A Dutch braid is quite simple and done almost exactly like the French braid. There’s one big distinction — where the French braid takes bunches of hair that go over one another, the Dutch braid crosses them under. The key to professional Dutch braiding is in dexterity and patience, so practice as much as you can and wherever you can. If you don’t have anything else, practice on any nearby tassels.
How to Dutch Braid Your Own Hair — Prepping The Hair
The ideal hair for Dutch braiding is dry and clean. You should have brushed it beforehand to get rid of all the tangles and knotting. You can do all of the following on wet hair too and just wait until you release the braid and see it in all its glory.
A hair brush and an elastic hair band are a must for Dutch braiding. First, go with your fingers across your head and feel the shape of your skull. Next, try grabbing a bunch of hair that grows together and singling it out from the rest. That’s your first bunch you’ll be using in the braid. Repeat this two more times and you’ve got three bunches, which are enough for a Dutch braid.
You should start off with hair that’s growing out of the center of your head. As you gain experience, you will find it easier and easier to bring over hair from other places, such as neck and behind the ears. For now, take it slow, use small bunches you can easily hold and put two in one hand the third in the other.
Working The Pattern
This part can be tricky if you’ve only started braiding because it can be disorienting. The three bunches you’re holding can be described as:
Take the right bunch under the center one and over the left one. Now take the left bunch and guide it under the right bunch and over the center one. Stop and marvel at your work because you’re doing great. It’s even easier once you get the pattern etched into your muscle memory.
You should now weave left with middle and then right with middle bunches and repeat it. Add another bunch of hair from a different place on the head but weave it underneath the nearest bunch, rather than over it.
The next step is to get comfortable holding all three bunches in one hand. This frees your other hand so it can bring over more hair from different places we mentioned above. Be aware that practicing braiding for a long time can easily lead to hand and arm cramps. Take a break, keep going and hold the hair in whatever position doesn’t fatigue you.
Small bunches give the braid a neat, elegant look from all perspectives. In any case, keep moving down through the hair bunches and keep making the braid. You should finish by tying the braid with an elastic hair band, though you shouldn’t use rubber bands. They tend to fray and mess up the hair they’re on when you take them off.
Once you’re ready to undo the braid, take off the elastic hair band and gently pull the sections of the braid(s). The hair will come undone on its own in a short while but don’t comb it just yet or it will tangle up and knot.
Tidying Up The Braids
You got the general shape down pat but your Dutch braid probably looks messy. You should tidy up the braids by putting your hands as close to the scalp as possible. Give as little leeway to hair as you can.
Cinch the hair as you add it but don’t pull or tear it. Be especially careful around the neck, since you can cause yourself actual neck pain.
Proper Braid Technique
When you become an expert at Dutch braiding, you’ll have lightning fast fingers. The trick is to use barely any force and work with small bunches.
Once you get comfortable with them, move on to larger bunches.
You can also tilt your head to the side and forward to make it easier to keep your hands close to the skull. The most common problem newbies have with Dutch braiding is hair bunching up at the nape of the neck. The solution is the same — keep your hands close to your scalp.
How To Tame Unruly Hair
If you’ve got silky smooth hair, it feels great to play with but it can cause you problems when being Dutch braided. Simply put, such hair slips out of your grip.
In this case, make an exception to the dry hair rule and damp your hair a little bit. You can spray the hair with water or dab it with a wet towel. As long as the hair has some weight to it, you can do a Dutch braid with it.
How to Dutch Braid Your Own Hair — Closing Words Of Advice
The pattern we used here is just the standard way a Dutch braid is done. Once you become a master of Dutch braiding, you can include a side bunch right at the start. You’ll know you’ve got the magic when your fingers start moving faster than the eye can see and you don’t even think about it.
You can recline or rest your body, head and arms on a sofa or a chair to avoid getting too tired. If your hair falls besides you or is resting on your body, that’s even better. Go for whatever option causes you the least fatigue. You should be able to make a Dutch braid with your eyes closed.
Always even out and separate the bunch completely when taking it from the scalp. The ideal bunch is the one where all of its hair ends up in a braid, which gives a beautiful, primp look.
Short hair sections can be bent and twisted to fit the braid. You can tie off any loose hair that’s bothering you while you’re working on the rest of your scalp.
Finally, pull some of your braids a bit apart if you see they lack volume. This is called “pancaking” and can give a whole new level of symmetry and grace to your gorgeous Dutch braids.
For more information you can check EverydayHairInspiration Youtube channel on How to Dutch Braid Your Own Hair