The basic braid, or, as we call it in the industry, a regular three-strand braid, is one of the most fundamental of hairstyles you’ll ever come across—it’s just as much a classic as a basic ponytail or a ballerina bun. The stitch and sectioning process in a three-strand braid is also a basis for a lot of more complex plaits.
Separate the hair into two equal sections. I didn’t worry about being too neat but be as neat or as messy as you like. Take a section from above the left ear to the middle part – this will be your first criss-cross braid. Split the section into three and braid. Cross the right section over the middle and the left over the right.
To make a fishtail braid on yourself or someone else, start by dividing the hair into two even sections. Remove a thin piece of hair from the left section, no thicker than about 0.5 in (1.3 cm), then pull the strand up and over the left section to tuck it under the right section.
To french braid hair, start by brushing it to remove any tangles or knots, and section off a 3 to 4 in (7.6 to 10.2 cm) section of hair at the top of your head, dividing it into 3 equal pieces. Then, begin a traditional braid by crossing the right strand to the center, and then the left strand to the center.
A four strand braid is heavenly when mixed with other types of braids. This one is pretty complicated! Here, we’ve also got a waterfall braid that wraps around and a fishtail braid. For the waterfall braid, you grab strand 1 from the top and drop strand 4 below, while strands 2 and 3 will form the pattern.