Hair that is braided around the head, or braided and then wrapped around the head, gives a regal and beautiful look. Crown & Heidi braids are flattering for round faces.

Crown braids and Heidi (‘Swiss’) braids look similar, but are constructed quite differently. A crown braided is braided around the head, like a French braid which forms a circle; the extra hair is then braided and pinned around the head as well. Crown braids take a good deal of practice to get even; they can technically be performed on short hair, although keeping little ends from sticking out around the braid is difficult. Heidi braids are easier but require longer hair, although a variation exists for shorter (shoulder-length) hair.More information about this you can find here.

How to Make a Crown Braid

  • Damp or day-old (unwashed) hair often makes the best braids. Detangle hair thoroughly before beginning. Practice making a French braid first to get used to adding hair into the strands while braiding.
  • Bend forwards and brush your hair so that it falls evenly around your face, shoulders and back, radiating from a central point on the crown of your head. Remember where this point is.
  • Starting from behind your left ear, gather a wedge-shaped section of hair which reaches from the central point to your hairline. Divide the section into 3 sections.
  • Cross the left strand over the middle, then the right over the middle, as if beginning a French braid.
  • Tighten the braid so it sits snugly against the head.
  • Take a new section of hair on the left and add it to the left strand; cross it over the middle strand.
  • Take a new section of hair on the right, from the central point, and add it to the right-hand strand; cross it over the middle strand.
  • Continue to braid around the back of the head, up the other side and around until you reach the left ear again. Add new sections of hair every time, just as if French braiding. Make sure to keep the braid tight against your head. At times you will be braiding ‘upside down’ with your hair over your face so you can’t see—remember, practice makes perfect!
  • When you reach the left ear again and all your hair is gathered into the braid, braid the remaining length out to the end and secure with a hair elastic.
  • Wrap the braid around your head, behind or in front of the first layer of braid as you desire. Tuck the tassel out of sight under the braid. Use bobby pins to secure.
  • Laugh at yourself in the mirror and keep practicing! Crown braids are tricky. Some people find it helpful to divide their hair into quarters and braid one quarter at a time. Once you’ve mastered the French crown braid you can try a Dutch crown—it is formed in exactly the same way, except instead of crossing the left and right strands over the middle strand, you cross them under.

How to Make Heidi Braids (Swiss Braids)

  • Detangle hair (damp or unwashed for best results). Part your hair in the centre, right down to the nape of your neck, so your hair is divided in half.
  • Braid each half of your hair into a three-strand braid—cross the left strand over the middle, then the right strand over the middle, and so on. Secure the ends with hair elastics.
  • Take the braid on the left side of your head and curl it around your head, up past the right ear and back to where it started. Shorter hair may not reach all the way around—the hairstyle will work as long as the braid can reach to the centre of the forehead. Use bobby pins to secure the braid.
  • Take the right-hand braid and curl it in the opposite direction—back towards your left ear, up to the top of your head and around. Bobby-pin in place.
  • Adjust the tassels of the braids so they are hidden under the braids.

Heidi Braid Variation for Shorter Hair

For shorter hair, bend over and brush your hair forwards so it falls over your face. Then part it and start both braids at the nape of your neck, braiding up towards your forehead. Then simply cross the braids over the top of your head, rather than bringing them around the back of your head.