Hair How-To: Messy Reverse French Braids

Published in: Hair

Messy reverse french braid

I rue the day that sleek, perfect, not-one-hair-out-of-place hairstyles come back into fashion because, duuuuude! — when that happens, I’m pretty much screwed.


Take this messy reverse French braid, par exemple. I don’t know why, but whenever I wear it, I usually get one or two compliments, and it seems like the messier and crazier it looks, the more it makes an impression.

Long live messy hair! 😀

Here’s how I do it…

  • I start by prepping my roots with a dry hairspray to add some lift and volume (here I used Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle for oily Hair).
  • Next, I spray a texturizing spray from mid-shaft to the ends, and my ride-or-die is Kerastase Spray a Porter (SERIOUSLY THE BEST!!).
  • Then, I part my hair and do a reverse French braid (which is basically the same thing as a regular French braid, but instead of pulling the hair over to create the braid, you pull it under) on one side, and secure it with an elastic ponytail holder.

    Then I do the same thing with the other side until it meets the first braid. After that, I gently pull the elastic off the first braid and use it to secure both braids together at the point where they meet.

  • A quick spritz of an uber-hold hairspray (like Kerastase Laque Noire Extra Strong Hold or something similar) all over, and I’m done.

Messy reverse French braid

Messy reverse French braid

Messy reverse French braid

Klorane Dry Shampoo With Nettle

Klorane Dry Shampoo With Nettle

Messy reverse french braid

Kerastase Spray a Porter

Kerastase Laque Noire Extra Strong Hold

Kerastase Laque Noire Extra Strong Hold

I love how easy this style is (takes less than 10 minutes once you get the hang of it) and that it doesn’t require any heat styling or fancy doodads. Plus, because it’s purposefully messy, I can pretty much let the hair do whatever it wants and just say, “Yeah…I meant to do that.”

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 22 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. I love this braiding technique. The messier the better.
    It has become my go-to hairstyle since the hair lost due to having a baby grows back. No chance in making anything look sleek…
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Whats in my travel skincare bag?

  2. Agata says:

    I love this! Unfortunately I’m not very good either at a French braid or a reverse one. I will have to practice although right now I think my hair is too short anyways.
    Agata recently posted … Voluminous Hair in 1,2,3…

  3. Laarni says:

    I love it, Karen! Well, I am the most boring person when it comes to hair! hahaha!
    Laarni recently posted … Maybelline Color Sensational Lipsticks in Pleasure Me Red

  4. Erin says:

    I wish I could braid better. I’m hopeless!
    Erin recently posted … Derma E Soothing Series

  5. You make it sound so easy! I’m going to try it now and see if I can do it too. 🙂
    Alyssa Melanie recently posted … Chanel & The Face Shop International Giveaway (March 2015)

  6. Karen, this messy braid is so cute!! I’m not sure if I still have enough hair to make it work, but I’m definitely going to give it a try 😛
    Rae // theNotice recently posted … A week away | theNotice goes to Toronto!

  7. Bits says:

    I know I’m supposed to be looking at your hair but… what are you wearing on your cheeks?? Love your makeup in these photos!

  8. You looking so prettyyy Karen.. the french braid totally suits you..u should do it more often!! 😉

    I suck at styling my hair but you are inspiring me to try my hands on it 😉
    Poo@beautyandmakeupmatters recently posted … Lancome Le Crayon Kohl – Noir Review, Swatch, EOTD

  9. sone says:

    Really digging the look on u Karen! Sweet ,laidback n fun!

  10. Kim says:

    It’s been forever since I’ve done a french braid (or reverse) and I’ve only ever done a single, straight down the back. I like this “pig tail” version. I think I’ll give it a whirl before tonight’s workout. Even if it’s a disaster, it’s just to keep the hair out of my face and only my fam will see it. 🙂

  11. Fancie says:

    This is such a cute style on you! I suck at braiding but I think I want to give this a try lol
    Fancie recently posted … MAC Bao Bao Wan Collection for Spring 2015

  12. Kelly B. says:

    This is so pretty on you! I love to wear braids in my hair so I’m definitely going to give this a go!
    Kelly B. recently posted … Spring e.l.f. Haul!

  13. Adrienne says:

    THIS is the kind of stuff I really need a video for! I cannot figure out how to get my arms up high enough or at the right angle or how to hold my hair or what, which is strange because I learned to braid really quickly (lanyards were my first for what it’s worth, not hair).

  14. Gloria says:

    Oh, this is interesting!! I was trying to do a loop of reverse french braids last saturday but couldn’t finish.. I spend maybe 30min and 3 tryouts… However I failed at the back side or from back to the other side (if you know what I mean). I was so confused when I changed the way to hold the braids (from left to right), and messed up.
    Gave up.

    Instead, I’ll try this style. It looks way easier to manage!
    It’s always fun to see your post, btw. Thank you!

  15. Mary says:

    gorgeous as usual! love the earrings….spill

  16. Tatiana says:

    I’ve had short hair for most of my adult life. I am hopeless when it comes to hairstyling, but somehow my daughter has figured out how to french braid her hair all on her own.
    I love your makeup in these photos, what are you wearing on your cheeks and lips? It’s just so beautiful. Also love that nail polish color.

  17. So pretty! I’m a big braid fan. Plaits for life!
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Review | Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector in 03 My Pink

  18. Heloisa says:

    Hi, Karen! If messy hair ever gets out of style, I’ll probably stick to the old times and gladly settle for “démodé” 😛

    Your reverse French braids look amazing, and this is such a beautifying, sweet makeup! I love it on you and think it would look great for everybody. Sadly, it would me look super young, TOO young. Like a 15 year old or something (I’m turning 25 next week). Yesterday, I talked to a boy around 12 years old when I was heading home after eating sushi at the local mall. We were chatting about the alligators in the local stream that crosses the neighborhood and leads toward the mangrove swamp. I told him I was studying to become a Geography teacher. He asked me my age, got surprised, and said I looked MUCH younger, emphasizing the MUCH part. 🙁

    I’m gonna try the hairdo tomorrow night for a party. Usually I think the messier, the better, but somehow, I feel my braids will need a lot of effort to achieve the rocker, cool, “I don’t give sh*t” messy level, instead of “just got out of bed with a hangover” 😛

  19. Amanda G says:

    Also commonly called a Dutch braid. 🙂

  20. Maddie says:

    Great tutorial! This hairstyle is so cute, I love it. I will definitely have to try to out for my hair and see how I like it. Hopefully it looks as good as it did on you! Your makeup is gorgeous, by the way. You look great!

  21. Maddie says:

    By the way, in addition to my last comment, here is a great blog that I highly recommend going to for some more hair tips. It’s really great:

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