I love the 4 strand braid!
I feel like I’m always saying that about lots of different braids – and it is true, there are lots that I love – but I really, really love this one. It’s just so easy to do! Those are my favorite kind of styles, the ones that are quick, easy and beautiful!
As a mom that is often rushing to get 4 kids out the door, fast styles are the best for me. I love taking the time to do more intricate styles, but sometimes we just don’t have time to do hair. Or patience. Usually it’s my girls that are the impatient ones…. though occasionally me (I am human after all!)
If my daughter Hope (8) is requesting to not have her hair done, my go-to compromise is that we do a braided ponytail. Braided ponytails are great for sports and work well on different hair lengths. They can be easily wrapped up and pinned into place to make a bun. And, my favorite part, they give you a more polished look as you’re heading out without taking too long! Perfect!
I am continuing my Braiding Basics series by teaching you how to do a 4 strand braid. In this series, I have already covered How to Rope Braid, How to Dutch Braid, and How to French Braid. Be sure to to check them out if you don’t already know how to do these basic braids.
Let’s get started on how to 4 strand braid.
Step 1. Start by brushing out the hair and pulling the hair into a ponytail. **Optional, spray the hair down with water (it will end up holding better so this is recommended if your little one has fine hair that slips out of a style or if you need it to last all day for school or sports).
Step 2. Divide the hair into 4 sections. From left to right, we will call these strands 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Step 3. Take your left most strand, strand 1, and go over 2, under 3 and over 4.
Step 4. Switch the places of your middle two strands.
Step 5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 until you have braided all of the hair.
Step 6. Secure with an elastic.
If you find that this braid comes apart or gives you a lot of flyaways, then I recommend trying it on wet hair. Another thing that would help is to use a pomade or a little hair gel on the bottoms of the hair. This would especially help if you are doing this on layered hair.
You can go back through and pull gently at the edges of the braid to give it a more full look – this is called pancaking the braid. This is a nice way to make braids look more mature. If you are doing the style on a little one who’s hair is prone to falling out of braids, or if you need it to stay in place for sports, then I don’t recommend pancaking it as it does loosen the style up.
There are lots of ways that you can play around with this style, even just having it in a ponytail. You can take the third strand and braid it first – we would call this a microbraid – and then do the 4 strand braid. It creates a really cool look! You can do any braid on that strand if you choose to go that route. You can also replace that 4th strand with a piece of ribbon, which I will show how to do in today’s bonus post – How to 4 Strand Ribbon Braid
You can of course use this technique in other ways too. Play around with it and have fun! The possibilities are endless!
Thank you so much for reading! Make sure you stop back by next week when I’ll be showing you how to do a 5 strand braid!
All posts in the Braiding Basics series:
Check out these posts to #HBL4StrandBraid on Instagram: