How To French Braid Your Own Hair: A Photo Step-By-Step Tutorial

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how to french braid your own hair

If you're looking to finally dedicate the time to learn how to French braid your own hair, we've compiled some of the best products that work best for managing your hair and making it easier to work with.

This step-by-step guide shows you just how to finally get the French braid down and help you if you get stuck. Now, grab your hair tie and a brush and let's get started!

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1. Brush it out.

If you're trying to get into the groove of French braiding your own hair, it's important to make sure you're tangle-free. I typically like to shower and wash my hair with the Green Coconut & Activated Charcoal shampoo and conditioner by SheaMoisture.

It can be tough if you're braiding your own hair when it's knotted because your fingers will get intertwined in your hair and it can be a little discouraging.

2. Section it off.

The key to getting a great French braid to look good is to make sure your hair is smooth and not full of knots. I rework this part of my hair several times until it's completely smooth.

Once I'm happy with how my hair feels, I'll section it off. This step is important because if your hair looks messy and ratted at the crown of your head, your braid will mimic that and look out of place.

3. Get ready to braid.

This part is the hardest part when learning how to French braid your own hair. Slide your index finger under a section of hair and add it into the strand you're working with. The braid will work just as if you're doing a regular braid, except you just add more hair in as you go.

It's easiest to not look in the mirror at my reflection but close my eyes instead so I can picture my hands sectioning off my hair behind my head. There are a ton of different distractions that always catch my eye when I'm trying to do a quick braid, and it never turns out right. Just close your eyes and focus on the task at hand. 

4. Brush as you go.

If your hair is on the longer side like mine, it's best to brush it with your fingers as you pull a strand of hair over one another. Take as long as you need to go down your head.

If you're on the hunt for something to make your hair smooth and easier to work with, the Amika Hair Primer has made all the difference when it comes to combating those pesky knots.

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5. Pull it tight.

As you're bringing one section of hair over the other, remember to keep a good grip on the hair. Another great tip is to make sure you're pulling your hair tight (not hurting yourself, of course) to help the braid keep its shape and not become loose throughout the day.

If you're braiding your hair wet, this will also give more the appearance of beachy waves when you let your hair down for the day after it has dried.

6. Take your time.

As you make your way down your head, be sure to swipe your hand over the back of your neck and make sure you're not missing any lingering hairs. When you have fly-aways like this, it's much easier to add them into the mix rather than going back in after-the-fact and weaving it into the braid.

7. Bring it around.

Finally, take the braid all the way down your back. It's easier to bring it around my shoulder and open my eyes to make it easier on my arms. Sometimes if you bring it around your shoulder too early, you will notice the braid shifting towards the side.

Just be sure you can't go any further down the braid before switching it over. This will give you a nice clean finish.

To finish off, I spray some hairspray in my hair to keep the baby hairs out of my face. This will also help hold your braid in place as you go about your day. The It's A 10 Miracle Finishing Spray works great and has a great price point.

If you're braiding your hair while it's wet, don't be afraid to throw in a great hair treatment to help give your hair a boost. The Moroccanoil Hair Treatment is incredible with your hair and helps fight frizz and boost shine.

RELATED: The 25 Best Leave-In Conditioners For Natural Hair

Shelby Slaughter’s favorite things include: Her dog, tacos, avoiding the gym, and everything “How To Get Away With Murder” and “This Is Us.” You can usually find her at a party near the food or obsessively Googling anything relating to Taylor Swift.

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