Braiding Basics 101: Half Up Dutch Braids

I hope everyone had an amazing holiday season filled with family, friends, food, and whatever else makes you happy. I took some time off from the blog to enjoy time with my husband and family. Now that this year is a week old, I’m eager to get back into the swing of things!

It’s no secret that I love dutch braids. Take a look at my Instagram and you’ll see that it’s my go to braid. Not sure how to get started? Check out my Simple Dutch Braid tutorial in the 2nd installment of Braiding Basics 101, and get yo learn on!

Now that you have the basics under your belt, you can use this technique to achieve so many styles. One of my favorites (and yours too, because it has been highly requested) is today’s tutorial – Half Up Dutch Braids (scroll down for the video!)

I started mine with messy waves, but you can definitely leave your hair straight, or use whatever your natural texture is. What I love about this style is that you can truly customize it for the look you’re going for. I was going to a festival this day, so I left my hair unsmoothed in places, and it definitely has that “did she brush her hair today?” vibe (ha). But you can definitely leave yours more polished depending on the look you’re going for.

There are 3 options in the video to finish the braid. You can stop at the first section, or continue on by pancaking the hair for a more full, thick braid (yowsa).  If you watch the video tutorial all the way to the end, there’s a third bonus option for ya! Let’s get started!

  1. Begin by parting your hair either on the side or middle. I didn’t create a straight part in the video because I wanted a more boho feel.
  2. Take a small section of hair on one side of your part, next to your face. Divide into three sections.
  3. Take the right side under the middle section, then the left side under the middle section. Then, add in a small section of hair to the right strand, crossing both under the middle strand. Repeat this on the left side. Continue these steps until you reach right around your ear, then finish off the section of hair without adding any additional hair (just a regular braid – crossing each side under the middle) until you have braided far enough for the strand to reach the back middle of your head (measure with the braid if you need to!). Tie hair off with an elastic.
  4. Repeat the same steps on the other side of your head, tying hair off with an elastic.
  5. Choose whether you want the top section of your hair to be smooth and neat, or a little more lived in. If you want it neat, then make sure to smooth back the hair before continuing with the next step.
  6. Bring the braids to the back of your head so that they meet. Choose where you want the braids to sit on your head. When you have them placed where you want, create a loop/opening in the braid (the braid makes this easy for you!) where it meets the back of your head, then pull the other braid through the loop.
  7. Insert pins into the braids to secure in the middle. Remove the elastics from the braids after they are securely pinned down.
  8. Optional – pancake the braid. If you’re worried about pulling your pins out, you can do this before pinning the braids down to the back of your head. Gently pull on the outer loops of the braids to pancake them. This makes them appear thicker and fuller than they actually are.
  9. Optional, but highly recommended 😀 – watch the ending of the video to see how I incorporated some of my favorite hair accessories into the look (these are by NEEKAS – make sure to check them out!).
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