The French-Braid Ponytail Taking Over Instagram Is Actually SO Easy to Do
Nestled somewhere between the intricate plaited headband and your greasy, haven't-showered-in-a-week topknot, you'll find the ever-faithful french braid — a wildly easy style that, much to the wider world's delight, works even better on second (or third)-day hair. When you merge that look with a tucked-under low ponytail? Oh, baby, there's a hairstyle that practically sells itself.
No, but really: this french-braid tuck (or, as celebrity hairstylist Sunnie Brook likes to call it, "the Frenchie") is ridiculously simple, even for people with little to no hairstyling skills. It's also a refreshing departure from most people's go-to styles: "If you're bored with your bun or your ponytail, this is an easy look you can re-create on yourself," she tells POPSUGAR.
Don't just take our word for it. Ahead, Brook is breaking down the full step-by-step to this cute-as-hell french braid ponytail — or, as we like to call it, your new favorite hairstyle to DIY at home.
Step 1: Prep Your Hair
The rule of thumb to any braided hairstyle? Start with relatively dirty hair (this gives the plaits a little added grit and texture, plus helps the style last longer). Then, using a wide-tooth comb, brush out any tangles or knots to make for easy weaving.
Step 2: Start Your French Braid
Beginning from the top down, french-braid one-inch sections of hair starting behind the ear on either side of the head to the nape of the neck. (If you need any help in that department, head here for an easy french braid tutorial.) Don't worry about making it look perfect — there's a level of cool in leaving the look slightly unkempt.
Step 3: Secure With a Hair Tie
Secure the braided style with a clear elastic, leaving about an inch of hair poking out at the ends.
Step 4: Loosen Up
To give the look a certain je ne sais quoi — in other words, make the braids look fuller with more texture — use your fingertips to pinch and pull at the plaits. You can also add a few spritzes of dry shampoo or texturizer to give it a little extra grit.
Step 5: Fold the Braid in Half
Now, for the fun part: take the end of your braid and fold it upward. Tuck in the top section of the hair (where your elastic lays) and twist inward toward the middle of your head until you can no longer see the clear hair tie. (Just a note that if you have longer hair, you may need to do this step more than once.) Secure the style with bobby pins.
Step 6: Add Texture
Using your fingertips, gently tug at the braids to give the hair a little more texture. If you're after more fullness, Brook recommends a few spritzes of the Bumble and Bumble Dryspun Finish ($36). You can see the tutorial in full GIF form ahead.
The Full French-Braid Ponytail Process, in GIF Form
Et voila — call it a modern (and much easier) twist to the tried-and-true french braid.