Soft Side French Braid



I always felt like I couldn’t rock side braids because my hair wasn’t long enough. There are so many photos of long hair in braids on Pinterest that I simply decided it wasn’t going to be in the cards for me unless I grew my hair out.

With no plans to grow my hair out, I decided to give a side braid a shot for crying out loud. How bad could it be?

After this tutorial, I proceeded to wear my hair in a soft, loose side french braid for a few days. I loved that it was different from a typical ponytail, and it still got my hair off my neck in the 90 degree days.

The key for this look is loose and messy. Let pieces fall out. Make it look like you took a nap on it. The looser the better, and it will avoid looking like a perfectly juvenile french braid.

Product mentioned: Redken Powder Grip 03 (great for adding texture to otherwise slippery hair)



french6top: Madewell, earrings: Saressa Designs, lipstick: Bold Flamingo


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Comments (44)

  1. Kyllie says
    Posted June 9, 2014

    Me encanta lo bien que te queda la trenza francesa, yo no consigo hacรฉrmela asรญ de suelta sin parecer despeinada ๐Ÿ™

    Kyllie | Make Up Fragrances

  2. Amy Lewis says
    Posted June 9, 2014

    Love this!! It’s perfect for our hot, humid NC summer days! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Jamie drake says
    Posted June 9, 2014

    LOVE IT!!!

  4. Lauren says
    Posted June 9, 2014

    Love it! Too bad I don’t know how to French braid…and have no confidence that I will learn.

    • Cassie says
      Posted June 9, 2014

      French braiding is just practice. Grab a YouTube vid for technique and then practice anytime you’re watching TV. It helps if you’re sitting on a coach so you can rest your arms on the back when you need to (they can get a little sore at first). The great thing about practicing at home when you’re not going out is that it doesn’t matter when the first few braids are terrible. Just take them out and braid again.

    • Kate says
      Posted June 9, 2014

      Well that’s not the right attitude! There are tons of videos on Youtube to teach you how. Once you get the hang it of, I’m sure you’ll feel comfortable!

    • Amber says
      Posted June 9, 2014

      You can do it! Like another person said! Find a youtube video and practice practice! The nice thing about this side french braid is it doesn’t need to look perfect to wear it! I messy french braid would look pretty too!

  5. Rebecca says
    Posted June 9, 2014

    I love the soft braid look. My hair has just gotten long enough I can pull it in a pony tail, but I get tired of it. I may have to test it on 2nd day hair…otherwise it might be so loose it just falls out!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Kate says
      Posted June 9, 2014

      That’s where the texture powder comes in handy!

  6. Lauren says
    Posted June 9, 2014

    Will definitely give this a try. I cut my hair recently and hate not being able to braid it!

  7. Angela says
    Posted June 9, 2014

    This looks so pretty! I didn’t think a side braid would be possible for my shoulder length hair. I will attempt this one for sure! Thanks.

  8. Kate says
    Posted June 9, 2014

    That braid is making me wish I didn’t hack all my hair off! So cute!

  9. Laura says
    Posted June 9, 2014

    This is such a great tutorial! I just cut my hair to shoulder length after years of being long and I’m so excited to find I can still wear one of my favorite hair styles with shorter hair!

  10. Ashley Gillespie says
    Posted June 9, 2014

    I’m so glad that you shared this with us! I just recently started *trying* to french braid my own hair. my fingers have trouble working together for the common goal! haha! If you have any tips on braiding your own hair/finger work, I’d love a better tutorial on that!

    Really enjoy your blog!!

  11. Sarah says
    Posted June 9, 2014

    I love French braids, especially for summer, but I have lots of layers in my hair and I tend to get a spiky- looking braid with little pieces of hair sticking out the whole way down the braid. Is there any way to avoid that??

  12. Lauren says
    Posted June 9, 2014

    “and it still got my hair off my neck in the 90 degree days.”
    Last year I walked up to a kids’ lemonade stand when I drove by it on my way home from work. As I was walking back to my car, a woman rolled her window down and called out to me saying how smart I was for wearing my hair in a side braid since it probably kept my neck free of hair. She was right – my neck was cool on that 100+ degree day!

