Braiding isn’t just about intertwining strands of hair. It’s a testament to history, style, and personal expression. Ever found yourself in a tizzy, wondering if you should do the Dutch braid vs French braid? Let’s talk about the highlights of each type of braid.

Braids have been an evergreen styling choice for millennia, ranging from being a daily functional choice to gracing high-fashion runways. Today, we’ll explore two of the most popular styles: Dutch and French. Ready to become a braid connoisseur? I certainly am.

Here are some great examples of variations of dutch braid and french braid.

Dutch Braid(s)
French Braid

A Brief History of Braids

Braids transcend cultures and ages. Found in ancient carvings, sculptures, and even early paintings, braided hairstyles are truly timeless. While the French braid’s origins remain contested—some say North Africa, others ancient Greece—it has been globally adopted and loved.

The Dutch braid, often dubbed as the “inverted” French braid, reflects styles from early African and Asian civilizations. It’s an age-old technique with a modern appeal, finding its way into today’s tiktok trends. I know you wanted to know the history. Who doesn’t? I kid. Let’s get to the braiding.

Materials Needed:

For either braid:

  • A comb or hairbrush: you will need this to detangle your hair.
  • Hair ties or elastic bands: you will need this to tie your hair after braiding
  • Optional items: Hair spray, dry shampoo, texture spray, or serum for grip; bobby pins for strays; decorative hair accessories for flair

Dutch Braid Steps:

  1. Prep Your Hair: Detangle and, if needed, dampen your hair slightly. It provides better grip. Or, for those with very fresh sleek hair, you can add some dry shampoo or texture spray so the braid keeps its shape better. (note: fresh hair usually will want to fall apart too easily)
  2. Section Your Hair: Begin with three equal parts at your crown.
  3. Begin the Braid: Instead of the over-method, cross the right strand under the middle, then the left strand under what’s now the middle.
  4. Add as You Go: Incorporate hair from the sides into your left and right sections, always going under.
  5. Secure: Finish with a hair tie or embellish with decorative pins.
  6. Add texture or Sleek is down: At this point you can add some texture by pulling sections of the dutch braid apart. Or you can use some hairspray to sleek everything down.

French Braid Steps:

  1. Prep: Detangle your hair. Again, use some texture spray (as mentioned above, for grip) if hair is too smooth. The braid can fall apart if you are going to give it some texture and dimension.
  2. Section: Divide the top hair section into three even parts.
  3. Initiate Braiding: This time, cross the right hair strand over the middle, then the left over what becomes the middle.
  4. Continue the Pattern: Add hair from both sides as you proceed, maintaining the over-method.
  5. Secure: Using an elastic, tie the braid off tightly (depending on the size of your elastic, I usually wrap the elastic three times around the hair)
  6. Sleek it down or add texture: Most of the time individuals want to keep the french braid sleek and elegant. However, you could take it apart to add a bit of an edge to it.

Difference Between Dutch Braid and French Braid:

The Dutch braid vs French braid duel boils down to direction:

  • Dutch Braid: Known as the “reverse” or “inside-out” braid due to braiding under the middle strand. The result? A pronounced, 3D effect that stands out. It has a lot of texture and dimension, as I like to say.
  • French Braid: By braiding over the middle strand, the braid aligns closely with the head, giving a snug, seamless finish. Usually you will get a more elegant, toned down look with this one.

Final Thoughts on Dutch vs French Braid

Both braiding techniques, while distinct, offer versatile styles suitable for various occasions. The Dutch braid makes a bold statement, perfect for festivals or days when you’re feeling adventurous. I love this one! The French braid, with its elegant, understated charm, is ideal for formal gatherings or a sophisticated day out. Or just do you. 😉

So, the next time the Dutch braid vs French braid conundrum pops into your head, remember: you could do either. And while preferences differ, the art of braiding remains a timeless expression of style and individuality. Hope this was helpful.

Back to top