Braids are definitely having a moment, and we love the fuss-free style that’s perfect in the warmer weather and is perfect for festivals too. But what exactly is the difference between a French and Dutch braid?
French braids and Dutch braids are basically an inside out version of each other. A French braid involves three strands of hair, like a regular braid, but hair is added to each side as you overlap them over the centre strand.
By adding hair as you go, this makes the braid hug your head, allowing you to create many shapes and huge variety of textures in your hairstyles – which you’ll see more of below.
A Dutch Braid is just another way of braiding your hair. With a Dutch braid, you underlap the strands with the centre strand. This allows the hair to sit on top of the head, as opposed to flat against it like a French Braid.
History of braiding
Hair braiding is an ancient hairstyle that is still loved by women across the world. This hairstyle looks so elegant that even today it can be worn to formal occasions, as well as being a favourite style for hitting the beach.
The history of hair braiding dates back to almost 3500 to 4000 BC. The hairstyle has, of course, evolved over the centuries, and today, there are several types of braids, French, Dutch and cornrows being some of them.
While it's difficult to know for certain where braiding originated, it has been found in all cultures of the world, including Asia, Africa, Egypt, Europe and the Americas. Braiding in Africa can be traced back to 3500 B.C., but there is evidence that the practice began much earlier.
A fishtail braid resembles a French braid in its smoothly woven appearance, but divides the hair into only two sections instead of three. A small piece of each section is passed over to the other section over and over to form the braid. This style was called the "Grecian braid" in the 19th century.
Boxer braids are the popular name given to two parallel French or Dutch braids worn in the hair. Zendaya Coleman had something to say about the ‘new’ hair trend:
“Braids are not new. Black women have been wearing braids for a very long time. We’ve been using that as a protective style, as a hairstyle. Another problem is it became new and fresh and fun, because it was on someone else other than a black woman. You know what I mean? So that is the frustration. That’s where the culture appropriation element comes into play.”
Braid inspiration and ideas
There's plenty of different ways to wear braid hairstyles, here's some ideas to try.
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Last update on 2017-08-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API