There are numerous intricate braids you can try to dress up your hair for any occasion. One of the best styles to master is the four-strand braid. Braiding using four strands of hair works for nearly any type of hair. Plus, you can use it as a single braid or incorporate it into an updo.
Even though the four-strand braid looks complicated, it’s easy to create in a few simple steps. If you’re already a master braider, the four-strand braid will be easy to learn.
What Is a 4 Strand Braid?
Instead of the traditional three strands for a braid, the four-strand braid uses one extra section of hair. It’s a versatile and stylish braid that you can wear for a casual lunch with friends or to an upscale cocktail party.
There are two types of 4 strand braids: basic/flat and rope plait.
The basic four-strand braid is the most common and easiest way to braid a four-strand. Its look against your back or on your shoulder depends on the angle in which you braid. The rope plait, or round 4 strand, gets its name from how it resembles a rope. Instead of the flat look like a fundamental four-strand, the rope plait has more volume.
In addition to the two types of 4 strand braids, there are numerous styles. If you want to take your braid up a notch, you can incorporate a four-strand braid into one of these trendy hairstyles:
- Across the Head in a Low Headband
- Waterfall Braid
- Braided Updo with Extra Hair Tucked Under
- Side-Braided Low Ponytail or Bun
- 4 Strand Dutch Braid
The options don’t end there! Once you master a four-strand braid, experiment with different styles and find something new that works for you!
How to Do Four Strand Braid
Before you start trying to create a complicated look, practice the two main styles of four-stranded braids.
How to Braid a Basic 4 Strand
It doesn’t look simple at first, but once you understand how to 4 strand braid, it’s as easy as 1-2-3-4! Follow these steps, and you’ll be on your way to showing off the perfect, stylish braid:
- Brush your hair to one side (for a pretty side braid) and split it into four equal sections. Label each strand from 1 through 4, with 1 on the far left.
- Take strand 1 (the farthest left) and bring it under strand 2 (the left-middle).
- Cross the same strand 1 over strand 3 (right-middle).
- Bring strand 4 over strand 1 (which is now, technically, strand 3).
- Bring strand 4 under strand 2. Recalibrate yourself by relabeling the strands from left to right again.
- Repeat steps 2 through 5 until you reach the end of your hair or whenever you desire to stop.
- Tie off with a hair tie and style as desired!
It may sound complicated and difficult to remember, but keep in mind this helpful tip: The outer strands are the only ones moving. Start with the left side, which goes under then over the two middle strands. Then the right-most strand moves over and under the center two strands, and the process repeats. With practice, you’ll be four-strand braiding effortlessly!
Watch the following video to learn different 4 strand braid styles.
How to Rope Plait Braid
Now that you’re an expert with the basic four-strand, try your hand at the round 4 strand: a rope plait. The process is a little more complicated than the basic four-strand but is not impossible.
- Brush your hair and split it into four sections. You can keep it to the side or start with a ponytail.
- Let go of the outer strands and focus on the two middle strands.
- Cross the right strand over the left strand.
- Holding the two middle strands in your right hand, use your left hand to take the right outer strand behind and over and into the middle of the two middle strands.
- Hold the two middle strands in your left hand and let go of the outer right strand.
- Take the outer left strand behind and over into the middle of the two middle strands with your right hand.
- Hold the two middle strands in your right hand and let go of the outer left strand.
- Repeat steps 4 through 7 until you reach the end of your hair or whenever you desire to stop.
- Tie it off and show off your new ‘do!
Watch the following video tutorial to learn DIY 4 Strand Braid.
Try a 4 Strand Braid Today
Practice both types of four-strand braid, and use this new style to give you a beautiful, elegant look for your next outing!