A Dairing Life

Braiding Basics 101: Dutch Braids

September 23, 2016 2 Comments

You know those big, full braids, with so much personality they deserve their own reality show? You see them on Instagram and Pinterest, and silently think to yourself, “I could never do that.” Well friend, no offense – you’re wrong. That’s why I’m so pumped to be talking about dutch braids today. 

You may be thinking – what the heck is a dutch braid?

Quite simply, you are braiding in the opposite direction that you normally would – taking the outside strands, and pulling them under the middle strand. (Don’t know how to do a simple, 3-strand braid? Check out my previous post here, or go directly to the youtube video here). The result is a braid that sits on top of your hair vs one that sits under your hair.


See how the loops of the braid are visible along the side?

Notice how my braid is very loose and big? While I do have thicker hair, the thickness in the braid above is from pancaking the braid once it’s complete. What the heck is pancaking? No, it’s not the newest dance craze. It’s when you pull the outer edges of the braid, making the loops larger, and more full looking.

Alright, let’s get into the tutorial (written directions after the video – sorry the audio cut off right at the end!)

  1. Take your pinky or pointer fingers and place them right at the edges of your eyebrows, then trace them a couple of inches past your hair line, creating a small section of hair at the top of your head.
  2. Divide the section of hair into three equal pieces (or, you could get crazy, and make them slightly different. Whatever floats your boat).
  3. Take the right section and cross it under the middle section.
  4. Now, take the left section and cross it under the new middle section.
  5. Next, add in a section of hair to the new right section, and cross all of that hair under the middle section.
  6. Repeat this step on the left section of hair.
  7. Continue this pattern until you run out of hair to add, and then continue braiding a normal dutch braid until you reach the ends of your hair (tip, if you are pancaking, you may want to leave a few extra inches of unbraided hair).
  8. You can stop here, and you will have a beautiful, clean dutch braid. OR you can earn bonus points, and pull on the outer edges of the braided loops, loosening the braid, and making it appear more full. Work up and down the braid until you get the look you desire.
  9. If you have pieces of hair falling out, simply bobby pin them back into the braid, hiding the pins under the loops of hair.
  10. Marvel in how talented you are for learning how to dutch braid your own hair. You’re a rock star.

Once you master the process, you can incorporate this technique into so many hairstyles! Here are a few favorite ways that I regularly incorporate dutch braids in my own hair.

Pictured from left to right: crown aka milkmaid braid, half up double dutch braids, looped bun with wrapped dutch braid accents, and a half up lace dutch braid with waves. The options don’t stop there, and are basically endless (braided bangs, side dutch braid, dutch waterfall braid – I’ll stop there, because I feel a little bit like Bubba from Forest Gump, but there are so many more!).

Comment below if you have a request for a how-to any of the above or any other dutch braid style. Make sure to subscribe to my newsletter for updates and recaps of my newest posts!



A Dairing Life


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