How to Do a Five Strand Braid: 13 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow (2024)

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1Separating Your Hair into Sections

2Braiding Your Hair

3Avoiding Common Mistakes

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Co-authored byNdeye Anta Niang

Last Updated: December 30, 2022

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A typical three-strand braid always has the potential to liven up a look, but a five-strand braid adds a lot more pizzazz and an intricate, romantic element to any style. This braid looks difficult, but once you get the hang of it, it's easy, fun, and sure to impress. You will have to start off by brushing and carefully sectioning your hair. From there, you can slowly form a five strand braid with your hair.

Part 1

Part 1 of 3:

Separating Your Hair into Sections

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  1. 1

    Gather your supplies. As braiding your hair can be difficult, you want your supplies ready ahead of time. You do not want to be scrambling for an item while in the middle of the braiding process. You will need the following:[1]

    • A brush
    • A hair tie
    • Hairspray (optional)
  2. 2

    Brush and detangle your hair. You want your hair as smooth as possible prior to separating it. Use your brush to smooth out any tangles, starting with the tips and moving up to the roots.

    • If you have any particularly stubborn tangles, pull the difficult hair into a semi-ponytail. Then, take your brush and work out the tangles, moving from the bottom of the strand of hair to the top.
    • If your hair is being particularly stubborn, use a detangling spray or leave-in conditioner to help with the process.

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  3. 3

    Split your hair into five equal sections. These sections will be braided together in a five strand braid. Grab your hair, and separate it into sections that are roughly equal in size.[2]

    • To help separate your strands, use small rubber bands to essentially make 5 ponytails. Place the bands about halfway down the length of the hair section, and slide them down as you braid.
    • Your hair may not be completely equal. That's okay. As long as one strand is not obviously bigger than the others, your braid will still turn out all right.
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Part 2

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Braiding Your Hair

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  1. 1

    Think of your strands as having different numbers. This can help you keep track of the braiding process when you first begin braiding. As your hair begins to weave together, the numbers will matter less, but can be helpful to start.[3]

    • Think of the leftmost strand as strand one. Move to the right, numbering each strand as you go.
    • Keep numbering until you reach the rightmost strand. This is strand five.
  2. 2

    Place strand one over strand two and under strand three. Remember, strand one is the strand to the left. Strand two is just to the right of strand one, and strand three is just to the right of strand two.[4]

    • It's very important strand one goes over strand two and under strand three and not the other way around.
    • Strand one should now be between strands 3 and 4.
  3. 3

    Place strand five over strand four and under strand one. You are more or less repeating the process on the other side. Remember, strand five is the rightmost strand. Strand four is just to the left of strand five.[5]

    • Strand one should be at a sideways angle, near strand five. After passing strand five over strand four, pass it under strand one. You should begin to see the roots of a braid forming.
  4. 4

    Place strand two over strand three and under strand five. Strand two is now the leftmost strand. Strand five is now the second strand to left on the right side. You will repeat the same basic process with strand two that you used to begin your braid.[6]

    • Make sure you remember that you always pass a strand over first, and under second. Over and under is the pattern of the five strand braid.
    • So, make sure strand two goes over strand three, which is the middle strand, and then under strand five.
  5. 5

    Place strand four over strand one and under strand two. Strand four is now the rightmost strand. It is now closest to strand one and strand two. Moving from strand one to strand two, make sure to weave strand four over and under.[7]

  6. 6

    Continue this pattern until you reach the end of your hair. As you can see, there is a pattern forming. You alternate between the leftmost and rightmost strand. You always braid into the strands just to the left and just to the right of these strands. Remember the pattern - over and under.[8]

    • Take the leftmost strand and braid it over the first strand to the right, and then under the second strand to the right.
    • Take the rightmost strand and braid it over the first strand to the left, and then under the second strand to the left.
    • Continue this process until you have braided all your hair together.
  7. 7

    Secure your braid. Hold your hair tight with one hand to prevent it from coming undone. With the other hand, take an elastic band and wrap it around the end of your hair. You have now successfully completed a five strand braid.

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Part 3

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Avoiding Common Mistakes

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  1. 1

    Add hairspray or dry shampoo to soft, sleek hair. Your hair may be sleeker and softer if you've recently flat ironed or have been to the salon. This type of hair can be more difficult to braid, as it slides around and comes loose easily. Try spritzing a small amount of hairspray or dry shampoo onto your hair prior to braiding. This can help the strands become a little coarser and easier to work with.[9]

  2. 2

    Start off with a tight braid. A lot of people prefer the look of a looser braid. However, the best way to achieving this is not to start off with a loose braid. Starting off loose can cause your braid to become undone.[10]

    • Instead, begin with a tight braid. This will make sure your braid stays tight during the braiding process.
    • Then, loosen the braid when you're finished. You can use your fingers to pull at the braid to create some slack until you have the desired loose effect.
  3. 3

    Practice. There is no magic trick to braid successfully. Braiding, especially more complicated forms, takes practice. You have to learn how to maneuver your hands properly to create a neat, tight braid. It may take awhile to successfully achieve a five strand braid.[11]

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  • Question

    How do you do a 5-strand braid?

    Laura Martin
    Licensed Cosmetologist

    Laura Martin is a Licensed Cosmetologist in Georgia. She has been a hair stylist since 2007 and a cosmetology teacher since 2013.

    Laura Martin

    Licensed Cosmetologist

    Expert Answer

    You create a five-strand braid by weaving the outside strands through two sections, under and over, alternating sides. Continue to alternate sides, repeating the under-over pattern.

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  • Question

    How do you do a 3-strand braid?

    Laura Martin
    Licensed Cosmetologist

    Laura Martin is a Licensed Cosmetologist in Georgia. She has been a hair stylist since 2007 and a cosmetology teacher since 2013.

    Laura Martin

    Licensed Cosmetologist

    Expert Answer

    A three-strand braid is made by crossing the outside sections over the center section. Make sure to hold the strands tightly as you braid for a polished finish.

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  • Question

    How many types of braids are there?

    Laura Martin
    Licensed Cosmetologist

    Laura Martin is a Licensed Cosmetologist in Georgia. She has been a hair stylist since 2007 and a cosmetology teacher since 2013.

    Laura Martin

    Licensed Cosmetologist

    Expert Answer

    There are many types of braids, dozens, but these are based on a few basic patterns. All braids are based on the basics: plait, French braid, rope braid, and fishtail.

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      • Consider practicing braiding on some string or a friend before trying it on yourself.

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      • While braiding, find a comfortable position to place the hair between your fingers.

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      • This is easier to do with someone else's help.

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      How to Do a Five Strand Braid: 13 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow (25)

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      About This Article

      How to Do a Five Strand Braid: 13 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow (30)

      Co-authored by:

      Ndeye Anta Niang

      Hair Stylist & Master Braider

      This article was co-authored by Ndeye Anta Niang. Ndeye Anta Niang is a Hair Stylist, Master Braider, and Founder of AntaBraids, a traveling braiding service based in New York City. Ndeye has over 20 years of experience in African hair including braiding box braids, Senegalese twists, crochet braids, faux dread locs, goddess locs, kinky twists, and lakhass braids. Ndeye was the first female of her tribe in Africa to move to America and is now sharing her knowledge of African braids passed on from generation to generation. This article has been viewed 336,103 times.

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      Co-authors: 27

      Updated: December 30, 2022

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