Creating a French Twist

by April Reinhardt
(last updated December 31, 2014)

An updo is certainly the hairstyle to wear for a formal occasion. Of all updos, perhaps the French twist is the most elegant.

There are several kinds of French twists, and variations thereof. You can opt for the most structured twist, leaving no hair out of place for the most formal events, or a modified twist, leaving wisps of hair around your face and at the base of the neck, for a less formal situation. Severe French twists don't allow for bangs, while more casual twists do.

In either case, all French twist formations require basic hair equipment; bobby pins to match your hair coloring, a high quality styling brush such as a wide paddle or boar's head hairbrush, colorful clips or hair combs, and extra hold hairspray.

To begin, wet your hair and then pat in dry until it is slightly damp. Follow these steps to create a beautiful French twist:

  1. Brush your hair back from the forehead until all of your hair is smooth.
  2. Gather your hair into a tight ponytail, just above the base of the neck, making sure that the ponytail is smooth.
  3. Twist your ponytail over and over again, until it becomes tight at the base of the neck, and you cannot twist it further.
  4. Twist the entire twisted ponytail up while holding the base of it with one hand, pointing the ends of your hair towards the ceiling.
  5. Fold the ponytail down and under itself, tucking in any loose ends into the seam of the twist.
  6. Curl the twist into the seam, smoothing as you go.
  7. Continue tucking and curling the twist into the seam until the entire roll is smooth and very tight.
  8. Starting at the bottom, tuck bobby pins all the way into the seam about every half-inch, until you reach the top of the roll.
  9. Pin the roll at the top of the twist for more anchorage, making sure all hairs are secured.
  10. Finish the twist with plenty of hairspray, smoothing the hair with your hand as you spray.

Add jeweled clips, barrettes, flowers, or hair sticks for a dramatic effect. If you've short hair, you can add a few hair extensions to create a French twist.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...


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