Braid School: The Dutch Braid

Monday, June 1, 2015
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The braid craze continues! So many gorgeous styles on this site and countless others incorporate braided elements. To my dismay, far too many people tell me that they simply can not braid.

Well... to be fair, most people can create a basic 3-strand braid. And there are plenty of options with just this simple skill. For example, here are 3 half-up hairstyles, braided crown, and an updo I designed using the old standby.

Still, why settle for one technique when you can have an arsenal of plaits in your toolbox? In this post, I'm going to teach you how to create a Dutch braid, also referred to as an inverse French braid or underhand French braid. Why? Because these pretty plaits are trending hard right now.

Dutch braids are very similar to French braids in that you incorporate hair as you work, making them ideal for weaving in shorter layers. The only difference is that instead of folding strands over as you would while French braiding, you will be folding strands under to create a braid that sits on top with nicely defined curved edges. I break it down with easy-to-follow images and a demo created with yarn to help make it the steps crystal clear.

It is much easier to braid hair that is a little dirty. Silky soft hair is lovely but it slips right out of fingers and won't hold any style well. So, if you are squeaky clean, you'll need to add some texturizing product for a little grip. A texturizing spray or paste, pomade, styling wax, or even dry shampoo will do the trick nicely.

How to Dutch Braid

For this tutorial, you will need:
texturizing product (optional for dirty hair, mandatory for clean hair)
hair elastic band

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1. Start by taking a section of hair on the top at the front of your head. If you don't have fringe like I do, this section will be at your forehead. Divide it into three equal sections.

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2. Fold one of the outer strands under the center strand. In this picture, I've folded the strand on the left under the center. Now that left strand becomes the center strand.

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3. Fold the strand on the other side (right outer strand in this picture) under the center strand.

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4. Now pick up a small amount of hair from the left side and add it to the left strand. As you can see, I pick up sections adjacent to the original section at a diagonal down.

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5. Cross the strand along with the hair you added to it under the center strand.

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6. Repeat on the other side: add a little hair to the strand on the right side and fold it under the center strand.

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7. Continue braiding like this, incorporating small sections of hair to the outer strands and crossing them under the center strand, alternating sides. Repeat until you've incorporated all of your hair.

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8. You can now tie your ends off into a low ponytail at your nape or continue braiding the 3 strands into a basic braid.

Got it? If not, here's another way to see it. The colored yarns represent the initial 3 strands and the white yarns represent the hair that is incorporated as you work.

PicMonkey Collage

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9. Optional: One reason that this braid is so popular right now is that you can make it look more voluminous and messy chic by gently pulling it wider. how-to-dutch-braid (14 of 33) how-to-dutch-braid (13 of 33)

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0 Responses

  1. […] the hair under as you work. If you need more instruction on how to create a Dutch braid, visit this post. Once you have incorporated all of the hair on that side, continue braiding the ends with a basic […]

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