New braid tutorial – the high braided crown hairstyle

Hair Romance - braided crown hairstyle

Ever since I posted this photo of Doutzen Kroes I have been inundated with requests for this hairstyle tutorial.

It took me a few goes to work this style out but I have the tutorial below so that you can do it in your own hair. I also have quite a few styling tips that I learnt along the way that will make doing this braid a little easier.

This hairstyle is a Dutch braid, also known as a reverse braid or inside-out braid. It’s actually a very simple style, the trick is just starting in an inconspicuous place and keeping it high and round.

Hair Romance - high braided crown hair how-to

The first day I was practising this braid I pretty much nailed it first go. I was so excited and I knew with a few tweaks I could get in just right. When it came to shoot the tutorial it was a different story…

I love this hairstyle and wanted to wear it out after shooting this tutorial. So I put it at the end of my shoot list, as I always try and shoot a few tutorials at a time. By the time I started this my arms were already a little tired, the light was changing and I was in a huge rush. Let’s just say I had a bit trouble keeping my braid in a circle. The end result is a bit messier than I would have liked for my tutorial but at least it’s here.

My first tip is to practice and leave yourself enough time to do this hairstyle. The beginning is a bit awkward to do and your neck and shoulders can get quite a workout. Don’t go to the gym before doing this hairstyle haha!

High Crown Braid Hairstyle Tutorial

Hair Romance - braided crown hairstyle tutorial


As well as leaving enough time to do this style, you need to make sure your hair is prepped really well for this braid.

By “prepped” I mean that your hair needs to have some volume and hold. For my hair this means I blowdried my hair and curled it the day before, and sprayed some dry shampoo at the roots before brushing it through my hair.

For fine hair you may use a volume mousse at the roots and blowdry this into your hair. For super-straight hair I recommend curling your hair with a curling wand, making sure you curl the ends of your hair under.

  1. Brush all your hair to remove any knots before you begin to braid.
  2. Visualise where you want the braid to sit. It looks best when it sits like a halo around the crown of your head. You want to see the top of the braid across the top of your head and high at the back.
  3. Start the braid behind your right ear. You want to have a continuous and thick-looking braid across the top of your head so start low, behind your ear and start with a 2 inch section of hair.
  4. Split your hair into three and begin a Dutch braid. A Dutch braid is the same as a French braid but in reverse. Instead of crossing the hair over, bring the sections under. Cross the left under the middle, then the right under the left. On the next section, add in hair from the front from your hairline.
  5. Continue your Dutch braid, crossing the sections under and adding in hair from both sides.
  6. Curve your braid around. This is where visualising where your braid will sit helps. Around the back you want your braid to sit above the edge your occipital bone (that’s the bone at the back of your head where your head curves down).
  7. Once you’ve finished adding in all your hair, finish in a regular braid and secure the end with a small clear hair elastic.
  8. S-T-R-E-T-C-H out your braid! My favourite step! Make your braid look thicker by stretching out your braid. Pull gently at the sides and widen your braid.
  9. Pin the end of your braid inside to complete the crown shape. Depending on how long your hair is, tuck the end of your braid under the first braid to hide it and pin it in place. You can spiral long braids inside the first.
  10. Pin any loose sections and reshape your braid. After stretching your braid, you may find the hair at the front is too loose. I like to add some pins under the braid to hold the rest of my hair down. This creates a firmer base for the braid to sit up on.

Hair Romance - high braided crown hairstyle how-to

Styling Tips

  • As I mentioned above, prep your hair really well. Don’t underestimate this step. Freshly washed hair will be too soft and it won’t stay in place.
  • If you have layers or straight hair, curling the ends of your under will stop the ends of your hair from sticking out of the braid.
  • Make sure you use a small hair elastics as large hair bands will be distracting in the finished style.
  • Check the braid from different angles to make sure it looks even and round from every side.
  • Support the braid with extra bobby pins underneath to hold the style in place.
  • If you feel like you need extra hold, finish the braid with some hairspray.
  • Practice! Try it on your friend’s hair first before giving it a go in your hair. Please don’t try it in your hair when you only have 5 minutes to get ready. Give yourself a calm space to practice and learn the technique. Then when you’re in a rush you’ll be able to nail it every time.

