How to Do Plait Hairstyles

Written by charlie higgins
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How to Do Plait Hairstyles
Plait hairstyles work best on longer hair. (braided hair image by Pix by Marti from Fotolia.com)

Plait hairstyles can range from the simple to the elegant. They can also be useful to keep hair away from the face while playing sports. Before you begin, make sure to brush your hair thoroughly, removing any knots or tangles.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Elastic hair bands
  • Comb
  • Hairspray
  • Hairpins

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Instructions

    Simple Plait

  1. 1

    Gather your hair at the nape of the neck. Divide the hair into three sections.

  2. 2

    Take the right and middle sections in your right hand, using your fingers to keep the sections separate.

  3. 3

    Cross the right-hand section over the middle section and grasp it with your left hand. Make sure the two sections that are now in your left hand stay separate.

  4. 4

    Pull gently on the sections to tighten the plait.

  5. 5

    Cross the left-hand section of hair over the middle section and grasp it with your right hand.

  6. 6

    Pull gently on the sections to tighten the plait again.

  7. 7

    Repeat Steps 3 to 6 until the plait is complete.

  8. 8

    Tie the end of the plait with an elastic band. Secure any stray hairs with hairpins and hairspray.

    French Plait

  1. 1

    Part your hair into two sections, using an imaginary line that arches from the right ear over to the left ear.

  2. 2

    Divide the top section of hair into three sections.

  3. 3

    Take the right and middle sections in your right hand, using your fingers to keep the sections separate.

  4. 4

    Cross the right-hand section over the middle section and grasp it with your left hand. Make sure the two sections that are now in your left hand stay separate.

  5. 5

    Pull gently on the sections to tighten the plait.

  6. 6

    Cross the left-hand section of hair over the middle section and grasp it with your right hand.

  7. 7

    Pull gently on the sections to tighten the plait again.

  8. 8

    Cross the right-hand section over the middle section again but this time include some hair from the section below.

  9. 9

    Pull gently on the sections to tighten the plait.

  10. 10

    Cross the left-hand section of hair over the middle section, adding a small amount of hair from the lower section.

  11. 11

    Pull gently on the sections to tighten the plait again.

  12. 12

    Repeat Steps 8 through 11 until the French plait is complete. Remember to take a little more hair from the bottom section every time you cross over.

  13. 13

    Tie the end of the French plait with a hair band. Use hairpins and hairspray to secure any stray hairs.

    Fishbone Plait

  1. 1

    Take two sections of hair, one from each side of the face, about an inch wide.

  2. 2

    Sweep the sections towards the back of the head and place one section over the other, forming an "X." Keep your right hand pressed firmly over the "X" to keep it in place.

  3. 3

    Take a section from the left side, using your left hand. This new section should be about the same thickness as the previous ones. Cross the new section over the "X" point, using your left hand to hold down the pieces. You can let the ends of the hair fall down naturally with the rest of the hair.

  4. 4

    Take a section from the right side, using your right hand. Cross it over the "X," using your right hand to hold down the sections.

  5. 5

    Continue to alternate taking small sections of hair and crossing them over the "X." Once the plait is complete, secure it with an elastic hair band.

Tips and warnings

  • For a casual look, divide the hair into sections one-square-inch in area and plait each one individually.
  • Try experimenting with direction. Theoretically, a French plait can begin and end anywhere on the head.

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