Hair Tutorials: French Braid vs Dutch Braid

I’ve been wearing braids for a long time, but it wasn’t until recently when the bubbly Dutch braid became uber-popular that I thought about posting about it. I love the bubbly braid, but sometimes I just want to braid to keep my hair back, or I’m going for a more elegant look, which is where the French braid comes in. Today I’m going to share both hair tutorials, the differences, and when/why I wear a French braid vs Dutch braid.

When I was a little girl, I always begged my mom to french braid my hair before school because I loved the style. It was special because just about no one else wore their hair like that. It was a more difficult braid that not everyone’s mom knew how to do. I was (and still am) always running late, so we didn’t always have time to braid, so during one long car trip, I was determined to learn myself.

I sat with my American Girl doll in my lap in the back seat (my sister wouldn’t hold still) as my mom instructed which piece to crossover next. I remember finally getting it right and being so excited! It took a while longer to learn on myself, but once I finally did, I was set. I love braiding my hair now, and regularly wear a ton of different braid versions.

You may also like A Step by Step Pull-Through Braid Tutorial.

French Braid vs Dutch Braid

The main difference between the French braid vs Dutch braid is whether you cross the braid over or under. When crossing the sections of hair over one another you’ll weave the braid into your hair, for a French braid. However, when you cross the sections of hair under one another, the braid sits on top of the hair and creates a Dutch braid.

To me, a French braid is more classic. It’s great for keeping your hair back away from your face. I’ll wear it when I’m focusing at work, to sleep in at night, or when working out. I think it looks classy, and out together when wearing it out of the house.

A Dutch braid, on the other hand, is more trendy. It got popular recently with the rise of hair extensions and the desire to have long, thick hair. (You DO NOT need hair extensions of obscenely long hair to create either of these styles.) With the Dutch braid, you can fake the volume in your hair. Since the braid sits on top of the head, you can pull pieces out to make the braid look fuller and more voluminous. This does create a more modern, trendy look, and also causes pieces to fall out throughout the day. When I wear a Dutch braid it’s more likely to fall out of place.

Hair Tutorial: French Braid

Hair Tutorials: French Braid vs Dutch Braid featured by top US life and style blog, Running in Heels

What You’ll Need for your French Braid:

A hairbrush
Elastics
Bobby pins

French Braid Step 1: Brush out Your Hair

You won’t be able to braid with tangles in your hair, so make sure your hair is knot-free by brushing it out well.

French Braid Step 2: Section Your Hair

Gather a section of hair at the crown of your head, and then separate it into three more sections. Hold two small sections in one hand, and one in the other.

French Braid Step 4: Cross Over to Braid

Start to braid the three sections by crossing one outer section over the middle section, making it the new middle section. Repeat on the other side.

French Braid Step 5: Pick Up New Hair

Before crossing the outer pieces over again, pick up new hair on the first side to secure the braid to your head, then cross over the middle to create the new middle section. Repeat on the other side.

Repeat this step until you get to the nape of your neck and all of the hair has joined the braid.

French Braid Step 6: Finishing the Braid

Once all of the hair is picked up and you have reached the nape of your neck, complete the french braid by continuing to cross the outer pieces over the middle section until you get to the end of your hair.

French Braid Step 7: Secure

Secure the braid with an elastic, and add bobby pins where necessary. If you have shorter hair, fine hair, or layers, the bobby pins will help to keep those pieces in place.

Hair Tutorial: Dutch Braid

This tutorial is almost identical to the French braid above with just one small change in the direction you cross the sections of hair to create the braid.

Hair Tutorials: French Braid vs Dutch Braid featured by top US life and style blog, Running in Heels

What You’ll Need for your Dutch Braid:

A hairbrush
Elastics
Bobby pins

Dutch Braid Step 1: Brush out Your Hair

You won’t be able to braid with tangles in your hair, so make sure your hair is knot-free by brushing it out well.

Dutch Braid Step 2: Section Your Hair

Gather a section of hair at the crown of your head, and then separate it into three more sections. Hold two small sections in one hand, and one in the other.

Dutch Braid Step 4: Cross Under to Braid

Start to braid the three sections by crossing one outer section under the middle section, making it the new middle section. Repeat on the other side.

Dutch Braid Step 5: Pick Up New Hair

Before crossing the outer pieces under again, pick up new hair on the first side to secure the braid to your head, then cross under the middle to create the new middle section. Repeat on the other side.

Repeat this step until you get to the nape of your neck and all of the hair has joined the braid.

Dutch Braid Step 6: Finishing the Braid

Once all of the hair is picked up and you have reached the nape of your neck, complete the french braid by continuing to cross the outer pieces over the middle section until you get to the end of your hair.

Dutch Braid Step 7: Secure

Secure the braid with an elastic at the bottom of the braid.

Dutch Braid Step 8: Add Volume

The last step in the Dutch braid which is unique to this braid is to pull pieces of the braid out to add volume and create a “bubbly” look. It’s a good idea to hold the bottom near the elastic as you do this so you know when pieces are getting close to bringing pulled all the way out.

Dutch Braid Step 8: Pin Loose Ends

It’s inevitable that you’ll pull out a few pieces, especially if you have layers, so keep bobby pins nearby to secure the loose ends in your Dutch braid.

French braid vs Dutch braid? Which braid to you like better? Let me know in a comment below!

Leave a Comment