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3-Strand French Braid on Oneself

 

These instructions are specifically to help you to do the french braid on YOURSELF.  Go to the French Braid instructions to find out how to do them one someone else.

The instructions on the left tell you what the fingers are doing; the instructions on the right tell you what the strands of hair are doing.

Terms to Know:

To cut out wordiness, I have decided to name the webbed area between the fingers. 

  • Slot 1 is between the thumb and index fingers.
  • Slot 2 is between the index and middle fingers.
  • Slot 3 is between the middle and ring fingers.
  • Slot 4 is between the ring and little fingers.

Right and left hands will be denoted by a capital R or L after the slot number.  For example, 1R is between the thumb and index finger of the right hand.

Directions:

  1. Separate a lock of hair from the rest of the hair at the place where you want to begin the braid.  
    Note:  It's a good idea to make the part V-shaped, with the point of the V towards the back of your head.

Directions:

  1. Separate a lock of hair from the rest of the hair at the place where you want to begin the braid.  
    Note:  It's a good idea to make the part V-shaped, with the point of the V towards the back of your head.
  1. Hold the lock of hair in one hand and use the index and middle fingers of the other hand to separate it into three strands. 
  1. Separate the hair into three strands.

  1. Hold the left-hand strand with your left pinkie while moving the right-hand strand from 2R to 3L.
  2. Shift the new right-hand strand (used to be the middle strand) from 3 or 4R to 2L.
  1. Cross the right-hand strand over the middle strand.
  2. Hold all three strands in separate slots of your left hand.
  1. Use your right index finger to pick up a section of  hair from the right side of the head, adding it to the right-hand strand currently held in 2L.
  1. Pick up a section of hair from the right side of the head and add it to the right-hand strand..

  1. Grasp the right-hand strand with your right pinkie, then rotate your left hand so that you can grasp the left-hand strand in 3R.
  2. Shift the new left-hand strand from 3L to 2R.

  1. Cross the left-hand strand over the middle strand.
  2. Hold all three strands in separate slots of your right hand.
  1. Use your left index finger to pick up a section of hair from the left side of the head and add it to the left-hand strand in slot 2R.
    Note: In this picture, the right-hand thumb is sweeping beneath all three strands simply to aid in gathering the new section.
  1. Pick up a section of hair from the left side of the head and add it to the left-hand strand.

  1. Grasp the left-hand strand with the left pinkie, then rotate your right hand so that you can grasp the right-hand strand in 3L.
  2. Shift the new right-hand strand to 2L.
  1. Cross the right-hand strand over the middle strand.

  2. Hold all three strands in separate slots of your left hand.

  1. Use your right index finger to pick up a section of  hair from the right side of the head, adding it to the right-hand strand currently held in 2L.
  1. Pick up a section of hair from the right side of the head and add it to the right-hand strand..
  1. Grasp the right-hand strand with your right pinkie, then rotate your left hand so that you can grasp the left-hand strand in 3R.
  2. Shift the new left-hand strand from 3L to 2R.
  1. Cross the left-hand strand over the middle strand.
  2. Hold all three strands in separate slots of your right hand.
  1. Use your left index finger to pick up a section of hair from the left side of the head and add it to the left-hand strand in slot 2R.
  1. Pick up a section of hair from the left side of the head and add it to the left-hand strand.
  1. Continue instructions 9-14 until there is no more hair to add.
  2. Continue braiding as for simple 3-strand as far down as you can reach.
  1. Continue instructions 9-14 until there is no more hair to add.
  2. Continue braiding as for simple 3-strand as far down as you can reach.
  1. Grasp the right-hand strand with your pinkie, the middle strand in 4R, and the left-hand strand in3R.
  1. Shift all three strands into one hand (in this example, in the right).
  1. Bring your right hand forward over your shoulder.
    Note: you will now seem to be braiding in the opposite direction.  Instead of folding the strands towards you, you will be folding them away from you.
  1. Bring the braid over your right shoulder (or your left, if you choose to hold it in the left hand).
    Note: you will now seem to be braiding in the opposite direction.  Instead of folding the strands towards you, you will be folding them away from you.
  1. Shift your hands (not the braid!) so that the palms are facing outward, the left-hand strand is in 2L, the right-hand strand is in 2R, and the middle strand is in slot 1 of whichever side needs to cross over next to continue the pattern (in this example, it was in 1R).
  2. Rotate your right hand and move the right-hand strand to 1L.
  1. Shift your hands so that the palms are facing away from you before crossing over a strand, and the palm faces you only while it is crossing over a strand.  
  1. Rotate your left hand and put the left-hand strand in 1R.
  2. Continue instructions 20-21 to the end of the braid.
  1. Continue braiding in pattern to the end of the braid.
  1. Tie off the end of the braid.
  1. Tie off the end of the braid.
Voila!  You've French braided your own hair. Voila!  You've French braided your own hair.

 

Want to see some examples of french braids in use?

 

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