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How to French Braid Your Hair in 5 Easy Steps

Love the look of a French braid but not sure how create the hairstyle yourself


By Alison Caporimo and KristiKellogg

Love the look of a French braid but not sure how create the hairstyle yourself? We asked Nathaniel Hawkins, celebrity hairstylist at Tracey Mattingly, how to French braid our hair on our own. Mattingly (who has tamed the tresses of Uma Thurman, Jennifer Lopez, and Adele, to name a few) broke down the plaiting process in five easy steps.
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How to French Braid Your Hair

1. Start with Unwashed Hair

"To make sure that your hair has some texture and hold to it, avoid thick conditioners—especially those with silicone in them­—that make strands slippery," Hawkins says. If you must shampoo, apply a sea salt spray (Hawkins loves the KMS California Hairplay Sea Salt Spray) after towel-drying to give the hair extra weight and texture.
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2. Make Three Separate Sections

Separate hair at the crown of the head into three equal sections. Take the section of hair from the left and cross it over in between the right and center sections of hair, as you would with a standard braid.

3. Crisscross the Sections

Use your index fingers to pick up pieces of hair below the crown from just outside the plaited area along the way (try to pick up half-inch sections of hair to keep the braid balanced) and pull them into the braid.

4. Style in Some Loose Ends

Let layers in front of your ears fall out of the braid on their own, says Hawkins. To keep it from looking too messy, pin some of the longer layers into the base of the braid.

5. Secure It

Leave about two inches of hair unbraided and secure with an elastic. Shake the braid a bit from the tail to loosen the look and make your hair look thicker.


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Women's Magazine: How to French Braid Your Hair in 5 Easy Steps
How to French Braid Your Hair in 5 Easy Steps
Love the look of a French braid but not sure how create the hairstyle yourself
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