Hairstyles to Try When You’re Attempting to Fake a French Braid

Victoria Moorhouse
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When you’re learning to French braid, the technique often seems like it would be a whole lot easier to ace if you had another set of hands. Alternating each section, plus adding more hair between each twist, all while keeping the plait tight and battling slippery strands? That’s a lot for ten fingers to handle. We’re not going to lie and say that the French braid is as easy as 1-2-3. It’s a big step up from the standard 3-strander, and for some, can take time and a very specific (slow-mo) tutorials to get it right. After you’ve finally conquered having to add in and pass hair at the same time (it’s the equivalent of rubbing your belly and patting your head simultaneously) you have to work to create the braid tight enough against your head so it’s actually visible and doesn’t look disheveled.

But remember… Just because you might not be at the end of the French braid learning curve, it doesn’t mean you’re stuck with a boring, every day look. There are a ton of really cool braids out there that are totally doable for the girl who’s maybe half-way to a French or just can’t seem to get it right quite yet. Check out a few looks below, that range in skill set, to try when you just wanna fake the French braid.

MORE: How to Create and Accessorize Fishtail Pigtails

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Pull your hair back and create two regular 3-strand pigtails. Make sure the pigtails are super tight. You’re going to want the opposite of a messy, bohemian vibe. Take those two pigtails and tie them in a knot. Your braids will be significantly shorter, but you’ll have a really cool design in the back and it will make it look like you’ve braided them together horizontally.

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Imaxtree

For this look, you’re going to need to be at least a B+ French braider. Those with lots of layers or have a hard time keeping French braid pigtails from looking messy near the nape of the neck will benefit from this runway look. Start by French braiding two pigtails and stop at the nape of the neck. While this specific runway look is a bit more detailed, all you really have to do to copy the braid at home is take those two remaining sections of unbraided hair that begin at the nape of your neck and create a regular braid all the way down. Take a piece of fabric and wrap it around the top of the braid to accessorize. It’ll also hide any loose, messy sections. Plus, if your French braiding skills aren’t great at the top, you can always turn this into two regular braided pigtails and let it be just as jazzed up by wrapping it together with that fun piece of fabric.

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Imaxtree

More power to the pigtails. Tie your hair off in two ponytails secured at the back of your head. Braid them each individually. Pull the braids up and pin them into place on the back of your head. It’ll kind of look like a horseshoe shape, and it’s an easy way to fake a French milkmaid braid.

MORE: A GIF Guide to Mastering the Rope Braid

french braid regular braid Hairstyles to Try When Youre Attempting to Fake a French BraidThe top of the French braid is always the hardest. Skip it all together by creating two regular small braids with tiny sections of hair on the side of your head. Then, incorporate these two into a loose braid at the nape of your neck. If you can, do the French braid technique for a couple of passes before going back to a regular 3-strand technique (or skip it all together). Make it pastel purple for an extra oomph.

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Imaxtree

Yes, this IS a fishtail braid, but when it’s created by passing smaller strands of hair back and forth in a taunt fashion, it looks way different! While you might be conditioned to pull it apart, don’t! You’re going to want to leave the braid be after you’ve tied it off with an elastic.

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Imaxtree

No one said the bun had to be perfectly circular, are we right? Two smaller braids wrapped around each other and pinned in place in an oval and angular shape is an underrated updo switch-up.

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Imaxtree

Try braiding cornrows that are secured from the hair line to the crown of your head. This braiding technique is also one of our favorites to use when you’re trying to fake an undercut—or you just want to get an idea of what one would look like!

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