20 FRENCH BRAID HAIRSTYLES

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The French braid, or French plait, is an aesthetically gorgeous braid style that tons of women have fallen in love with! Making a French braid requires that you use the three-strand technique to section and plait the hair close to the scalp in such a way that the sections of hair appear to be overlapping each other. It’s not as complex as it sounds and, when done correctly, this specialized technique yields a braid that resembles a lovely herringbone pattern in the hair. You’ll most often see French braids running from the hairline back to the nape of the neck, in a similar fashion to straight-back cornrows. However, they can also be transformed into stylish ponytails and asymmetrical half-up, half-down styles. 

French braids are timeless—their beauty and practicality make them a popular choice for formal events and everyday wear. They can be dressed up or down and look great on just about anyone. Whether you’re looking for a new way to style your already-perfect French braid, or you’re just starting out and need some guidance on how to slay the look, we’ve got you covered! Check out these 20 French braid hairstyles that are sure to make you stand out from the crowd.

1. French Braids for Men

French Braids for Men

French braids for guys are a game changer. They’re quick, neat, and you won’t have to sit forever to get them done. They usually take only an hour or so to make. For men, French braids are customarily braided into jumbo sizes as one or more braids to maintain that masculine flair. Want more styles like this? Check out our braid hairstyles for men article.

2. Pigtail French Braids

Pigtail French Braids
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Pigtail braids, also called twin tail braids, is a style that features two braids—one on each side of the head. Pigtail French braids are made by parting the hair down the middle of the scalp into symmetrical left and right sections, then braiding each section down into a French braid. Pigtail braids are widely considered to be a hairstyle for young kids, but adults have been rocking them for just as long!

3. Two French Braids

Two French Braids
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This style showcasing two French braids is likely the most common French braid style you’ll see. This hairstyle is similar to pigtail braids, with the difference being that any braiding technique besides French braids can be used to make pigtail braids as well. Moreover, your two French braids, unlike the pigtail braids, don’t have to be left flowing straight down behind you. You can get creative by looping your French braids, tying them together at the ends, or possibly curling the ends. Best of all, this style is one of the quickest and easiest to execute on this list.

4. French Braid Into a Ponytail

French Braid Into a Ponytail
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Ponytails are sophisticated, practical, and a great way to keep your hair out of your face. You can transition your French braids flawlessly into a ponytail by simply French braiding your hair from front to back, then securing the rest of the hair at the nape of the neck before braiding it into a single ponytail braid.

5. French Braids on Black Hair

French Braids on Black Hair
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Black hair isn’t only enchanting—the sheer darkness of the color has facial-highlighting properties. In other words, ladies love black hair because it makes prominent features of the face pop. Of course, in order to make black French braids you must either be naturally blessed with black hair or use hair dye (semi-permanent dye recommended) to color your hair black.

6. Side French Braid

Side French Braid
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The side French braid is a graceful hairstyle that’s created by French braiding the hair to just one side of the head so as to let the braid rest on the shoulder. This style looks amazing with just one French braid or with multiple French braids all going the same way. It’s just as simple to make as the others but it’s best executed on long hair or with hair extensions to really nail the look!

7. French Braids for Short Hair

French Braids for Short Hair
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There’s still hope for bob-enthusiasts, though! People with shoulder-length hair can also confidently model French braids. Short hair types should ensure that they make their French braids tight and firmly secure them so that hairs don’t fly loose easily.

8. Fishtail French Braids

Fishtail French Braids
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Fishtail French braids are absolutely charming as the differing braiding techniques create a dazzling effect when combined. The hair is first braided down the head as French braids, after which the remaining length of the hair is braided into a fishtail. A fishtail braid is made by dividing the hair in half so that you have two large strands, then repeatedly sectioning off smaller strands and crossing them in between the large ones. Fishtail braids look complicated but are fairly easy once you get the hang of it! 

