French braid vs dutch braid

Dutch Braid vs French Braid: Choosing The Perfect Braided Hairstyle

To create a Dutch braid:

What’s The Difference Between A French Braid And A Dutch Braid?

When in doubt, learn both the Dutch and French braid. With these tips, you can pull off both.

Part of the Southern Living team since 2017, Kaitlyn Yarborough is a Georgia native living in Austin, Texas, who covers a wide variety of topics for both the magazine and website, focusing on culture and lifestyle content, as well as travel in the South.

Learning to braid is usually one of those things that people either get the hang of immediately or are left hopelessly confused. Typically those who are trying to learn to do more advanced types of braids, like a French braid, can have these difficulties. If you ever learned when you were younger, you have a leg up on the competition.

Don’t Be Afraid To Braid

We are almost giddy over side-swept braids, the fishtail half braids, braid crowns, ponytail braids—and trust us, these looks aren’t nearly as complicated as you might think. If you’re unfamiliar with the multitude , directions and video tutorials will help you nail these put-together looks for whatever is on the day’s agenda. Keep everyone on their toes by switching between these gorgeous braid hairstyles all year long, and you may never go back to your messy bun again.

In the spirit that it is never too late to learn how to do absolutely anything—certainly including braids—we’re breaking down the difference between two of the most popular braid hairstyles: French braids and Dutch braids. Hint: It all comes down to braiding your hair over versus under.

Dutch Braid

The French Braid Technique

A French braid might be the most commonly known plait other than a basic three-strand braid. A French braid basically adds one more step to the basic braid technique by starting up near the crown of your head as opposed to the nape of your neck. It follows the same pattern of crossing the left strand over the middle strand, then crossing the right strand over the middle strand, and repeating all the way down—except every time you’re going to cross a side strand over the middle strand, you first add extra hair from that side of the head.

Side French Braid

You continue this pattern until you reach the nape of the neck and finish with a regular braid from there. Once sealed with a hair tie, you’re left with a beautifully folded-in braid from temples to ends.

The Dutch Braid Technique

Now, a Dutch braid is actually very similar to a French braid hairstyle, with the minor tweak that you are crossing the side sections of hair underneath the middle strand each time as opposed to over it. It creates a more 3-D effect, with the braid displayed on top of the style. For that reason, it is also often referred to as an “inside-out braid,” or a “reverse French braid.” Just like a French braid, you will begin closer to the crown of the head, and you will also add more hair to each strand before crossing over the middle each time.

Some describe the finished look as a more pronounced version of its French counterpart. Warning: For those who already know how to French braid, concentrate carefully to ensure you’re folding each side underneath the whole time without muscle memory turning it into a half-French, half-Dutch braid.

Both French braids and Dutch braids are a super fun way to switch up your hair on any given day. Once you’ve added them to your skill set, ponytails will seem like only the beginning. Make it one single braid, two pigtails, or a braided bun. Options are endless! Just remember: choose over or under. Not both!

More Braided Hairstyles For Your Crown

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There are so many braid hairstyles, both for long and short hair. Your life will look a lot more stylish with just a little more effort. Add a quick and simple side braid, or go all in with an impressive fishtail or reverse topknot.

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You’ve been thinking about a new look, and all it requires is a new set of skills in braiding. From the special occasion waterfall braid to the pull-through braid, to the crazy easy rope braid, learning these different techniques will level up your hair game.

The Best Braids For Your Face Shape

Braids always have a place in personalizing your look, and are one of the most versatile ways to wear your hair. Whether it’s a classic such as the French braid, or a trendy double fishtail for for a special occasion, there’s a style for every event if your life.

Beautiful Braids For Short Hair

Think your hair is not long enough for braided hairstyles? Think again. These fetching looks for short hair will have you braiding in no time. From side braids to braided ponytails, these ideas will take your hairstyle game up a notch.

Dutch Braid vs French Braid: Choosing The Perfect Braided Hairstyle

Dutch Braid vs French Braid

Braided hairstyles have always been a popular choice, whether you need a quick solution to keep your hair out of your face on a busy day or a dazzling appearance for a night out. But what is a plait’s finest feature? Anyone can wear a braid if they have the appropriate look. There is a braid out there for everyone, from five-year-olds to sixty-year-olds, college athletes to wedding attendees.

Although bubble braids have recently gained popularity, the French braid and the Dutch braid continue to be two of the most popular braided updo designs. But if you’re curious in the specifics of the distinction—and how to master the two different styles—keep reading.

The distinctions between the Dutch Barid vs French braid may seem difficult to those who are new to braiding, but this article explains all you need to know so you can create not one, but two gorgeous styles for just about any occasion.

Dutch Braid vs French Braid

Dutch Braid:

The Dutch braid, also known as an inverted or inside-out braid, offers an intricate and eye-catching appearance. Unlike the French braid, where strands are woven over each other, the Dutch braid involves weaving strands under one another, creating a raised effect that pops against your scalp. This braid is perfect for individuals seeking a stylish and distinctive look.

To create a Dutch braid:

  1. Begin with a small section of hair at the crown and divide it into three strands.
  2. Cross the right strand under the middle strand, then cross the left strand under the new middle strand.
  3. As you continue braiding, add small sections of hair to each strand before crossing it under.
  4. Repeat this process until you reach the nape of your neck and secure with an elastic.

