How to Do a Gorgeous Lace & French Braid Updo for a Special Occasion

by Laineymariebeauty
4 Materials
30 Minutes

Holidays and weddings are when you want to look your best. For most people, a gorgeous French braid updo completes the look.

This technique uses a double French braid on either side with a bun updo in the back. You can make this a side French braid updo as well.

Here’s how to make a lace French braid updo hairstyle that looks stunning.

Tools and materials:

  • Hair elastics
  • Bobby pins
  • Topsy tail (optional)
  • Curling iron - 1 inch (optional)
Sectioning hair into three parts

1. Section your hair

Section your hair into 3 parts. The first two parts are on the front on either side of your head.

Leave at least 3 inches of your hair in the front on either side. You can make a middle or side part but just make sure to leave at least 3 inches of hair on either side.

You’ll be using the hair in the back to make a braid. 

Braiding hair at the back

2. Braid the back of your hair

Twist the hair to give some volume and add bobby pins to secure.

How to create French braid updo hairstyles

Use an elastic to make a ponytail from the back section. Remove any bobby pins.

Braiding hair all the way down

Make a regular three-strand braid all the way down. Secure with an elastic. 

Pinching and pulling hair for texture

Pinch and pull the hair (also called pancaking) on both sides of the braid to give more texture and volume.

Twisting the braid into a bun

Then, twist it into a bun, wrapping it around itself, making it as flat as possible. Bobby pin into place and tuck the ends inside it.

Lace braiding the front section of hair

3. Lace braid your front sections

Divide your hair on one of the front sections into 3 sections towards the back of the section. Lace braids are done like a regular three-strand braid with one difference.

How to lace braid hair

You add a small section of hair only to the front piece each time you use the front section in the braid. When you’re using the front section, pull additional hair only to the front section as you cross it over.

The back and middle sections of the braid remain the same and you don’t add any more hair. Each time you’re using the front section, add a small section of hair, combine them, and cross over to the middle.

Side French braid updo

Make sure to angle the front hairs toward the back of your head to achieve a lace braid effect.

Lace braiding hair

This takes some time. Continue to do so all the way down the length of your hair. If you want to have some wisps in the front, make sure to leave out some hair.

In this tutorial I didn’t, so I have a completely pulled back effect, which is also very pretty. If you want both sides to have even lace braids, make a middle part. 

Pancaking the lace braid

Once you reach the end of the braid, secure with a clear elastic. Pancake the lace braid on both sides of the braid, along the length of the braid. Pick and pull to make the braid fluffy.

You may need to readjust the braid and the elastic as the pancaking may cause the braid to shrink.  

Securing the lace braid to the braided bun

4. Secure the lace braids to the bun

Once one lace braid is done, drape it across the back bun. Wrap it around and secure it into place with bobby pins. Make it as flat as possible.

Add bobby pins all along the braid to keep it close to your head.

How to do a French lace braid updo

Make the second lace French braid on the other side, using the same technique.

Draping the braids over each other

Once it’s done, drape it over the back bun.

Using a topsy tail tool to wrap the braid

I used a topsy tool to help me wrap the second lace French braid but you can just use your hands. Use bobby pins to keep all the braids flat.

For more information on this handy tool, you can see my previous tutorial on making ponytails with a topsy tail.

Pinching and pulling the top of the hair

5. Add texture and volume

Once the braids are wrapped around the bun, pinch and pull the top of the hair for more texture and volume.

Curling wispy front pieces of hair

6. Curl the wispy front pieces

I like to use a 1 inch curling iron to the front pieces to make them look loose, soft, and wispy.

Double French braid updo
How to do French braid updos on long hair

French braid updo

French braid updo tutorial

I hope you give this gorgeous French braid updo hairstyle a try. It's perfect for weddings, the holidays, or any special occasion where you want to look your best.

It's easy to achieve once you have your braiding skills down, but you may need to practice your technique first. Or, if you struggle to braid your hair, have someone else help you.

Let me know in the comments if you tried it or even better, share photos of you looking gorgeous with this French lace braid hairstyle!

Suggested materials:
  • Hair elastics
  • Bobby pins
  • Topsy tail (optional)
See all materials

The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

Join the conversation