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Dressy Hair Styles - Part #2 Hairline Braids (Dutch, Elizabethan & Braided Face Frame)


Dressy Hair Styles - Part #1 covered The Classic Formal Updo, the French Twist. As I mentioned in Part #1, if you can do a basic French Twist you can dress it, dress it down, add jewelry, flowers, feathers or just about anything you can think of. The French Twist can work for any hair length that is medium to long.

Even exceptionally long hair can be put into a full Twist or a half up/half down Twist. For more details on the Twist, refer to Dressy Hair Styles - Part #1.

In my humble opinion, the next best "dress up" hairstyle for medium to long hair is a hairline braid. My long hair works perfectly in one of the various hairline braids and can be easily dressed up or down depending on the event.

The various hairline braids can be composed of many variations including a Dutch braid, a modified Ribbon Braid or Braided Face Frame or 2-Strand hairline braids.

The only thing that a hairline braid requires is medium to very long hair.

A hairline braid requires hair that is all one length and dry. With hairline braids only braid the hairline hair.

I usually wear my hair down without any special style. When I have a special event, wedding or party, I will often wear the various braided styles that are presented in this article.

Like the French Twist if you want to wear your hair completely up, the various Hairline braids can always be tucked under and pinned up. The braids can also be jazzed up with special touches like hair jewelry, flowers or hair adornments of any type.

I have to warn you that a spectacular hairline braid may require some initial assistance from either your hairstylist or a friend that has good braiding skills. The hairline braid is not hard to do, it just requires practice, precision and good visualization skills.

Some Hair Definitions

Many of the various styling books that discuss braiding use some standard terms. For the purpose of this article I have included a few that are used in the instructions that are included with the various braids.

Hairline - This is a line that circles around the face (temple to forehead to temple) where the hair begins to grow.

Nape - The back of the neck at the base of the hairline.

If a book refers to a plait it means the complete step in the braiding sequence. The strands are the sections of the hair that are twined together to form a braid.

The Hairline Dutch Braid

The photo of this Hairline Dutch Braid is taken directly from Jamie Rines Jones' "Braids & Updos Made Easy" book. The gorgeous Hairline Dutch Braid is style #10 in Jamie's book devoted to braids and updos.

This is an incredibly beatiful braid that acts like a "net over the free hair underneath".

I have included the instructions from "Braids & Updos Made Easy". The book includes black and white illustrations for each step.

Because of copyright issues I can't include anything but the modified steps below. I have actually made this braid myself and the steps worked for me.


  1. Make 2" hair sections all around both sides of the hairline. Comb all other hair back into a ponytail & secure.
  2. Take 3" sections of hairline hair in the bang area. Divide this section into three equal strands of hair.
  3. Cross the right strand under the center strand.
  4. Cross the left strand under the center strand.
  5. Place all three strands into the left hand, with a finger between each section palm up.
  6. Pick up a 1" section of hair on the right side.
  7. Add this new section to the right side strand already in your hand.
  8. Cross the right strand under the center strand.
  9. Place the strands in your right hand, fingers in between, palm up.
  10. Pick up 1" sections on the left side.
  11. Add this section to the left strand already in your hand.
  12. Cross the left strand under the center strand.
  13. Place the strand in your left hand, fingers, in between, palm up.
  14. Repeat steps 6 through 13 moving down toward the nape of the hair with each section picked up. When you run out of section from the hairline, remove the rest of the secured haid & allow the other hair to fall free.
  15. Secure the braid with a hair tie from Rare Gems, a plain "hair friendly" band or a barrette or clip. You can add flowers, feathers or jewels.

The Hairline Elizabethan Braid

HairlinebraidEliz.JPG (4281 bytes)

This photo is taken directly from Patrick Cameron's "Dressing Long Hair" book. The Hairline Elizabethan Braid is on page 54 in Patrick's book devoted to long hair styles.

This style if much looser and softer than the Dutch braid. Patrick recommends that you hold your hair out from your head when forming the braid to give the style a very loose and soft feeling. This braid also stops at the nape of the neck.

