How to French Braid | Back to Basics

Hello Ladies!!!  One of the most frequent requests I receive is for a “basic tutorial” on how to French braid.

Since so many of my braid and twist hairstyles incorporate the basic stranding used in a French Braid, we decided a few months back to film this tutorial. Although we uploaded it to YouTube, we never posted it here.

Back view of the Simple French Braid

Many of you may already know how to French braid, but this video is really meant for those who are struggling, or simply do not know how.  If you have “tweeners” who are almost teenagers, and you want to help teach your daughter how to do her own hair, this is a good start.

The French braid is a doorway style to pretty much anything you can think of… if you can master it, you can pretty much do any hairstyle. (Click here if you are looking for a cute French braid hairstyle for soccer, be sure to visit the link.)

Items Needed:  Brush, rat-tail comb, one hair band, water bottle, hairspray, accessory (if desired).

Time Requirement: 5 minutes

Skill Level: Easy

Note from Mindy:  I want to thank you all for the wonderful compliments you post here, on Facebook, YouTube or via email! I wish I had the time each day to respond to them all (literally 100’s), but I do want you to trust me when I say that we read EVERY single one!  Those compliments are what motivates me to keep going on this hairblog!

Happy Hairdoing!

* Note from Mindy: Don’t forget to follow us on BlogLovin, a new easy-to-use blog reader!

Share this post


  1. could you please post a written instruction? i live in india & the internet here is too slow to see videos.

  2. really amazing but my hair is short and layered so i really need some hairstyles like the french braid for this kind of hair thabk u


  3. Love what you do keep up the great work!! post on how to do style short hair like mid neck length! Thanks!

  4. Thank you so much! I have always wanted to French braid my hair, but my mom doesn’t know how and we didn’t know anyone who does. I find it easier to do Prim’s hair than to do a normal French braid. 🙂 Thanks again!

  5. THANK YOU!!!! This is a really helpful video because I been waiting ages to find a tutorial that actually explained the steps. Thank you so much Mindy!!!

  6. yay yay yay! i did it! thank you soo much! i can do the dutch braid and it looks wonderful but my french braid looked like a total rats nest! and now that i saw this it looks perfect!! {i did have to straighten my hair which takes forever}

  7. Hi there I haven’t been able to stop watching the different hairstyles that u do. Your reallly good. Thanks for inspiring me to practice on my daughter, she’ll love them.
    Thanks again.

  8. Thanks so much for this, my daughter is a total girly girl and loves her hair to be done in different styles. I have really really curly hair so never learned anything past a pony tail and a bun. I look forward to learning some new styles for my daughter.

    Your videos are great.

  9. My name’s raine and I love your website i especially like the step by step walkthroughs an I hope that in the future you could get a hair style that is very suitable for very, very thick hair.


  10. Hi
    for anyone trying to learn how to do it on your self, i would sugest practicing litte ones on others, then little ones on your self, then big ones on yourslef

  11. Can you tell me how to keep it so tight. I am 14 and my mom refuses to learn how to French braid. The other night she was like Samantha come here I want to try something. And she started and I was like are you trying to do a fishtail braid and she was like yeah but I give up because I can’t keep it tight. And I was like mom try an French braid my hair and she was like no then I said why and she said because I can’t do it and so I said well youll never be able to do it unless you try and practice so she replys with ok I dont care because I can keep it tight and I’ve already tried. The only time she tried was a a gymnastics competition and I had a broken arm but I convinced her to take me to support the team and my friends my tried to teach her so she showed her how to do it and then my mom tried and it was terrible and she won’t even try now so I just need tips on how to keep it tight. Please and thank you
    -❤- Samantha:)

  12. Mindy, you are my hero. I’m only 11 years old with 3 brothers, a dad, and a mom who leaves very early in the morning. I’ve barely survived “normal status” but thanks to you I have confidence. Everyone makes fun of my teeth but all of the girls stop and stare at my hair instead of my smile. My life has brightened because of you and your awesome family. Please e-mail me!

  13. Hi, I was just wondering, does it matter which if you crossover the right side of the hair first instead of the left?

  14. Thanks I am almost a teenager and this helps because I love braiding my friends hair now I have a new trick I love watching your videos and your daughters are adorable!:)

  15. Thanks for the video. I have a hard time with a lot of these videos because I’m left handed. I usually start by moving the right strand on top. It shouldn’t make for confusion but it does. I’m trying to relearn but it’s hard. Do any other lefties have this problem?

  16. I finally did a French braid! It’s only taken me 4 years to figure it out haha! Thank you so much–you made it so easy. I could never figure out the trick. I do the braids on my own head so I could never see what I was doing and got confused about which strand goes where–until I saw this! 🙂

  17. hi mindy
    i lovr you’re website. i am 14 yaers old. and i make my own hair.please tell me something new that looks pretty, is easy to make but is not too fancy.since i have to go to school.please help me i have nowhere to go.if u have sometime can u please mail me.i have written my e-mail address in the box.please help me i will be very grateful if u helpme witth my hair emergency 😛

  18. Mindy,

    I want to thank you soo much for these tutorials. I am a single father of a beautiful 5 yr old daughter who is becoming painfully aware the daddy’s one trick is braided ponytails. I have been in the Marine Corp for 20+ years and was raised by a steelworking mother and father with 2 brothers…as you can imagine this did not prepare me for making pretty hairstyles. When going to birthday parties, school functions or having playdates, I am often struck by the shheer volume and complexity of little girl’s hairstyles..but more importantly my daughter is aware that her styles are not that much to talk about. Now i have four additional hairstyles and the smile on my little angel’s face when she looks in the mirror is the most rewarding thing I have seen in a very long time. It definitely means more to her then food and shelter. So, though I am a complete neophyte and my fingers and hands are those of a caveman designed for rooter tasks; with your help I am able to brighten my little girl’s smile a little more everyday. Thank You.

