French Braid STEP 1 For best results, hair should be at least shoulder length. If hair is layered, work with it wet to minimize short layers popping out of the braid. Gather hair from the top of the crown (before the head starts to round) and divide into three equal sections with your fingers. STEP 2 To begin braiding, cross the right piece over the center piece of hair. Next cross the left piece over the center piece. STEP 3 Return to the right side. Pick up a section of loose hair (hair that falls below the top crown area) and add it to the right braid section. Cross this piece over the center section. STEP 4 Repeat step three for the left side. STEP 5 Alternate between right and left sides, centering the braid down the back of the head. STEP 6 By the time you reach the nape of the neck, all of the loose hair should be incorporated into the braid. Continue braiding until you reach the ends. STEP 7 Use a covered elastic band to secure the ends.