Dutch Braids vs French Braids: Which Is Right for You?

Can’t decide between Dutch Braids vs French Braids? Let’s simplify! Our article spills the beans on both styles. Join us at Jen Hair for more insider tips!

Feeling torn between Dutch braids vs French braids? It’s a common dilemma. Choosing the perfect braid can be like wandering through a maze—each option seems enticing, but which one is truly right for you?

The confusion often stems from their initial similarities and the lack of clarity about their unique techniques and effects. Don’t worry! We get it. We totally understand that your hairstyle isn’t just a fashion statement; it’s a reflection of who you are. That’s why we’ll uncover the key differences between Dutch and French braids, revealing the variety of styles they offer to help you confidently choose your perfect braid.

Dutch Braids vs French Braids (Source: Youtube @EverydayHairInspiration)
Dutch Braids vs French Braids (Source: Youtube @EverydayHairInspiration)

What Is The Difference Between A Dutch And French Braid

When comparing a Dutch braid to a French braid, the key difference lies in their braiding techniques. While a French braid involves crossing strands over each other, the Dutch braid crosses them underneath, resulting in a braid that appears raised from the scalp.

Dutch braids vs French braids: French Braids

The French braid, a timeless favorite among braided hairstyles (Source: Wikipedia)
The French braid, a timeless favorite among braided hairstyles (Source: Wikipedia)

The French braid, a timeless favorite among braided hairstyles, intricately weaves three sections of hair from the crown to the nape of the neck. Its mention in an 1871 issue of Arthur’s Home Magazine marked its literary debut, describing it as a new hairstyle in the short story “Our New Congressman” by March Westland. Despite this early reference, its alignment with the modern French braid technique remains uncertain.

Today, the French braid presents practical advantages over a simple braid. It accommodates multiple hair sections for versatile styling and can be executed without assistance, though difficulty varies based on hair type and length.

Dutch braids vs French braids: Dutch Braids

The Dutch braid, often referred to as the "reverse French braid" (Source: Wikipedia)
The Dutch braid, often referred to as the “reverse French braid” (Source: Wikipedia)

On the flip side, the Dutch braid, often referred to as the “reverse French braid”, takes a different approach by crossing strands underneath instead of over. Despite its complex appearance, it’s surprisingly simple to do!

A basic Dutch braid is suitable for most hair lengths, but if you have shorter hair, consider trying a double Dutch braid, where you create two braids on each side of your head.

Basically, the technique involves dividing the hair into three sections and crossing the outer strands under the middle one, from the crown to the nape of the neck. Unlike the French braid’s flowing style, the Dutch braid sits atop the hair, with the strands neatly tucked underneath, creating a raised effect. Just like the French braid, you can wear it as a single or double braid, with double Dutch braids sometimes referred to as “boxer braids.”

How to Make a Classic French Braid

Let’s craft stunning French braids (Source: Youtube @EverydayHairInspiration)
Let’s craft stunning French braids (Source: Youtube @EverydayHairInspiration)

Prepare Your Hair

Begin by preparing your hair for styling. Use a brush to remove any tangles and ensure your hair is soft and smooth. Depending on your desired look, brush your hair away from your forehead for a single braid down the back, or divide your hair into sections for multiple braids.

Section Your Hair

Gather a chunk of hair, approximately 3-4 inches wide, from the top-center of your head. It’s essential that all the hair in this section comes from the same “hair row.” If you have bangs, decide whether to include them in the braid or leave them loose.

Divide Your Hair

Separate the gathered section into three equal pieces to create the foundation for your braid. Ensure each strand is evenly sized to maintain consistency throughout the braid.

Start Braiding

Initiate the braiding process by crossing the right strand over to the center, followed by the left strand. Repeat this pattern to create a few rows of a traditional braid, establishing the base for your French braid.

Work in New Hair

Continue braiding in the traditional pattern, but begin incorporating additional sections of hair as you progress. Before crossing each section over to the center, gather new hair from the corresponding side of your head and include it in the braid. Repeat this step to add volume and intricacy to your French braid.

Incorporate All Your Hair

As you braid down your head, continue adding new sections of hair until all your hair is included in the braid. Ensure the braid remains tight and smooth as you work your way down.

Finish the Braid

Once all your hair is incorporated into the braid, continue braiding in the traditional pattern until you reach the end of your strands. Secure the braid with a ponytail holder, avoiding rubber bands to prevent hair damage.

Watch a step-by-step tutorial on how to French braid through this video to master the technique effortlessly.

By following these instructions, you’ll craft stunning French braids, enhancing your hairstyle options for any event or occasion.

