from the left side and combine it with the right strand.
- Move the hair back to your left hand and repeat the procedure till there is no loose hair left.
- Now hold one strand in each hand.
- Take a little hair from the strand in your left hand and add it to the strand in your right hand.
- Do the same with the hair in your right hand.
- Continue till you have used up all the hair.
- Secure with a clip or a band.
The Flat Four Strand Braid
- Separate a section of hair at the place you would want to start braiding, and divide it into four strands.
- Start by holding the two strands on the left in your left hand, palm facing up, and the two on the right in your right hand, palm facing down.
- Cross the hands over so that the right hand strands go on top and the left strands below.
- Move the left middle strand over the right middle strand.
- Add a little of the loose hair on the left side to the strand on the extreme left.
- Do the same with a little loose hair from the right side and add it to the strand on the extreme right.
- Cross the hands over so that this time the left strands go over and the right under.
- Repeat this process till you have used up all the hair.
- Secure the ends of the hair with a clip.
The French braid is by itself a basic style from which countless variations can be done to suit your individual imagination and taste. This is a hairstyle which can be adopted for any kind of occasion. It also helps you to keep your hair in place when you are off for adventurous trekking, outdoor sports, aerobic session or a pleasure trip. The French braid hairstyle and its many variations are easy to style and look very stylish and comfortable. No wonder then that Lara Croft doesn’t go tomb raiding with any other hairstyle!