The Secret of the French Twist

The French Twist is so difficult for dancers not because of how to do it, but how to make it STAY! Traditionally, it is a loose, beautiful updo, but while pirouetting and tour jeteing, it must be practically cemented into place. It is a wonderful alternative for both its elegance… and because you can do it without a hair band (which I very often forget to bring!) I learned the secret of the French Twist from a girl at a summer intensive, and it is the best tutorial I have found. I will include the pictures of her doing it, as well as her explanation.

1. First, brush the hair into a side part and slick it back into a mid-low ponytail (but don’t use an elastic) as best as you can so that there are no bumpy spots. I prefer using a soft bristle brush, which can easily be found at stores like CVS, Rite Aid, etc.

2. Start to twist, or coil, the hair. Make sure the “ponytail” is medium height. If it is too low, it will not be visible from the front.

3. As you continue to twist, yank it up quickly. Look at the photos to see this step.

4. This is the trick that almost no one knows: take your finger and wrap the hair underneath. Then flip the hair under. You may also need to see the pictures below to understand this step.

5. Spread the hair out to create a nice long twist. Use your hands to pull the top and bottom if necessary.

6. Tuck any extra pieces under the twist.

7. Start to pin. The trick I learned with this is to start at the right side (or whichever side is “connected” to the rest of the hair and use a pin to pull that strand all the way to the left side (or whatever side is sticking out). I prefer using the larger Bunhead pins, but it is always a good idea to use the flatter bobby pins as well.

Hope you enjoy the secret of the French Twist!



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