Braiding Instructions

Braid Examples




Square 4-Strand

There are two forms of a four-strand braid, square and flat.  The square four strand is a bit like macrame.  Since I demonstrate a french version, I recommend you learn the french braid before attempting this.

Repeat this mantra while making a square 4-strand: Under two, back over one.

Terms to Know:

Slots: To cut out wordiness, I have decided to call the webbed area between the fingers "slots." 

  • Slot 1 is between the thumb and index fingers.
  • Slot 2 is between the index and middle fingers.
  • Slot 3 is between the middle and ring fingers.
  • Slot 4 is between the ring and little fingers.

Right and left hands will be denoted by a capital R or L after the slot number.  For example, 1R is between the thumb and index finger of the right hand.


  1. Gather a section of hair from where you want to start the braid.
  2. Hold the lock in your left hand and insert your right hand from underneath, separating the lock into four approximately equal sections.
  1. Place the left hand 3 strands in slots 1L, 2L, and 3L, respectively.
  2. Place the far-right strand in slot 3R
  3. Reach your right hand under the left and put the strand from slot 3L in slot 1R, and from slot 2L into slot 2R.  This brings the  strand from the far right under the middle two strands.
  1. Move the strand from 1L to 4L.
  2. Move the strand from 3R to 1L.
  3. Move the strand from 2R to 3R.
  1. Rotate your left hand and put the strand from 1L into 2R.  This brings the strand that started out on the right and gone under two back over one, so that it is the right-hand strand of the two middle strands.
  1. Move 3R to 1L and 2R to 3L.
  2. Move the strand from 4L to 3R and back to 2L. (From the left, under two, back over one)
  3. Move strand 1R to 4L.
  1. Use your right hand to gather another section of hair from the head, and add it to the strand in 4L.
  2. Repeat steps 3-12 as necessary, pausing to add another section of hair before bringing the far left strand under two and back over one.
  1. Braid to the end of the hair and tie off with rubber band or other hair fastener.


Want to see some examples of 4-strands in use?


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