Fake Braids to Try if You Can’t Actually Braid

May 19, 2021
Ariel Wodarcyk
By: Ariel Wodarcyk | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
Fake Braids to Try if You Can’t Actually Braid

Whether you can craft beautiful, intricate braids with ease or you never quite mastered the French braid, there are plenty of faux braided styles that are just as pretty and fun to learn. Faux braids are also great for those of us with fine hair that needs a little extra volume, or second-day hair in need of a quick refresh. Keep reading to find out how three beauty influencers fake classic braided looks, from French to fishtail.


Faux French Braid Pigtails

Harmony Beus of @Harmonize_Beauty loves this faux French braid look for her fine hair. “This gives the look of a braid without actually having to braid, and it looks really thick and full,” she says.
  • STEP 1:

    Part hair down the middle and separate it into two even sections.

  • STEP 2:

    Starting on one side, gather a section of hair in the front. It can be any size, depending on how tight you want the braid to be. Secure the section with a small clear elastic band.

  • STEP 3:

    Clip the ponytail portion of the section you just secured out of the way.

  • STEP 4:

    Gather a section underneath the first one — try to keep it the same thickness as the first. Secure with a clear elastic.

  • STEP 5:

    Take the first ponytail out of the clip and split it in half. Lift the second ponytail and bring it through to the two halves, clipping it down again in the front to keep it out of the way.

  • STEP 6:

    Make a third section, incorporating the halves of the ponytail from the first section. Secure with a clear elastic.

  • STEP 7:

    Repeat by splitting the second ponytail in half, sliding the third ponytail through and incorporating the halves of the second ponytail into the next section.

  • STEP 8:

    Secure the two remaining ends with one elastic, and gently tug each half of the braid to add texture and volume. This conceals the elastics and makes the style look more like a real French braid.

Pull Through Braids

YouTuber Nikkia Joy swears these faux braids take less than ten minutes to complete. They look great on second-day hair because it has more grip, but if yours is freshly washed, you can rough it up with the Garnier Fructis Style Texture Tease Dry Touch Finishing Spray.

  • STEP 1:

    Joy straightens her hair before she starts this style to make it more manageable, but you can work with your natural texture, too.

  • STEP 2:

    Part your hair in the middle and separate into two sections.

  • STEP 3:

    Pull a small section of hair in the front back and secure with an elastic.

  • STEP 4:

    Separate the pulled back section in two.

  • STEP 5:

    Pull the loose ponytail through the two halves and loop it back underneath.

  • STEP 6:

    Create another section underneath and secure both that section and the first ponytail you made.

  • STEP 7:

    Separate the pulled-back ponytail, and loop the new ponytail through the halves. Repeat until the nape of the neck.

  • STEP 8:

    Joy braids the rest of her hair once she reaches the nape of her neck, but you can continue the style or secure it in a ponytail at the end.

Faux Fishtail Braids

Eva Pautov says her voluminous faux fishtail is much more secure than a regular fishtail braid, which is great news for people with long, thick hair.


  • STEP 1:

    Twist a section at the crown of the head, then secure with a bobby pin.

  • STEP 2:

    Gather one section on either side of the pinned section and secure them together with a clear elastic.


  • STEP 3:

    Loop the ponytail through the twisted section and remove the bobby pin.

  • STEP 4:

    Start pulling out pieces to add volume.

  • STEP 5:

    Continue gathering small sections on either side, forming them into a ponytail and flipping them through the twisted section in the middle. The more sections you make, the fuller your braid will be.

  • STEP 6:

    Once you reach the nape of the neck, you should have two ponytails left: one underneath and one on top. Pull the section underneath forward, and loop it through itself until you reach the ends.

Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn

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