French Braid vs. Dutch Braid – Do you know the difference?

Taryn Davies
Published: July 28, 2017

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 vs dutch braid

French Braid

French braids and Dutch braids essentially the same thing, it's just the way that they're woven that makes them different. When you braid a French braid you take three strands of hair to start, adding in hair to each side, with the strands you overlap them to create a fitted braid look that sits on your head without much pronouncement.


French braid hairstyles

French braid

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.

Dutch Braid

A Dutch Braid is the opposite style to a French braid. 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.

Dutch braid hairstyle

Dutch braid hairstyle

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.


French vs dutch braid

Fishtail braid

A fishtail braid certainly looks a lot more complicated that it is. But in reality, it's quite simple to create this look. You divide the whole hair into two sections, you then use one small piece from each section and pass it over to the other part of the hair, this forms the braid. You work your way through the length of the hair passing strands from side to the other.

In the 19th Century, this type of braid was called the Grecian braid.

Fishtail braid

Fishtail braid

Boxer Braids

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, explaining that to call it a new trend is factually incorrect as black women have worn the style for a long time. She says it has been touted as a new trend because it's been worn by someone other than a black woman, she thinks that cultural appropriation comes into play with this.

Kim Kardashian and daughter North wear Boxer braids

Braid inspiration and ideas

There's plenty of different ways to wear braid hairstyles, here are some ideas to try.

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