by Jade. Jade is a 2019 senior at Foothill who has years and years of braiding experience.
The anything but "basic" braid
This is a great starter look if you are new to braiding. You already know to divide the hair you want to braid into three groups and do the pattern: left into center then right into center etc.
Dutch braids are the opposite of French. With French braids you add new hair from the side as you cross into the center. When Dutch braiding you work from the center-out. The pattern is center cross to right then center cross to left. And Dutch braids add hair with each cross.
This look will also start with a center part. Begin your Dutch braid down one side of the part, taking pretty small sections initially. As you progress, take slightly larger sections of hair into each cross.
Having longer nails here is helpful because you can use them to define out the sections evenly. If you don't have long nails, using a rat-tail comb also works. It will just take a little longer. But take your time regardless, and keep the braid tight.
The key with this is to pull backwards as you go so the braid lies flat against your head. Once you are done with one side, do the other exactly the same.
The Fish Tail Braid
Fish Tail braids are completely different from all other braids because you are working with two groups of hair rather than three. You will be selecting a small amount of hair from the outer side of the right portion and crossing it into the center to join the left and then doing the same on the other side-- left wrapping into center to join right.
The key to making a gorgeous Fish Tail is to take small portions with each cross. These can be super time consuming but the longer you put into it the better it will look. If you want your braid to be thick when you are done, secure it with an elastic and then tease the individual pieces away from the center a bit.
Remember- no matter what style of braid you chose, it takes practice and the more often you do it the better you will get!
I am a high school senior portrait photographer in the SF east bay area.