Dutch and French braids are both extremely neat and unique hairstyles that you can attempt on long hair. Whether you want to spend an evening out or try out a professional look for work, Dutch and French braids are some lovely options for you to attempt.
As versatile as these braids are, it is also quite easy to get confused between the two. At first glance, both look pretty similar to each other, which is why many make the common mistake of thinking they are the same.
To help you finally understand how the two are different and which one you should consider sporting, here is a guide that explains each of them in detail. Take a look!
Dutch braids are those that feature or highlight the braid with the other hair sections pleated at the base. Dutch braids and French braids are often thought of as one due to the fact that Dutch braids are essentially inverted forms of French braids.
This gives these braids a distinct and marked appearance while also making them tight and sturdy. There are multiple ways to tie Dutch braids too, such as by tying the entire length of your hair into a braid or limiting it to the section of hair on the crown and the rest of the head.
You will need to follow a particular process when it comes to tying a Dutch braid. Here are the steps involved here that you can learn about and attempt yourself. Note that these steps are for making a single Dutch braid; you can also attempt making multiple such braids using different sections of your hair.
- Separate your hair into three segments. Make sure they are neat enough without having too many strands from the other segments.
- Each segment should be equal in thickness, so you will need to make the necessary adjustments based on your approximation so that you achieve a braid of an even appearance.
- Dutch braids require you to put each segment of hair under the segment in the middle. Take the right segment and loop it under the middle one and follow this up by looping the segment on the right under the one in the middle.
- Once you loop each segment once, you will need to start taking extra hair from the sides for every additional loop from the right or left.
- Continue braiding in this manner until you use up all the extra hair. This should bring you to the nape with the rest of your hair flowing and still left to braid.
- Whether or not you want to braid the rest of your hair depends on the hairstyle you are aiming for. You can simply tie up the braid at the nape and leave the rest open or continue braiding the rest using a standard braiding technique.
The standard braiding technique simply requires you to loop each section from the left or right under the middle section until you reach the desired length of the braid. Tie the hair up at the end.
This process will result in a braid that seems to sit on top of your head.
Interestingly, French braids do not actually come from France. Instead, they have an unclear history with numerous potential origins. Regardless of the origin, the French braid is now a highly popular hairstyle all over the world due to its flowing yet tidy appearance.
The process involved in tying a French braid is not too different from tying a Dutch braid, although the end result ultimately ends up looking different. There are also multiple French braids that you can tie in your hair at once to achieve a more unique appearance.
Moreover, it is possible to finish braiding your hair near your nape while leaving the rest of your hair open, although a more common technique is to braid the rest of the hair entirely as well.
To learn how to tie a French braid, you should go through the following steps:
- Create three distinct sections or segments in your hair. Make sure you separate them according to whether you want to make a single braid or multiple braids.
- Each of the segments should be even in thickness so that you do not run out of strands to loop while carrying out the braiding. You might need to make a few adjustments and alterations based on how the thickness level turns out.
- In order to make French braids, you will need to keep each segment side by side and loop them over the middle segment.
- Start off with the segment on the right and loop it over the one in the middle. Follow this up by looping the segment on the left over the one in the middle.
- Once you loop each side once, you should take a few more strands on each side and combine them with each segment on the side. Once again, loop the right over the middle followed by the left over the middle.
- Continue taking more strands and looping over the middle until you reach your nape. You can then make a standard braid and tie it up at the end or simply tie your hair up at the nape.
Dutch Braids vs French Braids
Now that you know how to make Dutch and French braids, here is a bit more clarity on the main differences between the two.
The primary difference between Dutch and French braids is the technique with which you loop the strands of hair together. Based on the steps for each of them, it is clear that Dutch braids require you to loop each segment underneath the segment in the middle.
On the other hand, French braids require you to loop each segment of hair over the segment in the middle. This leads to different end results.
Apart from that, however, the overall steps of the process tend to be pretty much the same, with you needing to loop each section with the one in the middle while taking more strands of hair each time.
When it comes to the ease with which you make Dutch braids and French braids, both happen to have similar levels of difficulty. Both are relatively more complicated and complex as compared to the standard looping technique involving regular braids, especially since you need to keep adding hair to each segment as you go.
Beyond that, if you are trying either of them for the first time, it might be easier to attempt the French braid simply because the looping-over technique is easier to control than the looping-under.
Despite the similarities in the process, the differences in the technique ultimately result in a different appearance once you are done braiding the two. The Dutch braid stands out more and looks more voluminous as compared to the French braid, with the latter having a much smoother flow.
The French braid can also occasionally look a bit looser as compared to the tight Dutch braid.
We hope this post has been enough to help you understand the distinction between Dutch braids and French braids. Dutch braids feature the braid on top whereas French braids feature the hair sections on top, resulting in a flatter structure.
Both take the same amount of time and care to braid, but it is usually a better idea to start off by learning a French braid to make the Dutch braid easier to master later on. Have some patience and give each two or more attempts to perfect them for your next event.