Once upon a time, the term “Dutch braids” was not even in our vocabulary, but that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Dutch braids have become a cool-girl staple—the It braid you need in your hairstyle repertoire (the Kardashians are huge fans). There’s only one issue: They’re not exactly intuitive. How many times have you started with the intention of creating Dutch braids and halfway through realized you’re actually just French-braiding. No more. We called in Anh Co Tran (he’s the one responsible for those perfectly imperfect beach waves you see all over Instagram) to show precisely how it’s done—step by step. And we spared no detail.
Meet the Expert
Anh Co Tran is an expert celebrity hair stylist located in Los Angeles, California. His clients include Anne Hathaway, Laura Linney, and Julianne Moore, to name a few.
Watch Now: How to Make a Dutch Braid
Scroll through to see how easy it is to do Dutch braids.
Start with center-parted hair. Use a comb to make sure your part is straight all the way back to the nape of your neck. Split your hair so you have one section over each shoulder.
Grab three small pieces (about half an inch or less) at your hairline.
The key point to remember with Dutch braids is to weave each piece under rather than over (basically the opposite of a French braid). The piece on the right goes under the middle, and then the piece on the left goes under that.
Repeat the pattern of crossing the right section under the middle strand, and then the left section under the middle strand. Keep adding more hair (about a half- to three-quarter-inch) from the root every time you weave a new section.
Once you reach the nape of your neck, switch to a regular three-strand braid.
Tie it off at the end with a clear hair tie. We love the ones from Sephora ($4).
Repeat the process on the other side.
Maintain tension as you braid—the tighter the better. You can always loosen them up when you’re done.
If you want your Dutch braids a little messier, just pull the loops to open them up.
Keep scrolling for a bonus tutorial on how to take your Dutch braids from day to night.
Start with braided hair.
Grab each braid and pull them across your head to the opposite side.
Lift the tails up, lining them up against the inside edge of the existing braid.
Using bobby pins ($4), pin the ends of each braid into the braid it's lined up next to. Insert the pin in a downward motion, away from your face—the pin should go into the braid so you don’t see it. Be sure to tuck and pin the ends of your hair into the braid for a clean finish.
And that’s it! Your beautiful Dutch-braid updo is complete.
Photographer: Paley Fairman
Hairstylist: Anh Co Tran
Makeup Artist: Stacey Tan
Model: Ali Collier
Production: Clique Studio