The Elsa Braid | Day 6

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**UPDATE**  I’ve officially renamed this style the Elsa Braid.  I just can’t deny all your comments any longer!!

This last October I seriously thought I invented this hairstyle.  Don’t worry, I’m not that delusional!  I hadn’t seen it around anywhere and I absolutely loved how thick the dutch braid became after pancaking it.  I posted a little tutorial on instagram and  received tons of great feedback from you guys!  I just had to include this dutch side braid in the 30|30.

This hairstyle is easily one of my very favorites.  It’s big and dramatic and while the hair is pulled back and mostly off the face, it’s still so feminine.  Even without extensions you can get the braid to be really full and fluffy.  If you don’t believe me checkout here or here.  A reader commented that it looked like Princess Elsa’s braid in Frozen.  The thought hadn’t even crossed my mind but it totally does!  I would style the braid from Frozen a little differently, start the braid at the back and pull out and curl all my bangs like Elsa’s, but this is definitely the braid she’s wearing!  If you guys want to see Elsa’s braid, let me know and I’ll see what I can do >> insert smooch emoticon here <<

Keep up the hashtagging!  You beautiful girls are so inspiring to me!  I’m so happy that you’re following along and loving these hairstyles! If you’re new, we’re using the hashtag #thirtythirtyhair.  So take a selfie of one of the styles and make sure to use the hashtag and tag me in it on Instagram!


  1. You can start this style with curly or straight hair but if you have some kind of texture in it will hold longer.  This is a great style for second or third day hair.  Or fifth day hair if you’re crazy like me!  Give yourself a deep side part and gather a triangle section of hair next to the part at the top of your head.
  2. Divide the section into three strands and begin a dutch braid.  A dutch braid is similar to a french braid except you’re alternating the outside strands under the middle instead of over.  You want to make sure you’re keeping the braid tight and as close to the hair line as possible.
  3. As you braid further down you’ll need to gather the new sections of hair to add in from the other side of your head.  Make sure you’re looking in the mirror occasionally to prevent any bubbles and if you’re wearing extensions, to prevent the wefts from showing.
  4. Once you’ve braided all the way to the bottom secure with a clear elastic and then start pancaking.  You’re going to loosen up the braid from the neck to the elastic and then start pulling on the sections up top.  You’re going to gently pull on the sections and spread them apart.  This is going to make the braid look super full.
  5. You’ll notice that by loosening the braid it will make the entire style feel like it’s going to fall out.  So what we’re going to do is take a few bobby pins and tighten up the hair again near the base of the braid.  Once the hair is secure, you can pancake the braid even more
  6. Finish off this hairstyle by spraying with hairspray.  It should feel very secure.  If it doesn’t add a few more bobby pins near the base of the braid.  They should be hidden by the fluffy braid laying on top.

Abby Smith

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31 thoughts on “The Elsa Braid | Day 6

  1. Abby – you need to talk to the hairstylist on Once Upon a Time (do you watch that show?) because Elsa’s braid is so dang TINY that it’s laughable. Seriously, they need to take a page out of your book. I’m like, really, give the girl some extensions or a wig or SOMETHING because it’s sad. haha

  2. I wish they would have used this version of the Elsa braid in Once Upon a Time. This is so gorgeous and fluffy! You’re really inventive and creative with your styles. Please don’t ever stop blogging.

  3. Thanks I have started doing my #thirtythirtyhair for May 2014 and I am just having a lot of fun with it and have lots of compliments on all my braids.
    Thanks again!
    I have been using some of these hashtags #30hairstylesin30days #thirtythirtyhair #maystyles

  4. Yes PLEEEEAAAASEEEE do a tutorial on how you would do Elsa’s braid from the movie. This braid is gorgeous and I definitely see the Elsa resemblance, but I’d love to see how you’d alter it to make it a true Elsa braid!

  5. hey! this is great! ive been trying to do a different one of these hairstyles for school everyday so thanks 🙂 can you do the elsa braid how it was in the movie? i think it would look great!

  6. Thanks, Abby, for this lovely ‘do. I have very curly hair, and I love to do Dutch braids on myself. They just accent the fullness of my hair and the natural ombré very nicely. I, too, don’t think it looks like Elsa’s, as hers is a French braid, but I like yours better. Keep em comin’!

    1. I bet this style will be so pretty on you! And yeah, I see where people think that… but I was so surprise it was nicknamed the Elsa braid haha!

    1. Yeah, it didn’t even cross my mind until all the comments came floating in. I’d do the elsa braid much different, but I’d still make it with a thick dutch braid like this one!

  7. Beautiful! Tried it just now and it may take a little more practice! 🙂 My hair is pretty thin and I am astonished at how big you were able to ‘pancake’ the braid on the top of your head!
    Looking forward to some more awesome hairstyles 🙂

    1. Thanks girl!!! Yeah pancaking is AWESOME! If you have thin hair just make sure to tease the roots and spray it with dry shampoo. That’ll thicken up the strands just a bit!!