From keeping tendrils of hair out of your eyes while doing housework to stylishly highlighting your facial features for an upscale event, a braid is a simple, yet elegant, way to sweep your hair back from your face. The traditional braid has the hair sectioned in three basic parts and intertwined down the length of your neck, but if your hair is layered, you’ll need to vary the style to keep the hair in each layer firmly in place. The French braid works well for layered hair, and, with practice, it is nearly as easy to pull off as normal braiding.

Things You'll Need

Wet and section your hair. Like a normal braid, a French braid requires the hair to be split into three equal sections; one on either side and one down the middle. Use a spray bottle to dampen your hair so that you can part it equally and in straight lines.

Begin braiding. Take just a small portion of hair from each section. Braid normally a few times to get a pattern set. After you’ve set your braid pattern, begin to gather a bit more hair with every twining. As you twist the center section under the side, use your middle and ring fingers to grasp another layer of hair there before twisting it back again. Repeat this procedure for your entire head, making sure to include every strand of hair. Doing this provides a base for the short hair layers to nestle in as they become part of the longer braid.

Secure your braid. Once you reach the nape of the neck, all of your hair should be in your hands and you’ll be left with the three basic sections of the braid. Continue to twine them together, one section over the other, until you’ve reach the end of your hair. Secure firmly with an elastic band.

Take care of flyaways. To ensure your layers stay firmly in your braid, place bobby pins in places where you can see the layers ending. These spots will most likely include right behind your ears, the top back point of your head and at the nape of the neck. Use hairspray to pat down any stray hairs and stick the braid into place more permanently.