French Braid Updo with Hair Bows: The How To

By Alison Alhamed | 07/03/2012 12:14:00 PM


click image to zoom

MODERN Facebook fan Sarah Macintosh, AKA Sarah MacD, uses Pinterest as inspiration to create updos and special occasion styles at Salon Glo, in Valencia, California.

"When I saw this look on Pinterest, I knew I just HAD to try it out myself," she says. "With wedding season in full swing, I have to always be looking for new looks and learning new techniques."

We tracked down our new friend Sarah for the how-to on creating this French braided updo with hair bows--once you have the technique down, you can apply the hair bows method to create multiple finishes!

As requested, for our visual learners we have a video tutorial featured here, and if you'd like a closer look at each step, the photos and steps are written out after the video. Enjoy!




Step 1. Create a part where desired.

Step 2. Following the part, section out another parting of hair about 1/2-inch to 1-inch wide (clip away this hair as this will be the hair that, later, will be used to make the bows).

Step 3. Begin to French braid the sides of the hair, against the scalp, beginning at the temple. Stop once you reach the back of the head just a few inches past the occipital.

Step 4. Repeat on the opposite side, beginning at the hairline. Stop once you reach the back of the head, just a few inches above the occipital.

Step 5. Braid together the two sides to meet in the middle. This can be any type of French braid... this case, a one-sided French braiding technique was used (only adding hair from the inside and NOT adding hair on the hairline side).



Step 6. To create the bows, take a hair pin and push the loop end under a section of your french braid...

...take a small piece of the hair that is sectioned out and create a loop with your fingers (twist while creating the loop). Thread this through the loop of the hairpin. Grab the hair loop with one hand while gently pulling the hair pin back through with your other hand. Pull the hair through until you like the size of the bow.

Step 7. If the hair is long you can take the end of the last bow and add it into your next section. You can also leave the ends out and tuck and pin them under the bows when you finish. Continue the bows down the braid until you run out of hair.

If you want more bows. do not skip sections of the french braid and take smaller pieces per bow.

Once you learn the bows, this technique can be interpreted in many different looks--as a half-up, half-down style... a face-framing look for a special occasion...

hair bow french braid
hair bow french braid updo

... or as a complete updo.






ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alison Alhamed

Alison Alhamed, Editor in Chief of Modern Salon Magazine | Editor of First Chair

Since July 2008, Alison has worked across all brands under the MODERN SALON Media umbrella, including MODERN SALON, SALON TODAY, FIRST CHAIR and MODERN SALON TV. Alison’s passion for the beauty industry grew even deeper after she enrolled in beauty school, working as an editor by day and a student by night. Alison earned her cosmetology degree from Pivot Point International in Bloomingdale, Illinois, in May 2011.

You can find Alison on Google+ or e-mail her at


Comments (0) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

Feedback Form
Leads to Insight