Hair How-to: The Five-Strand Braid

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Five Strands!

Sounds like a lot right? This week's hair how-to looks intriguing, interesting...and hard. But I'm going to let you in on a secret- it isn't. If you can do a plain-jane three strand braid, you can do this five strand one too. Because this five strand braid is basically two regular braids that share the middle strand.

All that's required to do this hair-do is a brush and a hair-tie; then you're set to get a braid that's great for looking cute even when at the library or out on a hike- or, heck, any old place!
5 Strand Braid Instructions

1. Brush hair to side

.... or to the back, or to wherever you want the braid to be. I like to put this braid to the side because it looks cool and, for your first time trying the look, it might be easier for your hands to reach and/or for you to see in a mirror, if need be, when the braid is on the side.  (Speaking of mirrors- this sounds counter-intuitive, but, I have an easier time making this braid by feel alone, rather than by looking in the mirror. Something to try if you, maybe!)

2. Make 5 strands

Once your hair is all smoothly over to the side, make five strands. I find it works best for me to divide my hair into two first, with one section a little bigger than the other. I can then divide the smaller section again (creating two strands), and the larger one can make three strands. You will need to hold two strands in one hand and three in the other, for now. 

3.  Twist one edge strand over the other

Before you start braid, I going to suggest you look at the (poorly done) color-coded drawing I did of the braid pattern. The five strand braid is basically two regular braids. Which ever strand is in the middle at the time ends up being used in BOTH of the two smaller braids, but basically it is like two three-strand braids. 

That said, to do this- pick a side, it doesn't matter which one. Twist the outside strand over the strand next to it. (You will have 2 strands in one hand and three in the other)

4. Use the middle strand to make a braid

Take the strand that is currently in the middle and use it with the two strands you just twisted to make a regular, three-strand braid.  (three strands are making a regular braid, two strands are in your other hand)

5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 with the other strands

Using the two strands in your other hand, you will twist the strand on the outside over the strand on the inside (just like in step 3). Next you will take whichever strand is currently in the middle of all five of the strands and use it to make a 3-strand braid with the two strands you JUST twisted. And yes, that middle strand will be part of the other braid as well. (Now you know why I said it works best to do this by feel, rather than looking in the mirror). 

6. Continue steps 3-5

You have just done the basic braid pattern for the five-strand braid. Continue it as far down your hair as you want it. You can do it! 

7. Tie Braid

When you've got the braid as long as you want it, tie it off!

8. Rub to widen

This is an optional step, but to really show off the intricacy of this braid, gently rubbing the braid will result in a widening and flattening of the braid. As you get more practiced with this braid you can even rub/widen the braid as you go, which can look a touch neater than if you wait till the end. 

9. Pull strand loose

This is also an optional step, but I like to pull loose a smal strand of hair near my face for a softer, more casual look. 

There you go; you are now prepared to to have your masterful, braiding fingers dubbed the nimblest in the land! You have a hair-do that's versatile and ready to be worn anywhere! 


  1. I love the hair posts, this is such a cool tutorial. You look so cute!

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  2. you make it look easy, very beautiful. xo

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  3. i've always wondered about this, thanks for sharing!


    Leopard and Lillies

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  4. Whoaaa, this is such a great idea! I'll definitely have to try this braid out :)

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    Trendy Teal

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  5. This sounds very confusing to my non-native english brain. Wowzers. I'm terrible with hair do's, I just learned how to vraid like a month ago, haha! x

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  6. This is seriously awesome, but does look daunting! I will have to give it a try when I am not at work! After all, I am "The Braided Bandit" right?! I don't even know if my hair is long enough to really braid still unless its a french braid starting high on my head, tear. Thanks for the tutorial either way though, it looks so good!
    xo Hannah

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  7. The braid looks awesome -I'll definitely give it a try!

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  8. Wow that braid looks amazing - I can't wait to give it a crack once my hair is a bit longer

    xo Emilie @ Hungry Delights

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  9. Looks GREAT! Unfortunately, I have absolutely NO skills braiding. I'm lucky if I can do a plain ol' braid...bah! :( PLUS I think I need more hair to work with...mine is super fine and slippery. Boo.

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  10. great look! love these posts!

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  11. I wish I could do the 5 strand braid! I struggle with a regular braid so I'm sure I'd fail miserably with 5 strands. lol

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  12. This looks so cool! I think I'm going to try it right now!



    Southern (California) Belle

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