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View Full Version : What's the difference between an English Braid and an American Braid?



KittyLost
October 1st, 2010, 03:46 AM
The only difference I can see is that an English braid is braided right down to the bottom of the hair, well as far as it can go whilst an American braid is braided only halfway down the hair?

Doesn't this just make both of them an normal braid? Or are they different techniques? :confused:

I apologise in advance if this seems stupid but I've just figured out the difference between a dutch braid and french haha and I'm not very good with my braiding skills.

FrannyG
October 1st, 2010, 03:49 AM
I've never heard of an American braid in my 4+ years at LHC. I think we use the term "English braid" here referring to a "normal" braid to differentiate from a French braid, or what we here call a Dutch braid, which is really just an inverted French braid.

Maybe I'm wrong. :shrug:

KittyLost
October 1st, 2010, 04:13 AM
Thanks FrannyG that makes a lot of sense. I didn't think that it would just be an English braid to save confusion on the other braids there is.

hmmm
October 1st, 2010, 04:29 AM
Lol. As far as I know the French and Dutch braids have nothing to do with the countries either.

Carolyn
October 1st, 2010, 07:26 AM
I've never heard of an American braid in my 4+ years at LHC. I think we use the term "English braid" here referring to a "normal" braid to differentiate from a French braid, or what we here call a Dutch braid, which is really just an inverted French braid.

Maybe I'm wrong. :shrug:This is my understanding too. I can't recall seeing mention of an American braid ever, here at LHC or elsewhere. If I had, I would have tried to find out what it was. The term would have gotten my attention for sure. Where did you hear about an American braid?

mariika
October 1st, 2010, 09:03 AM
Even Google doesn't know what an American braid is.

misstwist
October 1st, 2010, 09:13 AM
See, this is why I use the terms over-hand braid, under-hand braid and in-braid.

KittyLost
October 1st, 2010, 10:12 AM
My friends at college were talking about an American braid, and I asked them to show me what one was and it just seemed to be a braid that only lasted halfway down the hair with the rest just unbraided, I'm not sure how they braided it (the technique) because I can't even braid myself!

I was still confused so I thought I'd ask here, maybe that is just how they differentiate between French, Dutch and English braids but instead of English they say American.

enfys
October 1st, 2010, 03:00 PM
I've never heard of an American braid, but I think someone should invent it. I'm thinking a 50 strand one; any volunteers? :p

Ironically, in England and the rest of the UK we'd say "plait" rather than "braid" anyway.

That's the three major types as I see them; plait, French and Dutch. I only consider it a braid if there are add-ins.

slz
October 1st, 2010, 03:08 PM
just to add to the confusion - what you call french braid in english, is called african braid in french :D .

Shellby
October 1st, 2010, 04:00 PM
I only knew them as regular, French or under braids. Hmmm who knew there were so many ways to say braid. I just know I love them all. :)

hmmm
October 2nd, 2010, 02:08 AM
just to add to the confusion - what you call french braid in english, is called african braid in french :D .

:lol: Hilarious!

Teazel
October 2nd, 2010, 02:54 AM
just to add to the confusion - what you call french braid in english, is called african braid in french :D .

I wonder what they call them in Africa? :lol:

KittyLost
October 2nd, 2010, 04:26 AM
I know it as Plait, French and Dutch too.

If a French braid is African is France then what is a Dutch braid in it's native country?

Heidi_234
October 2nd, 2010, 05:18 AM
I know it as Plait, French and Dutch too.

If a French braid is African is France then what is a Dutch braid in it's native country?
LOL this thread gets funnier by the page :rollin:

katha
October 2nd, 2010, 05:48 AM
Just to add to the confusion: Before hair forums, I knew a french braid as a "farmers braid".

mariika
October 2nd, 2010, 07:33 AM
just to add to the confusion - what you call french braid in english, is called african braid in french :D .
Now that's really confusing... :uhh: :trainwreck:

I wonder what they call them in Africa? :lol:
Me too : ))))))))))

lajsa
October 2nd, 2010, 10:34 AM
I'm from Sweden and where I live we call a french braid an "inbakad fläta" which is like... "baked-in braid" :p

getoffmyskittle
October 2nd, 2010, 10:36 AM
They have different accents.

;)

PrincessBob
October 2nd, 2010, 12:45 PM
I know that my Native American Pride Braids (often just called Pride Braids) are fat four-stranded pigtails, but that is the only time I hear American and Braid in the same hair style title.

FrizzFighter
October 2nd, 2010, 01:16 PM
When I was little my Mom often kept my hair in a long english braid. My little brother liked to pretend it was a tail. Or he would pretend it was a snake. When we would run around outside, he would chase after me and try to catch my "tail". Luckily I was fast!

