Dutch and French braiding are the two most popular techniques for making charismatic braids. The two techniques are actually very similar and differ in one detail — French goes over and Dutch goes under. If you have trouble remembering that, use a mnemonic device, such as that the Dutch live under the sea level and make their braids for mermaids. Continue reading to learn more about Dutch Braid vs French Braid.
Dutch Braid vs French Braid — Over vs Under
Both braiding styles use the same technique, which is to pick up three bundles or bunches of hair and alternate weaving the left and the right with the middle. Every time you weave a left bunch with the middle, you add more hair from the left-hand side of the head and vice versa.
The idea is to have your whole head of hair woven into braids but you can play around with the idea. For example, you can leave some loose strands flying around or you can tie up the braids’ ends instead of letting them hang. This all comes down to your confidence and practicality.
You can also do two pigtails, single braids or braided buns. Any way you choose will give you a sleek look fit for a fashion magazine cover. Try adding pins or flowers to the braids to really turn heads.
What you should avoid is mixing up the two styles. It’s the consistent, even look that makes Dutch and French braids turn heads but mixing them looks awkward and messy. Whichever you choose, stick to it and follow through.
Pros and Cons of each
The Dutch braiding style gives your hair more of a 3D effect, since the braid pops up. On the other hand, French braids are more flat but the braids appear much smoother.
Which one you go with depends on how you’re feeling at the moment but also what your hair is like. If you think you have flat hair, you can go with the Dutch braiding style. However, if you think your hair is too unruly, then it might be better served by the flat style.
Dutch Braid vs French Braid — Ideas For Both Styles
The default look for both Dutch and French braids is one or two braids going straight down the middle of your back. Once you become confident, you can play around with where your braids go and try some of these ideas with either Dutch or French style.
Do one braid in any style and then secure it with an elastic band. Do another braid in the same style and also secure it with a band. Gently pull on braid loops to plump them up.
Flip both braids and bring them to the top of your head aka. the crown. Use bobby pins to secure the ends of the braids and use a couple down their length. Pull out a few strands from the braids and let them loose around your face for a nonchalant “I just got out of bed and that’s how I normally look” appearance.
This one is similar to the crown braid and takes you all the way back to the time of Game of Thrones. Wait, dragons aren’t real? You can imagine you’re riding one with this kind of braid.
Make two pigtail braids, one on each side of your head. Take one of them over your head and pin it near your forehead. Take the other and fold it under your head, near the nape, and secure them both with bobby pins.
This one does a twist on the bog-standard braid formula. You will make one braid and secure it. Start braiding the second braid and finish it almost all the way. When you come to the end of it, start undoing the first braid and weave the strands from it into your second braid.
When you’re done, secure them both with an elastic band or a couple of sneaky bobby pins. Messy yet glamorous, just like the red carpet rules demand.
-Beginner’s Boho Braid
Create a side braid starting from your temple and secure it on the back of your head. Repeat two more times on your other temple and again secure the braid.
Now you’ve got three braids on the back of your head. Treat them like regular bunches of braiding hair and use your braiding mastery to make an exciting look that looks like you’re wearing a crown. You can also pull out a few strands of hair from the temple braid and put them over or under it.
This is a classical up-do braiding style that works wonders for formal occasions. Create two braids on the back of your head and pull them just a bit to give them volume. Put each braid into its own bun on the nape of your neck and secure to your head using bobby pins.
This one is like made for flirting. You can casually mess with your hair and give out small signals to everyone in the vicinity.
Make a side ponytail and secure it with an elastic hair band. Split that hair in two bunches and release it. You have two bunches but where’s the third? Bring over strands of hair from an area nearby the opposite braid and use it as a third bunch.
Keep doing this until you run of hair and don’t forget to keep cinching the hair. When you come to the bottom of the braid, use an elastic hair band to secure the braid and then and remove the top band.
You can also tug the braid a bit outward along its length to make it a bit more nonchalant. If you like using hair spray, go right ahead and you’ll get a wonderful texture.
Chignon means “nape of the neck” in French and that’s exactly where you’ll be putting your gorgeous, braided hair. Start off with three small bunches of hair from the side of your head. Braid them and leave the braid hanging.
Take two small bunches of hair right beneath the braid and twist them. So, no braiding on these ones, just a simple twist. Secure if need be and repeat the same on the other side of your head.
Bring over both braids and both hair twists together on the nape of your neck and secure them using a pony tail holder. Take the rest of your hair that’s hanging beneath your nape and flip it over the pony tail holder and into itself, creating a wonderful embellished chignon. Fasten with pins if need be.