You already know how to three-strand braid (and have since you were, like, 5), but if you’ve ever seen a more complicated braid and wondered, How the eff do I do that? keep reading. From a fishtail to a chain braid, Kayley Pak, braid specialist at the John Barrett Salon in Bergdorf Goodman, shows and tells you how to weave the perfect plait.
1. Regular French Braid
Start by brushing your hair back with a boar bristle paddle brush so it’s smooth. Then, take a comb (you can also use your fingers) to section your hair off in a “V” formation from your temples to the crown of your head. Next, take three pieces of hair from that section and begin braiding them, making sure to incorporate more hair from each side of your head each time you cross the hair over. Repeat this until the ends.
2. Dutch Braid aka the Inverted French
To create an inside-out French braid (note: this is also how you braid cornrows), repeat all the steps above, but then when you begin braiding, cross the sections of hair underneath one another, rather than over each other.
3. Rope Braid
First, put your hair into a ponytail and create two sections, and twist each one in the same direction. Then, cross the two sections over each other and secure it at the ends with an elastic band. Pro tip: Keep pomade on your fingertips to keep any stray strands in place, and use hairspray to lock your style in.