If you have shoulder-length hair or longer and you are tired of pulling your hair back into a regular french braid, you may want to give the inside-out french braid a try. This braid is similar to a basic french braid except that the left and right strands of hair cross under the middle strand instead of over, for a braid that lays on the outside of the hair. Though it may take practice to perfect, the inside-out french braid is both elegant and practical and can be worn with anything from a t-shirt to a prom dress.

Things You'll Need

Brush or comb your hair to work out all of the knots and tangles. Decide where on your head you would like your inside-out braid to start. It can begin at the very top of your head if you like or start it at the middle of the back of your head for a more subtle look.

Use both hands to gather a small amount of hair from the top of your head or wherever you have chosen to begin the braid.

Use a comb or your fingers to part the section of hair into three equal pieces. Hold the pieces separately between the fingers of one hand so that one piece is held between your thumb and pointer finger, one between your pointer and middle finger, one between your middle and ring finger.

Using both hands to keep the three pieces of hair separated, cross the left piece from left to right under the middle piece, then cross the right piece from right to left under the middle piece. For a neat-looking braid, try not to get hairs from any one piece mixed in with any other piece.

Add a small piece of hair from the left side of your head to the piece of hair that is now on the left side. Cross the now thicker left piece from left to right under the middle. Add a small piece of hair from the right side of your head to the piece of hair on the right side that has not been added to. Braid that section under the middle piece from right to left.

Repeat the process adding more hair to the left and right sections before each cross-under until you reach then end of your hair. For a successful inside-out braid you must always cross the left and right strands under the middle strand, never over it.

Tie the end of the braid securely with a hair tie and spray your hair with hairspray to prevent flyaways if you desire.


  • Even if you are used to french braiding, the inside-out braid may feel awkward at first. Do not be surprised if it takes you a few tries to get your braid right.