Day 21: Two French Braids {30 Days, 30 Ways}

Day Twenty-One: Two French Braids
Skill To Learn: Parting and Left/Right Symmetrical Braiding
Difficulty: Moderate With A Practice Run
Time Commitment: 20 Minutes
What You Need: Gel, Comb, 2-4 Clear Elastics

For Day Twenty-One of 30 Days, 30 Ways, let’s attempt to do the French Braid that you learned on Day Eight on two sides with a [blind] center part.   When we initially learned french braiding,  there was the simplifying option of anchoring your starter hair with an elastic.  The tutorials pictured here will not incorporate that, but you can still use that option if it will help you pull the style together until you get more familiar with it.  I am going to show you the basic double braid, but then I will show you some fun alternatives as well!  (Note: the actual braiding is shown in a little more detail in the pictures of the alternate styling than in the basic style)

Begin with your hair damp and lightly gelled from end to root so that it will go (and stay) where you put it.  Once you have parted your hair from the top center back to the nape of your neck, throw one side up with an elastic to keep it out of your way.  Comb the hair from the other side perpendicular to the part (toward your ear) and section out the starting triangle wherever you want to begin.  You will notice that on my hair, above, I started pretty far back (with a parting sliced from the back crown to the ear) so my braid begins lower on my head, but on Emilie’s hair below, I started with a triangle sliced from her bang section, so her braid begins higher and extends all the way down.  Separate your starter section into three strands and begin braiding them, right to the center, left to the center, gradually incorporating horizontal slices of hair with each rotation of the braid.  Use your fingers to section the hair and smooth it into the braid, keeping your tension even.  Don’t feel rushed; you can always pause to comb out some wrinkles or tighten everything up before you procede further!  As you work below your earline, you will want to look down to keep the hair at your nape pulled tautly into the braid, otherwise the bottom will end up looser than you intended.  Remember to braid to the natural curve of your head.  When you reach the bottom, you can tie it off there and leave your ends long or braid out to the length of your hair.  With mine (above), I braided out to the end, but because my hair is relatively short, the ends wanted to curl up and out and I looked like Pippy Longstocking!  So I stuck a bobby pin through each elastic (on the outside of the braid facing down) and then turned the ends underneath and tucked them into the hidden spot under the braid, using the bobby to anchor to the root hairs.  If your hair is especially long, you can even attach the ends of the braids together and tie them with a ribbon.  It’s very Pollyanna 😉

  

 So here is an alternative: the Faux Bangs!  Sometimes it is lovely and unexpected to create a deep side part of bangs and then part out your braids behind them.  It gives you a totally different look from the front!  Keep in mind that Emilie doesn’t actually have short bangs; this parting is just creating the illusion of a long, side-swept bang, which is also a nice alternative to actually cutting them in.  Let me show you what I mean. Below, I began by parting Emilie’s wet hair on the left side.  I then sliced out a decent chunk of a rectangle for the faux bang.  (Don’t part the hair all the way to the ear; cut a rectangle from temple to temple)  You will notice that I pulled the back out of the way with a fat elastic.  Next, comb the [lightly gelled] hair down towards the face and over towards the ear.  Then anchor that section right above the ear with crossed bobbies(From here, you could diffuse the back curly or do a broad variety of updos.  This is a fun addition to all kinds of upstyles for the girl with no bangs cut.  Just saying.)    

    

Once your faux bangs are anchored, let down the elastic in the back and center part your hair to the nape beginning behind the bangs.  Put the left side up in an elastic and begin with your right so that we can go ahead and braid in the tail of those bangs.  Part out the triangle, separate the three strands and begin your french braid.  When you reach the crossed bobbies, you want to gently pull the tail of that section into your braid.  Then just continue braiding until you reach the bottom and anchor with a clear elastic.  For your left side, your parting will look like stair steps, so don’t think that you’ve done something wrong!  Just slice out your triangle and braid down the shape of your head.  It should go something like this: 

 
 

And when you’re done, it should look like this:

Fun, right?!  Try it out and let me know how it goes! 

Have a great day and remember that someone needs a ray of light today that only you can shine.
Make time for inspiration, be yourself without apology and always light your world with goodness! 

About ~Sarah

Artist. Musician. Writer. Mother. Daughter. Friend. Christian. Existentialist. Pilgrim.

Posted on January 21, 2012, in beauty, hair tutorials and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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