  13. Posted June 9, 2014

    Cute!! My hair is about the same length…can’t wait to try this. PS I picked up some It’s a 10 over the weekend…love!! Thanks for featuring it last week!

    • Kate says
      Posted June 9, 2014

      Glad you like it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Posted June 9, 2014

    That looks adorable on you, Kate! I always love your hair tutorials!

  15. Nicole says
    Posted June 9, 2014

    Thanks for this great tutorial! My hair length is the same, I will have to try this. Also, where are your earrings from? Is it from your sisters shop?



  16. Danielle says
    Posted June 9, 2014

    This was perfectly timed! I’ve been doing a low side braid occasionally lately and this tutorial has given me much needed tips on how to keep it loose/messy looking. Thanks!

  17. kendra burton says
    Posted June 9, 2014

    Our church is doing an outdoor VBS this week in HOTlanta. I think you have just shown me the answer to not looking like my daughter’s hairstyle but still getting it off my neck. Thanks!

  18. Jen says
    Posted June 9, 2014

    Love this look! I have short hair too and need new ways to wear it.

    xo, Jen

  19. Bethany says
    Posted June 9, 2014

    Can’t wait to try this tomorrow on 2nd day hair! I love side braids but figured the only way I could sport one was with my clip ons in which kind of defeats the keeping it cool vibe!

  20. Steph M says
    Posted June 9, 2014

    Gonna have to check out that texturizing product. I have the slipperiest hair. Even Dutch braids don’t hold it for more than an hour. Reaaaaally annoying.

  21. Julie says
    Posted June 10, 2014

    I am so excited! I just French braided my own hair for the first time after watching your tutorial! And it looks great! I love it! Thanks so much for sharing this!

  22. Nastasja says
    Posted June 10, 2014

    Hi Kate, I’m follwing your blog from Germany an really enjoy your hair tutorials. I just bought a bigger curling iron this weeking to get the right waves. Thanks a lot!

  23. Alyssa says
    Posted June 10, 2014

    Love her studs. It’s so like mine.

  24. Lizzy says
    Posted June 10, 2014

    A bit off topic, but I love you shirt! Where did you get it?

  25. Rachel says
    Posted June 10, 2014

    Love your hair! I miss my shoulder length hair but it’s almost grown back (can’t wait).

    This is where Kate’s earrings are from:

  26. Kaelyn says
    Posted June 10, 2014

    You make french braids look so easy! I will have to practice myself as I am pretty rubbish with all things considered when it comes to my hair lol. Thank you for the great tutorial!

  27. Ann says
    Posted June 10, 2014

    I’m a teacher and I styled my hair like this today and got so many compliments! Thanks for the idea!

  28. Carolina Little says
    Posted June 11, 2014

    Great tutorial as usual!

  29. Kate Sullivan says
    Posted June 13, 2014

    I know this is a random question but does that shirt run true to size or big? Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Mel says
    Posted June 15, 2014

    I tried this on my hair today and I couldn’t help but think, “I look pretty freakin’ awesome.” Thanks for another great hair tutorial! I’m a missionary in Botswana (Africa) and have been following your blog since I moved here in 2012 (found you on Pintrest!). I miss Ulta and Sephora with a passion, but reading your blog and watching your tutorials helps me get my beauty fix ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. olle says
    Posted June 16, 2014

    Love your new hairstyle! So beautiful!

  32. Jessica says
    Posted June 17, 2014

    Thanks so much for your great tutorials! I have always wanted to wear a side braid but didn’t know how to French braid. After watching your tutorial I was able to easily do it. This is probably my new favorite hairstyle! I love LOVE love your blog!! ๐Ÿ™‚


  33. Posted June 19, 2014

    Nice hairstyle! So beautiful!

  34. Carolyn says
    Posted June 20, 2014

    This is my go to hair when I’m having a study session. Cute and functional.
    Carolyn | BLOG

  35. louise says
    Posted January 15, 2015

    I have just discovered your blog and I love it! Your hair tutorials are perfect for my hair and lifestyle. Thank you. My 19 month old son also liked boogying to the music in this one, so thanks for keeping us both entertained!