How To Plait Hair: 3 Different Styles

Plaiting a girl’s hair is not only a dad’s worst nightmare but a skill that women everywhere work hard to achieve. Depending on your hair type and length it can get even more complicated. Trying to do your own hair without eyes at the back of your head makes plaiting even more challenging. The only thing you can do is practice, practice, practice!

I love a hair plait as it can be so chic, versatile and it has really come back into fashion, especially the last couple of years. With us hopefuls already looking forward to the Summer months, this is also a really popular hairstyle to learn in time for festivals, beach days or just a casual trip into the city. Below I’m going to try to keep it simple and will show you 3easy and different ways that you can plait your hair.

No.1) The Classic Plait

This is the premise of all plaits and an easy one to learn. If you already know how to do this doing the next two hairstyles will be a lot easier. If not then no need to worry; I’ve got you covered.

Starting at the base of your neck split your hair into three parts. Take the left strand and cross it over the middle strand and pull taut to the left. You now have a new middle strand. Next pull the new middle strand under the right strand, pulling taut to the right. Then repeat these two steps all the way down the hair. You are simply taking the the middle strand and pulling it under the left strand, then middle under the right. It’s that simple! Finish by tying with a hair elastic or a hairband.

No.2) The French Plait

This one gets a bit more complicated but only slightly contrary to what people believe. The tricky part is holding your hands on your own head, as they get tired and knowing where to place your fingers as you pull over the strands. If you are a beginner you can make it easier by placing a mirror both in front and behind you, so that you can see the back of your head. Alternatively practice on someone else first to get the method correct. Essentially the French Plait is the same as a classic one, just beginning higher up on your head.

Starting at the top of your hair line, take a thin portion of the middle section of your hair and split it into three strands. Take the left strand and pull it over the middle (holding it taut as you pull out the middle strand), this now becomes the left strand.

Then take the new middle strand pulling it under the right. Again as you pull out the right strand hold it taut, as it becomes the new middle strand.

To create the French Plait, you now need to add another layer of hair from below the strand, adding more as you plait your whole hair. To do this pick up some hair directly below the left strand and add it to the left bundle of hair you are currently holding. Next cross over this now thicker left strand to the middle. As you pull the original middle strand to the left, also take a layer of hair from underneath it and add it to the bundle of hair in that section. Remember to hold the hair taut.

Then add some more hair below the right strand to the section, as you cross this over to become your middle. As you pull the middle strand out, again add hair from underneath to the bundle. As you hold this out taut, it will now become your right strand. Repeat these instructions all the way down your hair until you plait as much as possible.

Remember that this is the same method as a normal plait, as the left and right strands cross over the middle. You are simply adding more hair to each bundle as you plait.

No.3) The Dutch Braid

This is very popular and again easy when you know how. The only difference between this and a French Plait is that the plait appears to be ‘over‘ rather than ‘under’ the hair. This is exactly the difference and the key to creating this look.

Begin again by splitting your hair at the crown of your head, close to your hairline, into three strands. This time, rather than the left strand going over the middle, you tuck it underneath the middle strand instead. Pulling taut again as you cross. Then take the right section and pull it under the middle keeping it tight. When doing a Dutch Braid I like to repeat these steps once again, before adding hair from below as it makes it easier to secure the plait.

Now as you continue to plait and add the below lengths of your hair to each section, just make sure that the left and right strands are always pulled under the middle strand. In other worlds, to get the look that the plait is raised off your head, the middle strand will always be placed over the left and right pieces. Once finished plaiting to the end of your hair, secure with a hair tie.

It takes a while to get the hair plaited tight enough to not fall out and your arms may get tired as you try to get the logistics of doing this. To get a thicker or thinner plait, you simply need to add a thinner section to the bundle, or a thicker section of hair to the bundle. With plaits, practice makes perfect and bobby pins are great to secure any loose fly away hair. You can also add some hairspray for the hair to stay neat and secure all day. Before you know it, you will be able to recreate plaits just as impressive as Daenerys’ Targaryen!

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