I'm pretty lazy when it comes to hair, so any style that appears to be more difficult than it actually is, is always a winner in my book. That's where the four-strand braid comes in. It's much like the fishtail braid in that it looks like a chicer cousin to the traditional three-strand braid, but is just as easy to master. Of course the technique is slightly different, but with a little practice, you'll be plaiting this bad-boy in your sleep.
Although all braids are a sort of weave, if you're familiar with the traditional process of weaving, the four-strand braid should come pretty easily to you. Although this particular weave is not quite textbook with right angles and what-not, the basic principle of interlacing strands comes into play. That is, each section of hair will follow a more obvious over-under pattern to link all four together. And once you have this method down, who knows, maybe a five-strand or even six-strand braid will be in your future. But I'm getting ahead of myself. If you're ready to take your braiding-game to the next level, here's how to master the four-strand braid:
1. Separate Into Four Sections
Begin by separating your hair into four equally sized sections. Let's go ahead and number them to make it a little easier. The section farthest from your head (or the front-most section) is number one, then moving closer will be number two, number three, and the section closest to your head (or the back-most section) is number four.
2. Move Section One Under Section Two
Start weaving by moving section one under section two, so that section two is now on its left and section three is on its right.
3. Move Section One Over Section Three
Continue weaving by moving section one over section three, so that section three is now on its left and section four is on its right.
4. Move Section One Under Section Four
Finally, move section one under section four, so that section four is now on its left and section one is closest to your head.
5. Repeat Steps 2-4
Repeat this weaving process, continually bringing the outermost section closer to your head by weaving through the other three sections. If it helps, you can rename each section before you start a new row, so that you're always moving one under two, then over three, then under four.
6. (Optional) Loosen Braid
Show off your braid a little better, and give it more volume by gently tugging at it. Et voila!
Images: Miki Hayes