Hollywood’s Latest Braid Obsession
From the looks of things, Hollywood has flipped over what everyone apparently thinks is the new “thing” of Dutch braids, however in actuality, Dutch braids, French braids, inverted French braids and Cornrows have been around for ages–and there’s no telling how long the newish trend of the fishtail braid has been practiced, seeing as how it, like the others, is just another variation on the braid. Braided hair has been traced back thousands of years, with its first evidence in Africa. It has been alternately referred to as plaiting, which involves the exact same procedure. While the French braid has been the term more widely used, with the term inverted French braid being the industry term for what is now being called the Dutch braid. And then, the cornrow in every way appears to be the same thing as the “new, trending” Dutch braid, with one exception: The Dutch braid does not take up all the hair into the braid, while the cornrow does. This gives the cornrow a thicker appearance.
All Braids in History
Looking back into a more ancient time, in some cultures, braids were worn in order to communicate particular status about the person wearing them. Just by looking at a woman’s braids, you could tell whether they were single or married, a widow or mourning, “on the market,” (as in an age ready to be courted,) and her particular lineage. Some braids revealed the great wealth of the wearer, while others conveyed a lowly status.
First, Look at the Fishtail Braid
A good look at the execution of the fish braid will reveal the basic technique that is the central component of the French braid, the Dutch braid and the inverted French braid. It has to do with the number of strands of hair that make up the braid. In the fishtail and the other three, essentially two strands are braided on top of a third strand. For the sake of simplicity, let’s eliminate the inverted French braid, as it is the same thing as the Dutch braid. So, we now have the Dutch braid, the French braid and the fishtail braid. Assuming that fishtail braids all begin at or around the base hairline, there is no other close to the scalp hair to pull into the braid as you progress. You begin with three strands, pulling the two outermost strands in a sort of “double Dutch” fashion, to form a braid. With each new wrap of the right or the left strand, you pull in a bit of hair from the third, inactive strand. This is the fishtail braid.
The Dutch Braid VS the French Braid VS the Cornrow
With an understanding of how the fishtail braid works, it’s safe to move on to decoding the only difference between the Dutch and French braiding techniques. There is, however, a distinction that the Dutch and French braids have from the fishtail braid, and that is that while you can begin and end either in any spot, both are typically begun with a triangle section at the facial hairline. Then, the distinction that remains is in the direction–as in “over” or “under” of the braided strands. In a Dutch braid, the strands are pulled in, one over the other, and on top of the middle section, pulling in extra hair from the right and left as you go. In a French braid, the same strands are introduced, one under the other, and on top of the third, or center strand. With a cornrow, use the same technique as a Dutch braid, but include the middle, third strand in with the braid.