I am totally obsessed with rope braids! They're so easy to create and modify, and they work with a variety of hair styles, formations, textures, and lengths. In this tutorial, I'll show you how to create a rope braid crown that is suitable for medium to long hair styles - and I even threw in a couple variations at the end for some creative inspiration.
Step 1: Create Your Sections
First, gather your supplies: in this case, I just used bobby pins, clear hair elastics, and a pair of baby scissors.
Next, create your sections: decide where you want your braids to start and tie them up with the elastics. I created sections on either side of my head above the temples.
Step 2: Twist Your Rope Braids
To create the actual rope braid, split your hair section into two halves. Twist each half in the same direction. Then twist one half around the other - maintaining the original twist - in the OPPOSITE direction.
So for example, you can see in these photos that I twisted each half to the left and then twisted the halves around each other to the right. Tie the bottom of the braid with an elastic.
Step 3: Pin Braids Into a Crown
Use bobby pins to secure the braid to your head in whatever arrangement you like. You can use baby scissors to carefully cut off only the first elastics (that are holding your sections in place) if you want a more relaxed, messy look, or leave them on if you want more control. Make sure to pin the ends of each braid under a section of hair so the elastics at the ends are hidden. And voila! You have a rope braid crown. The second photo (does anyone have credits for this image? I found it on Pinterest) shows a cute variation of the rope braid crown that sits along the hairline - I'm keeping this style in mind for when my fringe grows out and I need a way to keep it out of my face.
Keep reading for more rope braid inspiration!
Step 4: Single French Rope Braid
To create the "French" rope braid, gather a section at the crown and split it in two. Again, twist each half in one direction, and then twist the halves around each other in the opposite direction. Then gather hair from below the crown and continue twisting new hair into each half and then twisting the halves around each other in the opposite direction. When you reach the nape, finish the braid by simply continuing the basic twist pattern and secure at the bottom with an elastic.
Step 5: Rope Braid Pigtails
[The first image is something I found on Pinterest - if you know the photographer, please let me know so I can credit them properly. The next two images are of my fellow beauty school student Eyreka, aka Instructables member Skin Beauty Fairy.]
For Eyreka, we created two mirror-image "French" rope braids on either side of her head. To create a mirror-image symmetrical look, twist each side of the head in opposite directions - in other words, in the second photo, I twisted the two halves of the left side to the right, and then twisted those halves around each other to the left; I twisted the two halves of the right side to the left, and then twisted those halves around each other to the right. If you want the rope braids to move in the same direction like in the first photo, you'll just twist everything in the same directions on both sides of the head.