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Four-Strand Braid

THE LOOK

Go one up on the basic braid with the four-strand braid. It takes a little practice to master, but it’s worth it for the number of compliments you’ll receive. Similar to the basic braid, the extra strand woven into this braid creates an intricate woven pattern. Curly and straight hair both look great in this sophisticated updo.

DIFFICULTY LEVEL

Hard

IDEAL HAIR LENGTH

Long

HAIR EXTENSIONS NEEDED?

No

ASSISTANCE NEEDED?

Yes, but you can do this in your own hair with practice.

ACCESSORIES

Finish your braid with a pretty clip, band, or bow. Otherwise, this braid doesn’t require any further accessory, as it’s the star of this look.

TRY THIS

When braiding your own hair, it’s easier to keep track of the pattern and achieve this style as a side braid. Once you are comfortable with this style, try the four-strand French braid , which takes this four-strand style to a whole new level.

Top : Hairstyling by Christina Butcher, photography by Xiaohan Shen, modeling by Deauvanné.

Bottom left : Hairstyling, photography, and modeling by Abby Smith/Twist Me Pretty.

Bottom right : Hairstyling, photography, and modeling by Christina Butcher.

HOW TO GET IT FOUR-STRAND BRAID

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Brush
  • Hair elastic

1). Brush your hair to remove any knots before you begin. Divide your hair into two equal sections and split those two sections in half—now you’ll have four equal sections.

2). To master this braid, think of each section as a position, numbered 1 to 4 from left to right. Cross 2 over 1 (so right over left) and 4 over 3 (another right over left).

3). Next, cross 1 over 4 into the center (this is left over right with the two new middle sections).

4). Renumber the sections 1 to 4 from left to right and start the process again. Cross 2 over 1 and 4 over 3, then, with the two sections in the center, cross 1 over 4.

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5). Keep repeating these steps until you have reached the end of your hair. Secure the end of your braid with a hair elastic.

TOP TIP : It will take a little while to get the hang of this braid, but keep practicing! Remember the pattern of right over left, right over left, then left over right. Saying it aloud while you braid helps you keep track of the next step. Gently stretch out the braid to emphasize the shape and show all four strands.

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