How To Do A Side French Braid: Easy Tutorial With Pictures

Rock this elegant hairdo at your next outing with these easy-to-follow steps.

By Arshiya SyedaArshiya Syeda  • 

Thanks to the ever-increasing popularity of iconic characters like the Black Widow, Queen Elsa, and Katniss Everdeen, the French braid is back in its complete glory with a twist. If you want to get on the trend wagon but do not know how to do a side French braid, stick around! Whether building a snowman or fighting Thanos, the side French braid has your back! It looks chic and elegant and works well for any event or occasion. And you can play around with this side braid to add in your personal touch. You can also pair it with other hairstyles like low buns or updos. The side French braid is very easy to learn and works with all attires. So, do believe us; try it out for yourself. You will be pleasantly surprised at how well a side braid works with a gown and a business suit! So, keep reading to learn how to achieve a side French braid easily.

Before You Get Started
  • A French braid needs a bit of practice. You must braid it with consistent tension. It cannot be too tight, nor can it be so loose that it starts falling apart.
  • The French braid will hold well on day-old hair.
  • While braiding your hair, keep your hands closer to the scalp to avoid bulges and get uniform and tight plaits.
  • Use a setting spray to ensure your braid stays put.
Fun Fact
The origin of the French braiding technique is unknown. Many claim that it was created in Greece or Africa. In fact, the Tassili n’Ajjer mountain range in Algeria, Africa, has rock art displaying the French braid technique that dates back nearly 6000 years ago.

How To Do A Side French Braid

What You Need

  • Hair brush
  • Texturizing spray
  • Hair elastics

How To Style

1. Brush your hair: Brush out all the knots and tangles from your hair. This will make it easier for you to pick up small sections of hair to add into your braid.

2. Spritz on texturizing spray: Texturizing spray will give your hair some hold and prevent your braid from loosening and your hair from slipping out of it through the day.

3. Part your hair on one side: Part your hair deeply on one side. Section away and tuck in your bangs behind the ear that is on the opposite side. This will keep your bangs out of the way when you’re braiding your hair.

4. Pick up a section of hair and divide it into 3 sections: Pick up a section of hair from right next to the parting and divide it into three equal sections for your braid.

5. Do one stitch of braiding: Start off by doing just one stitch of a simple braid by alternately flipping the back strand over the middle strand and then the front strand over the middle strand.

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6. Add more hair to the back strand: Now, to start French braiding, pick up a small section of hair from the crown of your head and add it to the back strand of your braid before flipping it over the middle strand.

7. Add more hair to the front strand: Now, pick up a thin section of hair from near your forehead and add it to the front section of your braid before flipping it over the middle section.

8. Continue French braiding: Keep repeating steps 6 and 7 alternately while following your hairline to continue your French braid down the side of your head.

9. Start adding hair from the back of your head: As you continue French braiding down the side of your head, you will have to start adding hair from the very back of your head to keep going.

10. All your hair will now be in 3 neat sections: Once your French braid has gone past your ear, you will run out of hair to add to it and your hair will be neatly divided into three equal sections. It’s going to be smooth sailing from here.

11. Simply braid the rest of the way down: Now all you have to do is simple braid the rest of the way down. Easy peasy!

12. Pancake your braid: Tug apart and loosen your braid from the center to give it more volume and make it look wider. This will lend a more softer and romantic look to your hairdo.

Stylecraze Says
After pancaking the braid, spritz some hairspray on it to prevent it from loosening and avoid flyaways. You can also apply mousse before braiding your hair for a stronger hold.

13. Secure the ends: Just tie up the ends with thin clear hair elastic or one that matches the color of your hair.

14. Conceal the hair elastic: Pick up a thin section of hair from the tail of your braid and wrap it around the hair elastic to hide it from view. Leave the very end of this section out and pull it downward.

15. Tie the ends up with another hair elastic: Tie another hair elastic right under the wrapped section of your hair to secure it in place. Push the hair elastic further up and under this wrapped hair to conceal it completely.

And voila! You’re done! Now, French braiding is one of those things that take a bit of practice to really get the hang of. But once you get the knack, you’ll be French braiding like a pro within minutes! That’s when you can try out a bunch of different hairstyles that involve a side French braid. Here are just a few to get you started!

7 Stunning Side French Braid Hairstyles

1. Puffy Side French Braid

Puffy Side French Braid

Shutterstock

A tight side French braid looks neat, but how about a puffy one? This bridal hairstyle incorporates the side French braid in a loose, voluminous look. It gives an elegant fullness to your hair, making it perfect for a bride’s big day.

2. French Braided Ponytail

French Braided Ponytail

Shutterstock

Here’s a style that takes the innocent appeal of the French braid and flips it 180 for an intensely edgy look. French braids of different sizes all over the scalp, almost like uneven cornrows, are woven till the back of the head and secured into a ponytail with multiple braids.

3. Combo Side French Braid

Once you’ve perfected the art of French braiding, you can combine it with pretty much any other braiding style and create a hairdo uniquely your own! You could, for instance, do one small simple braid and incorporate it into your side French braid to create this gorgeous combo braid that’s perfect for school or work!

4. Side French Braid Bun

Instead of just going down one side with your French braid, you can cross it over to the other side (like the famous Katniss braid). Wrap the end of this braid in a bun and accessorize it with a cute little bow to create a more formal updo.

5. Side French Braid Accent

An accent braid is a cute way to add a bit of oomph to the hair down look. This sweet side French braid accent adds a delicate feminine vibe to your hair look. It also takes about 3 minutes to do and looks great on straight, wavy and curly hair!

7. Inverted Side French Braid

The inverted side French braid (or the Dutch braid, as it is also known) has been made famous in recent times thanks to Frozen’s Queen Elsa. This gorgeous braid does look something that is fit to be sported by royalty and can be taken to another level by being done on icy gray-colored hair.

Infographic: French Braiding Tips

French braids are such a popular hairstyle because of their versatility and sophisticated looks. Although practice is the best way to perfect a technique, some quick tips are always helpful.

Check out the infographic below for some tips on making French braids.

french braiding tips [infographic]

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

French braiding can take a little time to master, but it is totally worth the effort. For starters, it can be worn with any outfit. It also has a sophisticated and beautiful appearance that is appropriate for any event or occasion. You can also experiment with this side braid to add your own unique touch and wear it with different hairstyles, such as low buns or updos. Once you know how to do a French braid, try out some of the cool hairstyles shared on this post and look perfectly Parisian.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a French braid damage hair?

A french braid done loosely does not damage the hair, but if it’s tightly worn, then it may cause itching and pull on your hair shafts, resulting in damage to the scalp or leading to hair loss.

How long should I leave French braids in?

You can leave French braids in for 3 to 4 days, but the hair shafts may become loose and come out of the braid if they are not tightly braided.

Is it OK to French braid wet hair?

Braiding wet hair may cause hair breakage as wet hair extends more than dry hair. However, as wet hair makes braiding easier, you can wait for the hair to dry a little bit and use moderate tension while making your French braid.

What is the difference between French braids and Dutch braids?

Dutch braids are often referred to as reverse French braids. While making French braids, you cross the sections of hair over one another whereas while making Dutch braids, you need to cross the sections from underneath.


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