French Roll Twist and Pin Braid

0 Posted by - September 20, 2013 - Hair & Beauty

My hair is just now finally getting long enough to try out cool stuff with it, so I thought I’d give this braidy updo thing a go:

Image from Hair Romance

Image from Hair Romance

There aren’t really instructions because you’re supposed to buy the book, but I was too lazy and cheap to buy the book, so I just decided to wing it.

As with all hair styles I try, I am starting with questionably clean hair. I go to the gym at least 3 times a week, and hell will freeze over before I wash my hair that much, so most of the time, it has dried sweat in it. I just deal.

dirty hair

(Also, I apologize in advance if my bathroom mirror is dirty or if there is stuff on the floor. Usually I clean up before I take pictures for the blog, but today I didn’t even put on a bra.)

My goal was to get four braids in my hair because it looks like that’s about how many the original tutorial has. She might have five. It’s hard to tell. But four seemed like a good number.

The first braid went mostly as planned, although I still don’t have little clear rubber bands.

braid 1

But then I did the next braid, and by the time I was done with that one, I really only had enough hair left for one more braid, so I ended up with three braids. This problem seems almost impossible to have to me becauseย every time I go to get my hair cut, the hair cutter person inevitably comments on how much hair I have. It’s a lot. And I don’t just mean it’s long. I mean it’s thick. (Heh heh.) So the fact that I could only get three braids and someone else managed to get four or five baffles me. But whatever.

Three was actually plenty for me anyway, though, because I have been doing barbell lifts for the first time ever in my life. My legs are strong like ox, seriously. I can do squats and lunges with the best of them. But the minute you ask me to raise a thing over my head, I am weak like baby bird. On good days, I can lift the barbell plus the tiniest plates they have at the gym, and my shoulders are still so sore that I want to die, and braiding my hair seems like a task meant to break me. So three’s good.

Before I turned around to check out the back in the mirror, I thought maybe it wouldn’t be too bad. The touch-it-and-see-if-it-feels-ugly test didn’t produce any alarm bells.

The touch test was wrong.

bald patch

I particularly like the bald patch there between braids. Classy shit.

Besides the bald patch, the braids were lumpy, there were random pieces sticking out, nothing was even, and it just wasn’t all that cute.

updo side view

I am forced to conclude that I have too little hair, so the rest of you are pretty much doomed.



  • Crystal Kelly Yzaguirre September 20, 2013 - 9:56 am Reply

    you could try again with smaller sections. Then you’d fit more braids and the gaps between sections would be smaller. I think. I have a bob so who knows really

  • Tracey Gonneau September 20, 2013 - 10:01 am Reply

    My hair is white and grey, so I embrace the ‘seeming’ bald patches. Let em stare, it takes the focus off no bra.

  • Brooke Emshoff September 20, 2013 - 10:49 am Reply

    Actually…from the back, it’s really cute! But the side…woof.

  • Andrea September 20, 2013 - 11:02 am Reply

    If you start with the bottom section (just clip the other hair out of the way), you avoid the bald patches ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Mikaela September 20, 2013 - 11:26 am Reply

    I think your top section is just too thick. Instead of going straight back when dividing the section angle upwards a bit. That will take less hair, leaving more of the lower braids, and will also cover the part. As someone with baby fine hair I’ve always had to work out how to avoid bald spots when putting my hair up (back when I had long hair anyway).

    • Christina @ Hair Romance September 20, 2013 - 1:23 pm Reply

      Great tip Mikaela! That’s exactly what I do to get all the sections to be even

  • Gigi September 20, 2013 - 11:27 am Reply

    I think you did a great job and I totally understand the tired arms! I personally think this is one of those hair dos that may require a second person to actually execute the magic ๐Ÿ™‚ Having said that I may have to try this. My hair is getting really long and this might actually work for me as long as I don’t have to use too many bobby pins – they drive me crazy ๐Ÿ™‚

  • kittnen September 20, 2013 - 12:17 pm Reply

    Anytime I see hair tutorials, I’m just reminded of this Natalie Dee comic.