When to Choose a Dutch Braid:

  • Casual Outings: The Dutch braid adds an artistic flair to your everyday look.
  • Formal Events: Elevate your style with an intricate Dutch braid for weddings or parties.

French Braid vs Dutch Braid

French Braid: The Classic Charm

The French braid is a classic choice that never goes out of style. Also known as a three-strand braid, it involves weaving strands over each other, creating a sleek and elegant appearance. The French braid is versatile and can be adapted to various styles, making it a staple in the hairstyling world.

To create a French braid:

  1. Begin by sectioning your hair into three parts at the crown.
  2. Cross the right strand over the middle strand, then cross the left strand over the new middle strand.
  3. Gradually add small sections of hair to each strand before crossing over.
  4. Continue this pattern until you reach the nape of your neck and secure with an elastic.

When to Choose a French Braid:

  • Sporty Look: Keep your hair secure during workouts or outdoor activities.
  • Sophisticated Occasions: The French braid complements formal attire and special occasions.

Mastering the Art: Dutch Braid vs French Braid

Dutch Braid: Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these steps to create a stunning Dutch braid:

  1. Start with dry, detangled hair.
  2. Divide the hair into three sections at the crown.
  3. Begin weaving the strands under each other, adding small sections of hair as you go.
  4. Continue braiding along the hairline, gradually adding all available hair.
  5. Once you reach the nape of your neck, braid the remaining hair traditionally and secure with an elastic.

French Braid: Step-by-Step Guide

Achieve a classic French braid with these simple steps:

  1. Ensure your hair is smooth and free of knots.
  2. Divide the hair into three even sections at the crown.
  3. Cross the right strand over the middle strand, then cross the left strand over the new middle strand.
  4. Integrate small sections of hair as you braid towards the nape of your neck.
  5. Complete the braid with a traditional three-strand technique and secure it.

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Dutch Braid vs French Braid: Which One to Choose?

The decision between a Dutch braid and a French braid ultimately depends on the occasion, your personal style, and the level of intricacy you’re comfortable with. The Dutch braid offers a unique texture that stands out, making it ideal for special events and artistic looks. On the other hand, the French braid’s timeless elegance is perfect for both casual and formal settings. Experiment with both styles to discover which one resonates with your personality and preferences.

French Braid

How to French Braid your own Hair?

French braiding your own hair can be a bit tricky at first, but with practice, you’ll get the hang of it. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to French braid your own hair:

Materials you’ll need:

  • Hairbrush
  • Hair tie
  • Mirror
  • Patience!

Step-by-step guide:

  1. Prepare your hair: Start with clean, detangled hair. Brush your hair to remove any knots or tangles.
  2. Decide where to start: Decide where you want your French braid to begin. You can start at the top of your head, right by your forehead, or a bit further back. Use your fingers to section off a small triangle of hair at the starting point. This section will be divided into three strands to start the braid.
  3. Begin the braid:
    • Divide the small triangle of hair into three equal sections: left, center, and right.
    • Cross the right strand over the center strand.
    • Cross the left strand over the center strand.
    • Now you’ve completed the first “stitch” of your French braid.
  4. Add more hair:
    • After completing the first stitch, add a bit of hair to each of the three strands before crossing them again.
    • As you cross the right strand over the center, gather a small amount of hair from the right side of your head and incorporate it into the right strand.
    • Similarly, as you cross the left strand over the center, gather a small amount of hair from the left side of your head and incorporate it into the left strand.
  5. Continue braiding:
    • Repeat the process: Cross the right strand over the center, then cross the left strand over the center, adding a bit of hair each time.
  6. Repeat and adjust:
    • Keep adding hair from each side as you braid, making sure you’re pulling the sections tight for a neat and even braid.
    • Use a hand mirror to check the back of your head periodically to make sure the braid is positioned where you want it.
  7. Secure the braid:
    • Continue this process until you’ve incorporated all the loose hair into the braid.
    • Once you’ve reached the nape of your neck and there’s no more loose hair to add, continue braiding the three sections without adding hair.
  8. Finish the braid:
    • When you’re about an inch away from the ends of your hair, braid the remaining hair normally (without adding any more sections).
    • Secure the end of the braid with a hair tie.
  9. Tighten and adjust:
    • Gently pull on the sides of the braid to make it appear fuller and looser.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Your first few attempts might not be perfect, but as you practice, your French braiding skills will improve. It can be challenging to braid your own hair, so be patient with yourself and keep trying.


Both Dutch and French braids work well for various hair types, including straight, wavy, and curly hair. However, those with shorter hair might find it challenging to create intricate braids.

Absolutely! Dutch and French braids can be styled elegantly for formal occasions. Embellish the braids with decorative pins or accessories to enhance their sophistication.

To prolong the lifespan of your braids, start with clean hair, use a light-hold hairspray, and secure the ends with clear elastics. Sleeping with a silk scarf can also help maintain the braids’ integrity.

Yes, there are various adaptations of these braids, such as fishtail braids, waterfall braids, and crown braids, which incorporate elements of Dutch and French techniques.

Absolutely! Extensions and accessories, such as beads, ribbons, or flowers, can be incorporated into your braids to enhance their style and uniqueness.


The Dutch braid vs French braid debate showcases the beauty of diversity in hairstyling. Whether you prefer the intricate charm of the Dutch braid or the classic elegance of the French braid, both styles offer a stunning way to elevate your look for any occasion. Experiment, practice, and let your creativity flow as you master these braided wonders.