How to Make a Simple Dutch Braid

Make a beautiful Dutch braid to enhance your hairstyle options (Source: Youtube @EverydayHairInspiration)
Make a beautiful Dutch braid to enhance your hairstyle options (Source: Youtube @EverydayHairInspiration)

Prepare Your Hair

Start with neatly brushed hair, whether it’s dry or slightly damp. Ensure your hair is free of knots or tangles by running a brush through it. For any stray hairs or flyaways, lightly mist them with water or use a smoothing product like serum or pomade.

Section Your Hair

Brush your hair straight back to avoid any side or center parts. Use your thumbs to gather a section of hair from your front hairline, spanning the width of your forehead. Alternatively, you can gather your hair into a half-up, half-down ponytail positioned at eyebrow or eye level.

Divide Your Hair

Split the gathered hair section into three equal strands. Hold the right strand in your right hand and the other two in your left hand. Let the middle strand drape over your middle finger, and hold the left strand against your palm with your pinkie. 

Start Braiding

Initiate a standard braid to anchor the Dutch braid. Cross the right strand under the middle one, followed by crossing the left strand under the new middle strand. Ensure you cross these strands under instead of over, as in a standard braid. This step is crucial for the Dutch braid to turn out correctly.

Add Hair Sections

Before crossing the right strand under the middle one, add a thin section of hair from the right side of your hairline to the right strand. Treat the two strands as one and cross them under the middle strand. Smooth down any stray hairs to maintain a tight braid. Repeat the process on the left side by adding a thin hair section from the left side of your hairline to the left strand and crossing it under the middle one.

Continue Braiding

Repeat the Dutch braiding process, adding thin hair sections from each side as you braid down towards the nape of your neck. Keep the thin sections consistent in size and maintain a tight braid, adjusting the tightness as needed. Stop braiding when you reach the nape of your neck.

Finish with a Standard Braid

Once you’ve reached the desired length, gather the remaining hair into three equal strands—right, middle, and left. Braid the strands together in a standard braid by crossing the right and left strands under the middle one. Ensure your stitches are tight and smooth, then tie off the braid when you have about 2 inches (5.1 cm) left. Optionally, you can continue braiding down to the very end.

Customize Your Braid

For a fuller appearance, loosen the outer strands of the braid by gently tugging on them from the end upwards. You can also muss up the fine hairs at your hairline for a carefree look. To add a romantic touch, coil the braid into a bun at the nape of your neck and secure it with bobby pins.

Watch a step-by-step tutorial on how to Dutch braid through this video to master the technique effortlessly.

Following these steps, you can create a stunning Dutch braid that adds charm to your hairstyle collection. Whether it’s a casual outing or a special event, the Dutch braid offers versatility and elegance for any occasion.


Which Braids, French Or Dutch, Last Longer?

Dutch braids typically last longer than French braids due to their tighter hold, which helps keep the hair in place for an extended period. This tighter hold is particularly beneficial for activities where hair movement is a concern, such as sports or workouts. Additionally, Dutch braids tend to maintain their shape and structure better over time, resulting in a hairstyle that remains intact for a longer duration compared to French braids. However, the longevity of both types of braids can also depend on factors such as hair texture, styling products used, and the skill of the braider.

Do French Or Dutch Braids Create Better Waves?

Both French and Dutch braids can leave wavy textures in your hair (Source: Pexels)
Both French and Dutch braids can leave wavy textures in your hair (Source: Pexels)

Once you take out the braids, both French and Dutch braids can leave wavy textures in your hair. However, Dutch braids typically create more prominent and defined waves. This is because the underhand weaving technique pulls more hair up and away from the scalp, resulting in a deeper and more textured wave pattern.

Are French Braids Easier To Do Than Dutch Braids?

French braids are generally considered easier to learn and master compared to Dutch braids. This is because the overhand weaving motion in French braids feels more natural and intuitive. The underhand technique in Dutch braids requires slightly more dexterity and practice to achieve a smooth and even weave.

Can I Braid My Hair Into Both Dutch And French Braids?

Absolutely! You can definitely braid your hair into both Dutch and French braids, and even combine them in different ways to create unique styles. Once you feel comfortable with the basic techniques, you can experiment and explore different braiding patterns to achieve the look you desire.

Final Thoughts

To wrap it up, both French and Dutch braids bring something special to the table when it comes to styling your hair. French braids give you those effortless, natural waves and help protect your hair from heat damage. On the other hand, Dutch braids offer a bit more volume and bounce, with that cool raised effect. Mastering both techniques gives you the freedom to switch up your look depending on the occasion or your mood. 

So why not explore both options and discover which one best suits your style? Whether you’re aiming for Dutch braids vs French braids, visit Jen Hair salon or book an appointment today to experience the magic firsthand.