    P.S. When the teachers and other Mom’s see be in my uniform and full battle rattle drop this little girl off at school and they ask who did her hair. When she says daddy; lets just say a look of disbelief is an understatement.

    Thanks again

  19. Your site it FANTASTIC!!! I have been wanting to learn to french braid – and after all the years, your video makes it seem “do”able : ) I can’t wait to try all your wonderful styles on my 6 year old…. maybe they will make her want to brush her hair so we can make it beautiful!

  20. I DID IT!!! I finally learned how to do a french braid and it’s all thanks to you! Now I’m unstoppable! My daughter is being very sweet and letting me experiment on her hair now and I am so excited. Thank you!

  21. wow thanks i am eleven and thanks to you i learned how to do a french braid on myself and i learned other cool hairsytyles thank you

  22. My 5 year old daughter and I have been watching your videos all day and we love them! Her hair is super long and straight and I was getting tired of the same basic ponytail everyday. You are an inspiration, thank you!

    P.S. Your children are adorable!

  23. oh my gosh these hairstyles are so cool! I have probably watched every single one of them! I’m 13 so it’s awesome to see how to do different hairstyles than just straightening my hair!

  24. thank u very much!!!!!!!!!!!!! by seeing this video now i have been able to french braid by myself!
    thank you very much 😀

    i am 13 yrs old

  25. Thank you so much! I’ve scoured the web for a simple video on french braiding hair. I have struggled trying to do it on my daughter’s hair for years (the poor thing is almost 6 and I still can’t do it!). Your video showed me exactly what I was doing wrong! I can’t wait for her to get home so I can try it out again!!!! THANK YOU!

  26. what rubber bands do u use? I have 3 girls, straight hair short, long thick wavy hair, my youngest curly. Seems like the ones I get wont go around tight enough for a good standard pony tail.

  27. You have wonderful videos! Stopping by from SITS; going to have to come back and try some of these when my daughter lets me do her hair… (She’s 3)

  28. Hi my name is Diana and i am 12 years old and I wanted to thank you on your awesome hairstyles. Sadly, I can’t do most of them because my elastics break in half but i usually cope. I was wondering if you could do more sport hairstyles because i love doing sports and if you have any tips for keeping the hair in the pony tail. thank you soooo much. You do a great job!
    keep it up!

  29. I want to thank you on this great job you did and really learned a lot from your videos and my daughter loves them

    Keep pushing forward

  30. I’ve french braided for years. I had the LONGEST hair growing up, but my mom couldn’t french braid, and I so wanted that look. So I taught myself. And I have to admit, became quite the pro at it.

    So, when my daughter’s hair was long enough, I thought, “YES, I can finally do to her what I always wanted.” But when I sat down to do it, I realized I had never, in 30 years, french braided someone else’s hair. It took some re-learning, as my hands are in a different position on her head vs mine.

    Anyway, I just thought it was funny that I struggled with something I thought I was so simple!

    This video was so great to help me with those little areas that still don’t come naturally to me when doing someone else’s. Thanx!

  31. Hi,my name is ilayda and i tryed most of your hairstyles and the look lovley on me thanx alot.
    also your daughters are so lucky to have a mom like you!

    love from ilayda
    ps i am only 11 and a half

  32. Thanks so much for posting the french braid tutorial video. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to know the secret. It actually doesn’t look too hard, it just looks overwhelming to learn when you see the finished product and don’t know how to get there. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this blog! I’ve never been very good at doing my own hair because nobody ever showed me how, but with your help, my daughter may have a chance! 🙂

  33. Thanks so much! I can do this on myself but I cannot get it right on my daughter! Weird! I think you should start telling us where you get your clothes too, because I always love your outfits! 🙂

  34. Although I already know how to braid, my 3yo is going to be doing this wayy before she’s a tweenie. As we watched this video she was saying “Add to the left side… Now to the right side… A fra-di-shinal braid!” as she tried to braid my hair.

  35. Thanks for that, my problem is keeping the tension in the hair so that the braid stays close to the head but I guess I need to get the hang of keeping the 3 sections in my fingers as you did and switching back and forth. Maybe I’ll practise on the girls tomorrow whilst we all watch the Royal Wedding! I could sell it to them as Princess Hair!!

  36. Okay, so what about the two side braid going around the ears. I can do all sorts of crazy things with hair, but I really struggle when where to pull and what to pull when maneuvering around the ears.

  37. I’m going to try again! I have 4 girls and have never been able to get it right! I’ll let you know if I succeed!

  38. Mindy, thank you so much for these videos! I look forward to them! My mother is an expert French braider, but she doesn’t have the patience to teach me. Thanks for being my surrogate mom on this one 🙂 and so many more! My girls thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *