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Hair How-To: The French Twist

Create a more romantic, less structured version of the classic up-do...

By Rebecca Paiement
Posted April 13, 2012

French TwistTime to get reacquainted with the flirty, girly ponytail’s more elegant cousin, the French twist. Sophisticated, tidy and clean, the French twist was made famous by Audrey Hepburn, and updated on red carpet strolls by everyone from Angelina Jolie to Rachel Weisz. “The French twist today is more about an accidental look,” says celebrity hairstylist Billy Lowe. “Loose pieces adorn it, and add a more carefree feel.”

Lowe recommends shoulder length hair and suggests you skip the wash. “If hair is too freshly shampooed, it may slip or not hold as well,” he warns. “Dirty hair is best because the little bit of buildup holds onto itself better.”


The basic step-by-step from Lowe is as follows:

  1. Curl hair throughout with a 1” curling iron.
  2. Tease hair at the roots to establish support and hold.
  3. Pull front quarter of hair forward and leave free.
  4. Gather hair in back, and begin to wrap and wind hair as if you were twisting a ponytail. Hold hair low, at the nape of your neck, and begin winding hair upward, tucking the ends into gathered sections, pinning as you move along.
  5. Place and gather the front quarter section to your taste, leaving wispy pieces out at the sides, or softly sweeping it back.

“Don’t try to be too perfect with this look,” says Lowe. “Too many times people try to get every little hair in place. The classic French twist was tight and polished, but leaving it a little unstructured creates a more romantic feel that is timeless.”


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