Schwarzkopf Professional
Trendlooks 2016

French Plaits: Instructions and Styles

French plaits
The model is wearing a very classy French plait. When pulled back from the sides to the back the plaits give a very sophisticated look
© Getty Images

The French plait is a classic, which is constantly being reinvented. Although this favourite style takes a bit of practice, the results are definitely worth it. We will show, step by step, how to best do it and how varied it can be

  • We love the French plait in all its lengths and variations. Since it is so unique as it may look, it can be woven and styled. The French plait put together as a plaited strand is by far the best known method, but it can also be divided, for example, for a very eye-catching effect (see earlier photo).

  • French Plait: Tips for this Classic

  • 1. Work some mousse into the hair in order to have some body. Next, pull back the hair, and take a section from the top and divide it into three equal parts.

    2. Weave the right-hand strand over the middle strand, so the right-hand strand now is in the middle.

    3. Weave the left strand over the middle strand, so the left-hand strand is now in the middle. This is the base for the French plait.

    4. Now take some hair from the right side, weave it with the right strand, and braid it again over the middle strand, so that this hair from the right strand is now in the middle.

    5. Take some hair from the left side, weave it with the left strand, and braid it again over the middle strand, so that this hair from the left strand is now in the middle.

    6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until there is no more hair length remaining, and braid the rest normally to the tip.

    7. Finally, set it all in place with hairspray for an optimal hold.

  • French Plait: Wonderfully Different

    Once you have understood the basics and principle behind the classic French plait, you are ready to try out different variations. Our gallery illustrates five different ways of doing a French plait.

  • Gallery: French Plait

    French Plait: The Classic

    © Getty Images  

    French Plait: The Classic

    The classic is not all that simple, for the French plait attracts attention and always produces a particular effect. You will find step-by-step instructions earlier in this text

    French Plait: Accenting

    © Getty Images  

    French Plait: Accenting

    You can jazz up almost any hairstyle with a French plait. In this case, only a small strand was pulled back from the temple into a ponytail. The small accents created by the plaited insets lend this style a playful look

    French Plait: Wild Plaiting

    © Getty Images  

    French Plait: Wild Plaiting

    Plaiting is tame you say? Not so! Take the top hair aside and weave it into a French plait along the neck. Then backcomb the top hair and let it lie to the side over the weaving

    French Plait: The High-Flyer

    © Getty Images  

    French Plait: The High-Flyer

    This variation is simply a slight change from the classic French plait. The plait is woven much more tightly, so that it is almost stiff and rests immobile over the shoulder. As well, plaiting begins right from the hairline

    French Plait: Wraparound Design

    © Getty Images  

    French Plait: Wraparound Design

    The French plait can be a true work of art when it is pinned onto the back of the head. Braid a strand on each side and then pull towards the back and secure the hairstyle with hair pins and hairspray