The French twist is an up-do hairstyle that can be formal or casual; some women find the French twist convenient for everyday, especially to keep hair out of the way. French twists are best for medium to long hair, and very long hair may need to be folded a few times to form a roll that fits comfortably along the back of the head. Once you are familiar with the technique, the easy French twist can be done in less than 10 minutes.

Things You'll Need

Make a French twist the day after you’ve washed your hair so that its natural oils help your hair stay in place and look sleek.

Brush your hair. Form a loose ponytail at the lower back of your head. If you have stray strands, use mousse or gel to keep them in place, or pin them back later. To minimize tangles, use a leave-in conditioner.

Lift the ponytail upwards against the back of your head, in the position you would like the twist to rest. Twist the hair to form a roll.

Tuck ends under to bend the roll, taking note that this creates the top of the finished twist.

Tuck the entire roll, including loose ends, inside and under itself. There will be a crease at the edge of the twist, so keep tucking until the outer edges of the roll disappear. Use consistent pressure while tucking, as you want to keep the hair on the outside of the twist smooth. For a casual or informal look, you can leave the loose ends free.

If there are small bumps on the finished twist, use a damp fine-toothed comb or brush to smooth them out.

Secure the twist with hair pins, bobby pins, hair sticks, butterfly clips (also called claws) or other hair accessories. Add style to the French twist with additional accessories such as flowers, decorative pins or shaped combs.

Lightly spray the finished twist to keep the style smooth and elegant. The spray also minimizes frizz.

Tips

  • If you find twisting your own hair too difficult, consider visiting a hairstylist for help with your technique or asking a friend for help.

  • It may take several tries to achieve a suitable result when you first twist your hair, but once you’ve perfected your own technique it will be easy.

  • Use mirror(s) to help you see the back of your head.

  • With practice, you’ll figure out the method that works best for your preferences and your hair. There are countless variations on the French twist method, so you can customize this method for personalization and flair.