    • JonasandDelice Herum December 18, 2013 - 11:33 pm Reply


  • Christina @ Hair Romance September 20, 2013 - 1:26 pm Reply

    I love when you try my pins! Mikaela has the right idea, you need to take a smaller top section. I also put each section into a ponytail first so I can keep them in a straight line. It also gives your arms a rest as you know it’s all in place x

    • Pintester September 21, 2013 - 10:36 am Reply

      Thanks for the tips and thanks for stopping by! I always love it when the original blogger comes to see my attempt. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Catherine September 20, 2013 - 4:08 pm Reply

    I tell people that I have the upper body strength of a kitten.
    Other than the bald spot, I think it turned out pretty cute.

  • Brittany September 20, 2013 - 5:34 pm Reply

    The one at the top looks amazing, maybe if you let your hair grow a little more it would look really good?

  • Joesyp September 20, 2013 - 6:06 pm Reply

    preatty good, just need to loosen it a bit so your scalp doesn’t show.

  • Kathy September 20, 2013 - 6:33 pm Reply

    Well, if you bounce around without a bra no one will notice a little bald patch!

  • astarke September 20, 2013 - 8:44 pm Reply

    I think it looks great! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ashley S September 23, 2013 - 2:32 am Reply

    Have you tried taking biotin? That stuff, plus prenatals (my vain multivitamin), make my hair grow fast! You can get it at walmart. It may help…in the long term sense of things.

  • ChickieD September 24, 2013 - 9:18 am Reply

    Some people just have good hair mojo. Other people’s kids always had really cute little ‘dos with the ribbons and bows and same sized ponytails. My kid’s hair always looked lumpy and weird. I just couldn’t make it turn out cute.

    Although, I do recall my daughter went through a period when she was 4 where she would stick three bows in her hair in random places – she thought it look fabulous. Okay, fine, she’s four, right? But one day at the end of the school year they had this mother daughter tea, and I find out there is the little girl who apparently adored the ground my daughter walked on who was copying this hair style. I didn’t know what to say to the mom who told me this, because my daughter had never once mentioned her little girl. Ever.

    • JonasandDelice Herum December 18, 2013 - 11:33 pm Reply

      Ha! So cute!

  • Shelley September 24, 2013 - 12:55 pm Reply

    I like it!

  • Mollie Moses September 25, 2013 - 11:45 am Reply

    Sonja, the little clear bands are available at any beauty supply place (don’t go to Sally’s though, their things are massively overpriced – the only thing I go there for are the plastic hairpins that I adore). If you want, I’ll get you some, but be cautioned: clear bands are for fine, baby-like hair, or natural Afro hair that’s being put in teeny tiny braids. I have FAT hair, and those things just break. ๐Ÿ™

    Your overall finished product looks great. Use a little gel or conditioner *before* you start, to tame those “sticky outie” things, and to help the hair look a little glossier.

  • Sarah Wilson September 25, 2013 - 2:50 pm Reply

    I don’t think it looks so bad in that last shot. I can barely put mine up in a ponytail. I also can’t put makeup on. Basically, I’m a failure at all things feminine.

  • MrsBox September 29, 2013 - 8:46 am Reply

    Meh, I thought it turned out pretty cute. Better than my current attempts at doing anything with my hair anyway. Seriously, my hair is super slippery. I can literally tie nots in it, and nope, gone.

  • BOH1066 October 2, 2013 - 4:42 pm Reply

    i think it looks pretty good, actually. while my hair is long enough to do all these fancy, braided, twisted styles, i am constitutionally incapable of managing anything more complex than a ponytail. i have never been good with ‘hairstyles’. the more detailed the tutorial, the larger the knot i wind up combing out of my hair, trying not to leave a bald patch. i have serious hair envy.

  • JonasandDelice Herum December 18, 2013 - 11:32 pm Reply

    That turned out amazing!

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