Thursday, June 10, 2010

How to make a 5 Strand Braid

5-strand braids always get noticed.  Whether I'm wearing a French 5-strand or a simple 5-strand half-up, I always get at least one positive comment.  For me, learning how to do a 5 strand braid seemed as unattainable as finding the Holy Grail.  Yet, with dedication and practice, I did manage to learn it.  It took me at least a week.

As with the 4-strand box braid, I learned it originally in a half-up.  Once I had successfully done it in a halfup, I was able to make a French 5-strand braided half-up and finally, a full French 5-strand braid.

Here are some rudimentary instructions that will teach you how to make a 5 strand braid.  I read many various confusing instructions, and I was never able to really learn it from photos or video. It was when I finally figured out the pattern that I was able to start practicing my braid.  I'll give 2 sets of instructions.  One of them may be easier for you to grasp.

1. Separate hair into 5 strands as equal in size as possible.
2. From left to right, name the strands as follows: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
3. Cross strand 1 under strand 2 and over strand 3.
4. Cross strand 5 under strand 4 and over strand what is now strand 3 or the middle strand.
5. Rename strands from left to right: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
6. Repeat steps 3., 4, and 5, until braid is finished.
7. Tie off braid ends.

Here are the same instructions, but with different wording.

1. Separate hair into 5 strands as equal in size as possible.
2. Take far left strand, cross it under the next strand and over the next.
3. Take the far right strand, cross it under the strand beside it and over the next.
4. Take the new far left strand, cross it under the strand beside it and over the next.
5. Take the new far right strand, cross it under the strand beside it and over the next.
6. Repeat Steps 4 and 5 until braid is finished.  Tie off ends.

Here is a closeup of what the braid will look like.

Here are some tips.

If you practice the braid and don't get it right after 3 or 4 tries, stop before you get frustrated and try the next day.

Keep trying every day.  Eventually your fingers will learn the technique, and muscle memory will kick in.

Don't give up.  Learning any new braid takes patience.

Remember that it doesn't have to be absolutely perfect.  The only time you need to expect a perfect braid is if you have a professional braider braid your hair.  Imperfections actually make some braids look prettier and softer.

I hope you give this a try. If you do, let me know.

Talk to you tomorrow, my friends! 


  1. Gorgeous! I love braids but I'm not very good at them. I can do a French braid though.

  2. This is stunning, Frannybobkins. Such a beautiful basketweave pattern!

  3. Thanks so much for these great instructions! I was looking for a new hairstyle for summer, and these look really pretty! I did one on each side, still working on being able to do the single one down the back.

  4. Thank you everyone. This is a favourite braid of mine. Anonymous, I am happy that you were able to learn how to do this!!! You'll be doing 5 strand braids of every sort before you know it.

  5. Franny, those instructions were so simple! I've just posted my attempt on The Long Hair Loom. I'm so pleased with how easy it was for a first attempt. Let's hope I just get better at it! Thanks again.

  6. Oh, that's wonderful, Jules! I'm off to check out your photo, but I guarantee you'll improve with practice.

  7. Heya! I am 15 years old and I LOVE braiding hair. I know how to braid a lot of different ways. But I recently got down my 5-strand braid on myself. I tried with my dry hair, it was a pain but I took a shower to get it wet and it was so easy! I can't wait to learn how to braid with 7 and 9! :)

  8. Thank you! Cant believe I got it just by reading the first time :D

  9. I'm not very good with intricate styles, but have always enjoyed playing with my own hair. It's very thin and fine, and super straight! Until the last couple of years, I haven't had body without volume mousse or other products. I was able to do a small section of hair on the first try! It certainly wasn't perfect, but easy enough to want to try something harder. Thanks for the breakdown!


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