9. French Braids With Weave

French Braids With Weave
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To achieve French braids with weave, you have a few options. You can either French braid the front of your hair and sew in a weave at the back, or you can install a lace front wig and plait the front into French braids. This is a beautiful example of a half-up, half-down French braid hairstyle that’s accessible to both long- and short-hair lovers.

10. Half-Up, Half-Down French Braids

Half Up Half Down French Braids
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This one is a popular modern style for young and mature women. Half-up, half-down French braids are made by parting the hair horizontally along the back or crown of the head to create two sections: an upper and a lower section. The upper section, or the section to the front, is plaited into a number of French braids while the lower section is left to fall loosely.

11. French Braid Buns

French Braid Buns
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Buns are a flattering updo that keep hair out of your face and off of your back. French braid buns are made by French plaiting the hair up as high or as low on the head as you desire your buns to sit. Lastly, wrap your French braids into buns using a hair donut with an elastic band or bobby pins.

12. French Twist Hairstyles

French Twist Hairstyles
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The French twist is another technique for styling updo hairstyles. To get the perfect French twist, start by gathering all your hair to one side of the head, then placing a few hair pins in the middle of the head in order to hold all the hair to that one side. Then, starting with the ends, begin to roll up your hair towards the middle of your head—in the opposite direction in which the hair is swept. If done correctly, you’ll end up with a vertical roll in the middle of the head. Lastly, tuck the remaining hair inside the top and bottom openings of the formed roll and use bobby pins to secure the roll along the sides. The longer your hair or weave, the bigger and more pronounced your twist will be!

13. Reverse French Braids

Reverse French Braids
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Reverse French braids are also known as Dutch braids. They’re called Reverse French braids because unlike French braids which involve lapping the strands over each other to get that signature look, Dutch braids lap the strands under each other. Stand out from the crowd by throwing this twist on the standard French braid.

14. French Braids With Extensions

French Braids With Extensions
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If you have really short hair but you want your French braids to be super long, you’re not alone or out of luck! Simply add braiding hair to your braids until they reach your desired length. When using extensions, French braids are braided tightly to secure them with the natural hair. However, the end result is usually very long and beautiful. This style looks best when you use extensions that compliment your natural hair color.

15. French Braids for Kids

French Braids for Kids
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French braids are a protective hairstyle that’s suitable for kids. French braids look great at school, parties and other occasions, and can also be worn casually. To add more color and sparkle, your child’s French braids can be adorned with various hair accessories like hair clips, beads, charms and cuffs.

16. French and Dutch Braids

French and Dutch Braids
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The hairstyle calls for a combination of both French and Dutch braid types. Dutch braids can be made at the sides of the head with French braids at the center, or you can create your own pattern with a mix of French and Dutch braiding techniques. This hairstyle is an out-of-the-box and trendy way to mix two different braid styles together!

17. French Braid Updo

French Braid Updo
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Do you absolutely love distinguished and regal hairstyles? Then a French braid updo is the perfect hairstyle for you! Added bonus: unwanted hair stays off your back and face. French braid updos exude class and can be worn flawlessly to any formal occasion. They’re also an exceptional hairstyle choice for any soon-to-be bride! Lace your updo with beads, cuffs, and small clips. 

18. French Braid Crown

French Braid Crown
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Crown French braids, also called halo braids, are simply French braids plaited around the head in the form of a crown. “Crown braids” isn’t just a name—they make you look like royalty and they look captivating on adults and kids. This style is simple, pleasing, and can be fairly quick to make.

19. French Braided Locs

French Braided Locs
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French braided locs are French braids that are made on natural dreadlocks. Braiding your locs is an easy way to style them and switch up your look!

20. Curly Hair French Braids

Curly Hair French Braids
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French braids are not only for straight hair types—they look dashing on curly hair too! French braids for curly hair can be braided down to the nape of the neck and secured, leaving the hair to form a beautiful curly afro at the back. Otherwise, the hair can just as well be braided completely to the ends.

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