Messyhair
October 2nd, 2010, 07:31 PM
This thread is hilarious as well as informative. haha! I'm waiting to see if someone knows what Dutch braids are called by the Dutch. :)

KittyLost
October 3rd, 2010, 09:06 AM
I tried google and a dutch braid is also known as an under braid or inside out braid.

Duchess of Erat
October 3rd, 2010, 09:19 AM
Before finding LHC and learning English names for the braids, I called a French braid an English braid (engelse vlecht), and an English braid just braid (vlecht). I don't remember ever hearing or using a specific name for a Dutch braid (I'd probably have called it an English braid and explained that it was inside out, or the wrong/other way 'round).

alishaxmarie
February 25th, 2014, 02:07 PM
I was just about to start a similar thread about the term "English" braid since the British didn't actually invent the plait (even the Elling Woman involves a plait) but bumping is good enough, right? Anyway, that bit about the french braid being called an "African braid" is interesting :) Any other braid trivia you guys know of?

tlover
February 25th, 2014, 02:20 PM
I'm from Sweden and where I live we call a french braid an "inbakad flšta" which is like... "baked-in braid" :p
And Dutch braid is "utbakad flšta" with is "baked-out braid".
English braid is "flšta" or "braid"

My friends from Sierra Leone and Liberia calls many small Dutch braids "condrules" (the Spelling might be wrong), but I have never seen anyone of them with french braids.

alishaxmarie
February 25th, 2014, 02:27 PM
My friends from Sierra Leone and Liberia calls many small Dutch braids "condrules" (the Spelling might be wrong), but I have never seen anyone of them with french braids.

Are you referring to "cornrows"? :) I'm not sure how your friends might have said that though Wikipedia says they are sometimes referred to as "canerows"...

tlover
February 25th, 2014, 02:37 PM
Are you referring to "cornrows"? :) I'm not sure how your friends might have said that though Wikipedia says they are sometimes referred to as "canerows"...
thats probebly the Spelling, I don't know if it's a dialect or something but it don't sound like it's spelled then.

Kina
February 25th, 2014, 03:28 PM
So, very tight french/dutch/english braids are called by African Americans in my area are called cornrows and within that genre we can introduce fruit (versus landmasses or cultures to the mix) pineapple braids :D

alishaxmarie
February 25th, 2014, 05:38 PM
So, very tight french/dutch/english braids are called by African Americans in my area are called cornrows and within that genre we can introduce fruit (versus landmasses or cultures to the mix) pineapple braids :D

Cornrows are on the scalp so regular plaits such as the "English braid" wouldn't be referred to as cornrows. I really want a word for french braids that just means it's on the scalp so that we can just call dutch braids the inverted version of whatever term we come up with. Surely there's a non cultural/geographic term already? I feel that the geographic names tend to be inaccurate since protective hairstyles such as braids/plaits could have easily been devised simultaneously around the globe.

Jumper
February 26th, 2014, 12:41 AM
I've never heard of an American braid, but I think someone should invent it. I'm thinking a 50 strand one; any volunteers? :p

Ironically, in England and the rest of the UK we'd say "plait" rather than "braid" anyway.

That's the three major types as I see them; plait, French and Dutch. I only consider it a braid if there are add-ins.


I had a friend who braided the hair from two people together so they were attached at the head in a giant French braid. Perhaps that can be an American braid?

Night_Kitten
February 26th, 2014, 04:24 AM
That sounds cool Jumper :D I've seen pics of a braid done from the combined hair of two people sitting side-by-side, but those were all english braids, never seen a french braid done like that...

SparrowWings
February 11th, 2016, 09:21 PM
Years ago, for a couple summers worth of camp, there was a fad where people wanted their braids to start from the nape and go off the forehead into the tail. I don't remember what they called them, probably a "reverse" or "upside down" French (or inside-out) braid. I can't say that's a style I ever understood, though. All it accomplished was requiring you to yank your forehead hair to force the tail of the braid back over your head and somehow pin or clip it out of the way. Otherwise, you have a braid perpetually in your face... Hair for lunch, anyone?!

chen bao jun
February 11th, 2016, 10:13 PM
I never heard of an American braid.

I also never heard the term 'English braid' until I was on LHC. What we call an English braid here, I just always heard referred to as a 'braid' or more often a 'plait.'

