How To Master The 4 Strand Plait | Hair.com UKI
Hairstyles & Styling

Plait Level Wizardry: Mastering The 4 Strand Plait

03 June 2019
people with four stand split hair style
Elizabeth Hall

Elizabeth Hall

Journalist

An American journalist living in Paris, Elizabeth has a passion for all things hair.

If you’ve ever seen a 4 strand plait, your first (and natural) reaction might be - how did they do that? There are some people that can braid anything, and then there are the rest of us. The 4 strand plait looks complicated to weave… much like the fishtail braid. Don’t fret just yet, with this tutorial complete with pro tips and tricks, you too will become a braiding master! If you’re shaking your head in disbelief, convinced that no matter how many times you try, your fingers just won’t work with you - just stop right there! If you are familiar with the classic 3 strand plait (or just the concept of weaving), you got this, girl. Once you’ve mastered this braid, who knows, perhaps you’ll move on from the 4 strand plait to the 5 or 6 strand plait; but before we go getting ahead of ourselves, it’s time conquer the 4 strand plait - one mountain (perfect woven hairstyle) at a time!

Mastering The 4 Strand Plait Like A Wizard

If you’ve read this far, you’re ready to become a self-proclaimed #braidingqueen. This isn’t your typical playground plait, but we believe you can become somewhat of a braid sorceress by following these 5 simple steps!

1. Start by bringing all your hair to one side over your shoulder.

2. Next, separate your hair into 4 sections (they don’t need to be perfect, the messier look is hot right now.

3. Then, pull your outer right strand over your inner right strand and under you inner left - stop there with that strand.

4. Weave the outer left strand under the new inner left strand and over the inner right. Congrats! You’ve completed one full stitch, pat yourself on the back.

5. Repeat this process: over and under until you’ve weaved your perfect plait! Tip: just remember that the outer strand always goes over, then under (on the right side) and under, then over (on the left). Secure hair with an elastic and admire your wizardy!

brunette person with four strand plait hair style

Who Can Pull Off The 4 Strand Plait Like A Pro

Braids, bless them, have given us the gift of versatility - the options seem endless. That’s because they are, there is a way to weave any mane. When it comes to the 4 strand plait, some candidates are better suited than others: if you’ve got loads of layers (tends to fall out mid-braid) or a barely-there-bob, this may be quite difficult for you to achieve. The pros tell us that this 4 strand plait suits those with longer hair because you need a little length to get your weave game on. Whilst it’s not impossible to braid short hair (just look at the Red Carpet), this look requires a bit of a messy vibe - think wispy, loose tendrils framing your pretty face. Flawless.

The Hottest Ways To Wear The 4 Strand Plait

Seemingly complicated, the 4 strand plait is a piece of cake once you’ve got the hang of it. If you’re looking to up your braiding game beyond the not-so-basic 4 strand plait, we’re embracing all of the flat (four-strand plait) variations here. Oh flat, you have so many look!

Whimsical Tendrils Galore

We don’t know who to thank for bringing the tendrils back into the wonderful world of trends, but we’re definitely grateful. This look requires you to get a little messy (with your hair). After weaving your 4 strand plait, gently pull on the woven sections to loosen up the braids for a more ‘lax look. Then, carefully pull out your face-framing tendrils for a look that will make even a princess jealous!

Flowing Half-Up Waterfall

This rendition is pretty AF and requires less effort than the classic 4 strand plait - say whaaat! Instead of braiding your entire head, just braid around the crown (where a crown braid would sit). It’s simple but requires getting the tension right to make your plait bubbles even… luckily practice makes perfect!

Undone Perfection Updo

You can get this hairstyle by continuing the last look (the half-up waterfall). If you can handle a 4 strand plait in the form of a waterfall crown, you can do this one with ease. With your waterfall flat in place, simply tuck the loose hair into a bun and secure with an elastic. Use bobby pins to pin flyaways - and boom. Wear it to a wedding, the office, you name it!

Tips & Tricks For The Perfect 4 Strand Plait

If you’ve ever tried braiding freshly-washed hair you know the struggle: hair slipping out left and right… and an unintentional messy look isn’t what we’re aiming for (unless you are, then more power to you). If you’re wanting to make your braid game effortless, you’ll need two things: a little practice and these tips, the latter we can help you with.

The first common mistake that’s made when trying to perfect a plait is not using products. Sure, you can use the good ol’ braid to hide your greasy roots, but you should still be using products that promote grip. Like what, you may ask? Texture, baby. The pros can’t get enough of Redken Rough Paste 12. This product is an answer to our hair’s prayers - it creates the perfect texture for any braid whilst offering long-lasting results that won’t let ya down, literally. Mix a dab of Redken Rough Paste 12 onto damp or dry hair and let the results speak for themselves! To hold your plait in place even during the craziest of festival head banging, set your style with hairspray. Our go-to is Redken Triple Take 32. Imagine a high-hold hairspray with no crunch, yes it’s possible and this product offers that and more (no sticky residue) - can we get a hair hallelujah? Pro tip: spray your bobby pins with hairspray for extra hold and grip.

Even the most hapless braiders can master the 4 strand plait, and with that, unleash endless styling possibilities - you were made to braid!

Interested mastering your plait wizardry ? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a hair expert near you.

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