A basic three-strand braid is the base for a variety of styles. From French braids to side braids to milkmaid braids, the options are endless. Before trying advanced-braid styles, master the three-strand braid. The three-strand braid can be done as one full braid, pigtails or in tinier sections to create a more elaborate look. Regardless of the number of braids, the technique is still the same, so once you learn the basics, you’re all set to create tons of styles. More good news — the three-strand braid is super simple and takes very little time to do.

Things You'll Need

Pull your hair back into a ponytail at the nape of the neck. Secure your ponytail with an elastic band.

Separate your ponytail into three sections. These are the sections you will weave to create your braid.

Cross your left section over your middle section. Your former left section should now be your center section and your former center section should be on the left. Now, cross your right section over your new center section. You’ve now created the first piece of your braid.

Repeat these steps, crossing your left section over your middle, then crossing over your right. Braid until you’ve reached the end of your hair.

Secure your braid with an elastic band.


  • You don’t have to pull your hair into a ponytail before you start braiding. Just grab your hair with your hands, split it into sections and start braiding.

  • Wear your braid in different ways. Pull your hair to the side before braiding to create a bohemian look. Or, wear accent braids instead. Just part your hair — on the center or on either side — and section off a piece of hair at your hairline along your part. Braid this section and pull and bobby pin it to the back of the crown of your head.