Not a great braider? No problem! It turns out a lot of those big, voluminous braids taking over your Pinterest feed are actually created with a series of ponytails.
This pull-through braid technique allows you to simulate the look of a braid on yourself or your kids without weaving a single strand. As far as hairstyles go, it doesn’t get much easier than this. If you can tie a ponytail, you can enjoy this look in minutes.
Once you master the technique, this cheater’s braid is really quite versatile. You can create chunky “braided” faux hawks, pull through pigtails, and updos. The single French Pull-Through Braid specifically is really, really easy — you just tie ponytails. It may look complicated but if you follow the steps one at a time, I’m positive that you will find it totally doable. It’s great for picnics, summer festivals, barbecues, farmers markets, end-of-school celebration, and more.
The tutorial below works best with longer hair that has long or no layers. If your hair is a bit shorter, try this pretty updo I created on my mid-length hair.
French Pull-Through Braid Tutorial
- small hair elastic bands (I like to get the ones at the dollar store specifically for braiding)
- texturizing product (optional)
- bobby pins (optional)
Note: If your hair is clean, you’ll need to run some texturizing product through your hair before you begin. This can be in the form of a pomade, wax, cream, or spray. Clean hair is really difficult to work with so you’ll want to add something that will make it feel less silky and slippery. Dry shampoo works great for this purpose as well.
1. Gather a small section of hair from the corners of your forehead to your crown and tie it in a ponytail using a small elastic band.
2. Optional: Take a small strand from the ponytail and wrap it around the elastic to hide it. Pin the strand in place by sliding a bobby pin on the underside, through the wrapped strand and the hair elastic. Hooking the pin through the tied elastic creates a stronger hold.
3. Clip the first ponytail up just to get it out of the way and tie a second ponytail under the first.
4. Release the top ponytail and divide it in half into 2 sections.
5. Bring the second ponytail up through the split and clip it up out of the way.
6. Tie a third ponytail under the second. This time, incorporate the ends from the first ponytail. See how that first ponytail is forming a parenthesis shape around the second ponytail’s origin? That’s what we want.
7. Release the second ponytail and divide it in half.
8. Bring the third ponytail up through the split and clip it out of the way. Now you are ready to tie your next ponytail, incorporating the ends from the second ponytail. Keep working in this manner down to the nape.
9. When you reach the nape, tie your final ponytail incorporating the remainder of your hair. This concludes the “French” section of the braid and now we will continue with a regular pull through braid without incorporating hair.
10. Release the top ponytail (the one you had clipped up) and tie a hair elastic about 2 inches lower than the previous elastic.
11. Use your fingers to split that section and create an opening. Pull the ponytail on the bottom through the opening so now it becomes the top ponytail. Repeat this step to the ends.
12. Finish the braid by tying one last hair elastic around all of the ends.
13. The last but most important step! This is when the magic happens. Gently tug on both sides of the braid to make it wider and messier, in a sexy way.
And now the beautiful hairstyle is unveiled!More On