Three French Braid Messy Bun Tutorial aka The Triple Lindy


Ooh! Something new and clever! This week I’ve deconstructed a braid updo from a single pic I found online. It seemed kind of complicated until I did a trial one and learned that it was a bit more simple than it looked. However, if you are still working on mastering just a French braid or Dutch braid, I would suggest trying some of my earlier tutorials first. The Three French Braid Messy Bun is elegant, relatively quick, and great for workouts since it stays in place very well. It is so good for workouts, I went to hot yoga with this hair style and other than maybe spraying down the frizz afterwards, it looked pretty much as good afterwards as it did before I’d say the front of your hair needs to be at least below your ears for this to work well, but if your hair is grippy or dirty enough, you can probably get away with relatively short hair. Also, this is another look that I think looks super cool when you’ve got highlights and roots showing, as you get a pretty cool contrast.

SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Final Top

Braid Bar Box

As with most of my posts, you will be able to execute this look with the right tools, all of which are sold on my site, in the Braid Bar Box. Use the dry shampoo to get some grippiness to the hair, and also to keep your hair from looking greasy. You’ll need at least three clear plastic elastics, a handful of good grippy bobby pins, and one larger ponytail holder (unless you have thinner hair, and then you can use the clear elastics for the bun too. As always, the rattail comb is particularly convenient to have on hand. All of the sprays have UV protection, and with braids such as this one, it’s a great way to give that hair some sun care.

Using Clips to Create the Three French Braid Hairstyle

Additionally, I used three clips in this style to hold the ends in place while I was working on other sections. I imagine you could also use bobby pins to achieve a similar effect, or if your hair is long enough, just leave the ends draped down and you’ll be fine. The shorter the hair is, the more necessary the clips are to keep your other hair out of the way.

Creating a Messy Bun

Messy buns are very hard to explain in pictures, so if and when I start video tutorials, I will absolutely start out with a messy bun so that you guys can see. In any case, the real trick is to set it up like a ponytail, but instead of pulling the ends all the way through, create another loop in the elastic over the whole knot. Then, use some bobby pins and hairspray to play around with how big and even or messy you want it to be. I’ve seen some tutorials where girls take the two sides of the knot and attach them, sort of making a donut shape. Of course, it’s your choice how you want it to look, but my preference is to use more bobby pins to just shape as you go.

How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun*

You will need to know how to do French braids for this hairdo, so if you missed my blog post about with simple braids and braiding tips, feel free to refresh yourself here: https://sunqui.st/blogs/braid-bar/an-easy-weekday-braid-and-basic-braiding-tips

  1. Separate out a fairly large top section of hair. Use a rattail comb to define a clear cut part on both sides. I find to get fairly even sections, I try to make that divide from the top of my eyebrows straight back.
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Step 1
  2. Clip off the top section and gather the rest of your hair in a low ponytail to get it out of the way.
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Step 2
  3. Section off about a third of the top section from the front of your head back. This doesn’t have to be exact, but I would be sure to have a reasonably-sized section for the front as this will be the most obvious of the braids. Note that this is more than I would normally suggest starting with in other braids, but due to its chunky nature, I would start bigger.
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Step 3
  4. Separate the hair into three even pieces (or as close as you can)
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Step 4
  5. Braid one side piece over the middle and clip it to the outer edge. Cross the middle section under and clip the remaining middle piece to the middle.
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Step 5
  6. Clip the other outer side to the other outer edge of the head.
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Step 6
  7. Unclip the middle section and separate out the remaining hair into two evenly divided front and back sections (the middle third and the back third).
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Step 7
  8. Take a new piece from the first side and cross over the middle section. Add the resulting outer piece to the clip on that side.
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Step 8
  9. Cross the middle piece under the other half of the divided middle third and add it to the clip on the other side.
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Step 9
  10. Separate out the back third into two parts and cross the first side over the middle piece.
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Step 10
  11. Add the third outer piece to the first clip.
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Step 11
  12. Cross the middle piece under the last half of the third section and add to the clip on the other side.
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Step 12
  13. Tie off the middle piece of the middle braid with a clear plastic elastic.
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Step 13
  14. Release the ponytail and starting with the first side you clipped, section off the front side half of hair and re-ponytail the rest of the remaining hair. Release the first piece of hair and reclip the other two pieces to the back of your head.
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Step 14
  15. Starting with the front third of the side section, separate out the hair into three even sections, and add the piece of hair to the top-most section. Start with the top section and braid over the middle, and then braid the bottom over the resulting middle piece.
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Step 15
  16. Unclip the second piece of hair from the top braid, and add to the resulting outside section, along with another top section of hair from the side third. Braid towards the middle. Add another piece of hair from the lower third side section to the other outside piece, and braid that over the middle.
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Step 16
  17. Unclip the last third piece from the top braid on that side, and add it to the outer piece, along with another section from the top side, and cross the middle. Add another bottom piece from the bottom side and cross that towards the middle. Try to angle the braid towards the top of the head. Tie off the entire braid with an elastic band.
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Step 17
  18. Repeat steps 14-17 on the other side of your head.
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Step 18a
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Step 18b
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Step 18c
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Step 18d
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Step 18e
  19. Brush the bottom of your hair in the back up towards the crown of the head and attach all of the hair into a high messy bun.
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Step 19
  20. Spray the whole head and style the messy bun with bobby pins. Lightly pancake the side braids and lightly spread the top pieces apart to create more width.
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Step 20
  21. The Three French Braid Messy Bun is complete!
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Final Top
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist How to do a Three French Braid Messy Bun Final Side
*I toyed around with calling this hairstyle “the Triple Lindy” for those Back to School fans out there, but realizing that most of my audience would have no clue what I was referring to, I’m sticking to a more simple definition.