View Full Version : Hints and tips for french/dutch braiding the back of your own head

April 20th, 2011, 03:34 AM
Ok, after a few disastrous attempts at french braiding when I was still at high school, I decided that I wasn't meant to do them and gave up. Being on here though made me envious of all your beautiful 'dos and this morning I decided to attempt a dutch braid.
Well I did it! Yeah! Only problem is that it's quite frankly pants. I started with the section right and the front and top of my head (where a fringe/bang would be) so why on earth did I end up with a braid that starts halfway down the back, like only an inch higher than where a standard braid would start??? :confused:
I've looked at the instructions for dutch braiding on the hair style dictionary but I'm left handed and found them tricky to use. I didn't expect my first go to be perfect and I'm amazed I got something which even remotely resembles a dutch braid but please help me!
What is everyone else doing to get their braids so neat? How are you all managing to braid all the way down the back of your heads? Please share so I can post a successful pic. Thank you :D

April 20th, 2011, 03:50 AM
Practice! Practice.. practice... try once or twice every day until you get the result you want.

What helped me immensely in understanding how to braid was http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=139

With a video, in the beginning do not look at the fingers, it will only make you confused. Just look at where the hair is going, over or under, twisting...

Looking at the fingersetting. Fingersetting is very personal and you need to find your own comfortable way to handle the strands. Although sometimes seeing a technique of handling the strands can make things easier, especially in the beginning.

So you first need to worry about getting the braid on its own, before you worry about your fingers. Using some thread for knitting to braid can help you see the braiding pattern.

It all sort of went from there, figuring out my own hand-holds was a catalyst for neater braids.

April 20th, 2011, 06:09 AM
I'm trying to learn the Dutch braid. I know how to French braid and when I try to Dutch braid, my fingers revert back to the motions of French braiding! Then I have to stop and think about the motions of Dutch braiding and it usually doesn't turn out to pretty. I'll keep trying until I get it!

April 20th, 2011, 06:23 AM
I have an issue with slip and my hands getting numb; if it weren't for that, I don't think it would be so horrid. I've had the same issue you do; just start way high up and often pick up sections, instead of taking big ones at a time; that seems to work a bit.

April 20th, 2011, 07:09 AM
Thanks Ladies,
I've just done my second attempt and it looks better already. The forum posts were very useful, as was the suggestion to take smaller sections of hair. Could it be that I will finally master dutch and french braiding before I hit 30?!

April 20th, 2011, 07:13 AM
Practice practice practice. Seriously, I spent probably a good 3-6 months french braiding my hair almost every morning, then taking it down and doing a normal braid instead because it looked terrible. One day, it clicked, and I got a nice, neat braid. I also found it easier, at first, to do when my hair was slightly damp as it made it a little easier to hold on to. Also, completely agreeing with Mirsha, don't look at the fingers when you watch tutorials of braiding! I watched a few really good videos and got completely confused because we held our hands completely differently, but once I just started looking at where the hair was going, and let my hands figure out how to get it there, my braids got a lot nicer.

If you're having problems with the braid looking like it's too far down the back of your head, I'd say you need to try to take smaller pieces in the beginning. Start at the very top of your head with only a very small chunk of hair, and add very small pieces as you go. You arms will get tired a lot faster doing this, but that's how you get the super neat braids that go all the way over your head.


April 20th, 2011, 07:39 AM
If you're interested in starting French braid down the back of your head, then this might help:

Instead of having to hold and manipulate all your hair when starting your french braid, part your hair horizontally - from left to right - at the top of your ear.

Detangle the section you just created. Then holding it up as if to ponytail it, clip it with a hair friendly barrette instead. You can use a ponytail holder but barrettes are more hair friendly.

Divide the hair in the barrette in 3 sections - detangle each.

If you want to French "Dutch" braid (which forms a ridge down your head), then take the left strand and cross it OVER the middle strand. Cross the Right strand OVER the middle strand.

Make sure all 3 sections and tangle free

Now, taking a small piece of hair that is NOT in the barrette, add it to the LEFT section of hair held in the barrett.

Now take the hair in the LEFT and cross it OVER the middle strands.

Take a small portion of hair that is not in the barrette and add it to the hair in the right side of the barrette. Check for any tangles after you add the hair.

Take the hair on the right and cross it OVER the top of the middle strands.

Continue until you reach the end of the braid and fasten off.

The French "English" braid is done in the same way.

Of course, if you're able to handle all your hair and section it properly for a French braid beginning at the crown, more power to you.

Just remember to be patient and practice, practice, practice! Happy braiding!

April 20th, 2011, 07:44 AM
Your pic is BEAUTIFUL. You see - this is why I want to master the braids! Thanks for the help. I never thought of clipping sections out of the way.

elbow chic
April 20th, 2011, 07:44 AM
Try attempting it before bed every night, esp. if you wear a sleep braid anyway. It doesn't matter if it looks bad when you're sleeping. One night you'll amaze yourself by making one that looks good!

And don't look in the mirror. I can't braid and look in the mirror. Confuses the fingers.

April 20th, 2011, 08:39 AM
Try attempting it before bed every night, esp. if you wear a sleep braid anyway. It doesn't matter if it looks bad when you're sleeping. One night you'll amaze yourself by making one that looks good!
I mastered the French/Dutch braids this way too! If you try them at night, you don't have to stress about getting your hair done because you have to be off. Also, if your fingers get tired, you can just divide all the hair that is left into three sections and continue your French braid as an English braid!

If you have trouble starting the braid right on top/at your hairline, you're probably using too large sections at the beginning of the braid. You need to start with really tiny strands and then add more and more hair, or else your braid will start further back. At least that was what happened with mine until I started the braids with smaller sections. Of course, sometimes I just want a really quick French braid and take quite large sections because it's faster ;)

April 20th, 2011, 08:44 AM
Concentrate!!! And practice.

April 20th, 2011, 02:06 PM
I'm definitely going to start using french/dutch braids as my sleeping styles to practice.
Thanks x