Despite what all those amazing YouTube tutorials may lead you to believe, absolutely no one is born a braid master. We’ve all had to start at scratch at some point in our lives, and whether through guidance from your older sisters, your middle school BFFS or yeah, that big-time celebrity vlogger, even learning how to do a simple braid can be frustrating without the right help at first.
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.
Whether you’re an intermediate-level braider or are a total, all-thumbs braid novice, how to do a basic braid has never been easier than with our simple braid tutorial below. Read on for this easy step-by-step and confidently change your hairstyling game forever:
Tutorial: Three-Strand Basic Braid
Start on clean, washed hair.
For a more natural body and texture, we like using clean hair as a basis for a simple three-strand braid. In this case, wash and rinse with a lightweight moisturizing system, like Nexxus New York Salon Care City Shield Shampoo and Nexxus New York Salon Care City Shield Conditioner. Rinse well and towel-dry, or power-dry gently with a blowdryer.
Prep hair with your pre-styler of choice.
For this post, we used a small amount of serum, such as TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Keratin Infusing Serum, and spread it on the lengths and ends. Create a side part.
Brush hair from root to tip with a comb or boar-bristled brush to remove any knots or tangles. Brush hair over one shoulder for easier maneuvering.
Split hair into three sections.
Three is always the magic number when learning how to do a simple braid. Split your hair evenly into three sections: left, middle and right.
Cross the left section over the middle, then the right section over the middle, adjusting your grip if necessary.
Continue till the ends.
When done right, you should start seeing a medium-to-thick V-shaped stitch form down your ponytail.
Tie it off.
Secure your three-strand braid with a neutral-colored hair tie. Tugging the chains apart (a.k.a. “pancaking”) makes the overall braid thicker and fuller-looking.
You can finish off your look with some flexible-hold hairspray, such as Dove Style+Care Strength & Shine Flexible Hold Hairspray, to prevent flyaways and provide light hold. You’re all set!
Already mastered how to do a simple braid and are ready to try a different version? Check out our fishtail braid tutorial.