How-To: A Sleek French Twist for Short Hair

Updated 09/08/17

The French twist is one of those hairstyles that looks terribly difficult to create, but is actually remarkably simple. Since celeb hairstylist and our resident hair guru Jen Atkin can make any style look easy, we had her break it down for us step by step. Even updo novices can master this one. To prove just how doable it is, we whipped up this French twist on short hair.

Scroll through to see how it’s done!

Justin Coit


Start with a little bit of natural texture to give your hairstyle some body.

Justin Coit

Step One: Part

You’ll need to part your hair to one side in order to swoop it over into a twist later.

Justin Coit

Step Two: Tease

Lightly backcomb the underside of your hair all over to build up the volume even more.

Justin Coit

Step Three: Pin One Side

Start your French twist by sweeping one side of your hair towards the back of head. Just before you reach the center, insert a bobby pin flat against your head, vertically, to hold the hair down.

Justin Coit

Step Four: Gather the Other Side

Use both hands to bring the hair from the other side over to meet your first bobby pin. As you smooth it over, be careful not to condense your hair into a bun. Instead, try to maintain the length of the section as you mold it into a French twist.

Justin Coit

Step Five: Twist

Keep smoothing the section over as you roll it in towards the center. Start at the top, and work your way down towards the nape of your neck. It’s okay if a few pieces fall out, you’ll be able to pin them back in place.

Justin Coit

Step Six: Twist and Pin

Use one hand to hold the hair in place, as you insert bobby pins up the length of your twist. Start from the bottom to ensure you catch all of the shorter pieces that tend to slip out.

Justin Coit

Step Seven: Keep Pinning

Keep adding bobby pins until your French twist feels secure.

Justin Coit

Step Eight: Smooth

Lightly smooth out any rough spots with a boar-bristle hairbrush.

Justin Coit


Add a spritz of hairspray for hold and you’re done!

Photographer: Justin Coit
Hairstylist: Jen Atkin
Makeup Artist: Roxy
Producer: Jenna Peffley
Model: Corrie

Fashion credits: Topshop Photo Floral Print Bodycon Dress ($68) 

Don’t miss Atkin’s wavy hair for every hair length tutorial, and find even more hair inspiration on her website Mane Addicts!

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