French Roll Tutorial

French rolls, or French Twists as some say, are so beautiful, but often people get intimidated by them. Aren’t they super fancy up-dues that you need to go to a hairdresser for? Well, while it may take a few tries and definitely some practice will be required, the steps themselves are not hard.

Also, not every ballet company has hair dressers, so it good to learn how to make your own. And besides French rolls are fun to wear off stage too- in class or rehearsal. It’s such a pretty and professional look, and knowing how to do it yourself can really comes in handy.

In my company, the Estonian National Ballet, if ever we are in need of help with French rolls, we all know who to go to! Lola. There have been days when I have seen her work alongside our hairdressers right before a show! Everyone loves how she does them and how beautiful she makes them look. But, my girls, she can’t be doing this for everyone all the time, so let’s learn for ourselves. And if don’t have an amazing Lola in your life to help you out, now you do.

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So let’s begin!

Make a high, tight ponytail.
You’re going to use these two fingers of your dominant hand to make the twist.
You’re going to place those two fingers on top of the ponytail, so the thumb is underneath, and pull the hair up and around.
Bring the end of the ponytail back down so it is fully looped around the two fingers.
Then you’re going to flip your hand over, twisting the loop that is around your fingers, so it lays flat on your head.
Slide your fingers out of the loops slowly and gently. And there you have the base of the French Roll.
Start securing it by placing a few rough pins on the side.
Then a couple more to the top.
Using a bristle brush, comb the hair to make smooth and straight.
Now start working down and up the twist adding as many pins as needed, until you feel secure. Use smaller pins towards the bottom.
Make sure to slide the pins in an upward direction, especially the lower you go on the twist, that way they don’t stick out the side.
Also take extra care to make the bottom extra tight and secure. If the bottom falls out, you can say bye bye to the rest of the roll.
Give it another brush over.
Re-pin the bun part to make it flatter and neater.
And there you should have it. A perfect French Roll.

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