I had heard of a french braid, which I thought of as 'big inside out cornrow'--just one instead of many of little ones right next to the head. I thought of the little ones as 'cornrows' because I grew up in the US. My Caribbean relatives call them 'cane rows' and thought of them as being seriously lower class. When I was a little girl, me and my sister used to stare at the little African American girls sitting outside on the stoops (New York word for the steps outside of a house) braiding each others hair from the inside of the house. We weren't allowed out (in my mother's defence, the neighborhood actually was really dangerous). But anyway, my mother forbade us to cornrow/canerow our hair.

. We had to teach ourselves to cornrow behind her back on the sly--we wanted the cute designs in our hair, too, and the beads on the ends. I never did manage to learn how to get the beads on, but I got quite good at braiding. The class distinction was a very clear distinction made by everyone, not just my mother. Middle class girls had no more than two braids in their hair at a time, sometimes three (one in front and two in back), they had ribbons on the ends, not beads, and the braids were English braids, not cornrow/canerows. Middle class girls were also allowed to have twists, only I couldn't because my hair doesn't do that. It was only on LHC that I learned how to rope braid, so do something that looks like a twist, years too late to do me any good, unfortunately.

Later I learned my mother wore cornrows/canerows as a young girl and was trying to get away from any and every association with her childhood, which was poverty stricken after her father left them.

I didn't learn in France that french braids are called 'nattes africaines' in French because no one wore them there in the late 1970'ss. Neither white French people or the many many Antillaises (West Indians) or francophone africans. the West Indians and Africans all wore their natural hair, however (unheard of in the US at the time). No chemically or heat straightened hair. No afros. They did this no matter what their hair texture, ranging from the metisse girls with type 3 hair or even type 2, to the girls with the 4b and 4c hair and nobody was ashamed or self conscious. They made hairstyles like Gibson tucks and other styles that made use good of natural pouf and made it look attractive. I had never ever in my life seen a grown woman of African descent who didn't either straighten her hair or wear an afro (recently gone out style back then) and afros were much less common than the straigtened hair even in their hey day and it was so strange and so compelling to see women dressed in the height of style, very expensive designer clothes, hermes scarves, classy jewelry--with unstraightened hair. But again, no braids and no cornrows/cane rows, so I never heard the name for them.

I think at home in the islands like Martinique and Guadeloupe and in Africa they wore 'madwas' (a kind of cotton plaid headwrap) or other headwraps, but in Paris, they did not. The Martiniquans had different ways to do a head tie that actually send out signals, "i'm single' "i'm single and available', there is a whole vocabulary, but they don't do that anymore, they really only wear the native dress and headwarps for cultural things like dancing or to be colorful for the (many) tourists from mainland France, Martinique is actually part of France and so is Guadeloupe, just like Hawaii is part of the US.

there are actually serious technical terms for the different types of braids. Janet Stephens, that hair archaeologist who is always being linked on her who recreates ancient hairstyles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_HPjg-f8iQ

At 1:41 on this video you can see 'overdirected, asymetrically augmenting braids' , which means German braids that you only take hair from one side to create, I'm blanking out on the term we use for that. I guess plain German braids would be 'Overdirected augmenting braids' and French braids would be 'underdirected augmenting braids' and so forth and so on.

the hairstyle is rather fun, even with my short hair I can do something along these lines without a ornamentrix or whatever the Romans called their hair dressers helping me, I did it a couple of times but I left out the part where you sew the braids to your head and just used amish pins. I was a bit lacking in the back, my bun thing was a bit small but it was a great hairstyle for thick hair with all those droopy bits and the rows of braids--it was cool to see how when you did what she said, your hair fell into place looking like an ancient Roman statue (though I don't look Roman at all, of course and I never met an Italian with hair even remotely like mine.)

AJNinami
February 12th, 2016, 02:34 PM
At 1:41 on this video you can see 'overdirected, asymetrically augmenting braids' , which means German braids that you only take hair from one side to create, I'm blanking out on the term we use for that. I guess plain German braids would be 'Overdirected augmenting braids' and French braids would be 'underdirected augmenting braids' and so forth and so on.

Ive heard the term German braid before, but around my area everyone calls them "lace braids".

There should be a braid dictionary haha

chen bao jun
February 12th, 2016, 04:12 PM
oh yes, lace braid is what we call that overdirected, asymetrically augmenting braid

lapushka
February 12th, 2016, 04:14 PM
Ive heard the term German braid before, but around my area everyone calls them "lace braids".

There should be a braid dictionary haha

ladollyvita33 or ladollyvita333, one of those channels on YT has a total braid-dictionary on there, in video style. Quite impressive.

AJNinami
February 12th, 2016, 05:12 PM
ladollyvita33 or ladollyvita333, one of those channels on YT has a total braid-dictionary on there, in video style. Quite impressive.

Is this the video you meant? I watched it and found it very interesting. Thank You!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2ifoTyHoA4