I have included the instructions from Dressing Long Hair. The book includes color photographs of the model for each step.

Once again, because of various copyright issues I can't include anything but the modified steps below. I have actually made this braid myself and the steps worked for me.


  1. Divide a small triangular section of hair from your crown and split it into three equal sections of hair.
  2. Begin braiding the hair by placing the left section over the right, right secion over the left.
  3. Pick up a narrow section of hair from each side at the front or your hairline and work it into braid. Braid seven complete times or steps, before taking another section of hair from each side of your head.
  4. Continue to repeat this process. You should reach approximately half way down the back of the head.
  5. Part the back hair and take a small section from the nape area at center back.
  6. Link top braid to this section, continuing the braiding to secure the two pieces of hair together. Comb hair over the ends and mist with hairspray.
  7. Add flowers or hair jewelry or other adornments. Make sure you hold your hair out from your head when forming the braid to give the style a loose and ultra soft feeling.

The Hairline Braided Face Frame/2 Strand Twist

This photo is taken from the International Beauty Show Program Guide from IBS Dallas 1997. The hair was done by Alex Cardiel, the model was Jennifer Lee and the photo is copyrighted by Stephen W. Galeener.

This braided style is a cross between a traditional "Face Frame" braid and a "2-Strand Twist". The difference is that the IBS braid starts higher up from the temple on each side and as the braid is created, sections of hair are picked up until the nape of the neck is reached. This braid has a lot of fullness on the sides of the head.

When I saw this stunning photo on the IBS program I went to my stylist and asked them to try and duplicate it for me. They didn't duplicate it exactly, but they did create a similar style.

Although it doesn't look exactly the same on my hair, it was close. Here are the steps that my stylist followed to create this braid on my hair: Note that you will be creating two individual braids, one on each side of your head using the hairline hair. The key to doing this braid sucessfully is to start the braiding a few inches above the hairline rather than at the end of the hairline. When you are finished the two braids will from a triangular veil over your hair. The two braids will meet at the bottom.


  1. Starting on the right side of your head section off a triangle portion of hair from your hairline approximately 3" from your temple. Clip off this section while you repeat the same process on the left side of your head.
  2. Begin braiding on the right side. Divide the section of hair you begin working with into two equal strands.
  3. Cross the right strand over the left.
  4. Place both strands in the left hand with the index finger inbetween. Keep the back of your left hand against the head at all times.
  5. Starting at the hairline and continuing up toward your left hand, pick up 1-2" sections of hair with your right hand.
  6. Add this section to the right or bottom strand.
  7. Place these sections in your right hand, with the index finger inbetween.
  8. Twist the right hand conterclockwise (the right strand twists over the left strand).
  9. Keep repeating Steps 4 - 8 picking up 1-2" sections of hair as you mode down your head. Continue until you reach the nape and have no more hair to pick up.
  10. Clip this section out of the way and work on the opposite side.


One of the great advantages with these braided styles is that even the longest hair can adopt the styles. The styles can be worn to any formal event and dressed up with flowers or jewels. These styles can be modified in a variety of ways from tucking the loose bottom hair into a bun, chignon or just pinned under. The braids can be made tighter or looser or started higher or lower on the head.

These styles looks smashing, they are versatile and with a little hairspray they will hold for an entire evening.

As you can imagine, there are lots more examples of hairline braids that could have been included. This article on the hairline braids is the second in a long series of articles on Dressy Hairstyles.

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- Revised Publication Date: 05/22/10

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Credits For This Article

I have tried to carefully give credit where credit is due to every photo that is included in this article.

If I have forgotten anyone, please let me know so I can fix it. It is never my intention to provide photos or information inappropriately. Therefore if any photos or information is included here against your wishes, please let me know and the information or photos will be removed immediately.

Social Media Network Information

Please follow us on Twitter at: I look forward to meeting new people from all walks of Twitter and learning from their Tweets.

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