Hair Romance - high braided crown hairstyle

Hairstyle variations

  • Different hair lengths: I have thick hair that is around armpit length. You can do this style in hair that’s a few inches shorter than mine, but it will be easier if your hair is a couple of inches longer. If your hair is very long, continue the braid as a spiral inside the first braid. Just hide the end of the braid by tucking it under the first braid. .
  • Different hair textures: If you have curly hair (like me) this style will look amazing with curls. I blowdry my hair for these tutorials so that it’s easier to see the steps. If you have straight hair, curl your ends as I mentioned before. For fine hair, don’t forget to stretch out your braid. Consider using some block hair extension pieces like these that can be incorporated straight into your braid to make it look thicker.

Hair Romance - braided crown hair tutorial

This is a beautiful formal, prom or wedding hairstyle. Can you imagine how stunning it would be with some flowers weaved through the braid?

But don’t be afraid to wear these upstyles with your everyday outfits. I like to keep it a little softer, which stops it feeling too formal. I wore this braid to the Hair Expo awards announcement with my ripped jeans, heels and a statement necklace.

How would you wear this hairstyle? If you try it, I would love to see a photo of your hair. Tag me #hairromance on Instagram

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  1. Harriette Gill says

    Thank you , Thank you, for doing thus tutorial ! I hope when I attempt mine,it will look like yours. I appreciate all your hard work!
    Hugs from USA, Harriette

  2. Sarah P says

    Gosh, this is a really great tutorial!! I have fine and very very straight hair, so this will be a challenge but I definitely want to try it!! Thanks!!

    • Hair Romance says

      Aww thanks Erin! I prefer to wear my hair a little messy but I was trying to get it perfect like the original inspiration image. But comparing yourself to a picture of Doutzen Kroes does nobody any favours! 😉

  3. Juliana says

    Wow, that looks like a great style! at first it looks a bit difficult, but thanks to your thorough explanation I’m sure it will work out for me as well.


  4. says

    You did a great job on this style and totally understand the tired arms, LOL! It gets easier the more you do it, though. I do almost this type of braid a lot and I think it is a really pretty style. For my waist length hair I do what you say, and just braid it off to the end and then pin around and tuck the end underneath.

    • Hair Romance says

      Thanks Stacy! I often think about your hair when describing variations for my hairstyles. I can totally see you in this style xx

  5. Leah Channon says

    Love it!!!,the tutorials are easy to follow step by step and as a hairdresser I have picked up a lot of handy tips and inspiration
    With many thanks

  6. says

    Love this! Polished and clean, but still feels modern. I have shoulder-length fine hair — and it still worked. Thanks so much for the tutorial.

    • Hair Romance says

      Thanks Terrie! It’s definitely a more advanced braid but with practice you can totally do this. It’s become a regular favourite of mine now (and my arms are a lot stronger for it haha)

  7. says

    All I have to say is WOW I love that brade and can’t wait for more and can’t wait to try it! I have never really seen hair like that so nice job!

  8. Jess says

    Hi there, I love this hairstyle and am thrilled I’ve grown my thick curly hair long enough (just!) to do this in my own hair. I’ve had lots of compliments on it!

    The only thing I have trouble with is that after I’ve finished braiding sometimes the ‘part’ in the centre back of my head looks irregular and a bit weird. It’s probably more noticeable on me as my hair is dark and my skin is very fair. Do you have any suggestions for how to prevent or disguise this?

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Jess! I have the same problem even in fair hair. I try and keep the part on the top of my head, close to the braid. This means I add in less hair initially as I braid across the top. Then as the braid goes around I add in more hair and I get a full coverage of hair in the circle gap of my braid. If I can still see the part at the top, I stretch my braid to cover it. Try moving your part to sit under the edge of braid at the top and see if this works for you too x

    • Hair Romance says

      Hi Erin, are you confident doing a regular Dutch braid? Once you can do a straight braid, then try a curved style like this. Think about where you want the braid to sit and test out where it’s difficult to reach so you know where to swap hands. It’s impossible to braid all the way around without changing the angle of your arms and hands x

  9. Heather Dunaway says

    I searched the Internet for hours looking for this hair style! I’m so glad I found your site!!! This is exactly what I was looking for and this is the only place I found it. I looked at some of your other styles and I’m definitely bookmarking your site to my home screen!

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