View Full Version : Need help with five strand braid

October 25th, 2008, 11:16 AM
Ok. I've mastered pretty much every braid, and I can't figure this one out.

I've watched videos on youtube, read the directions on dream weaver, and my brain and fingers don't seem to want to work together.

Any other advice in regards to help with this braid? I'm just finding it difficult to keep the five strands seperate. I've practiced on ribbon, but my hair is much thicker, so it's not as easy.

Any tips would be great! :) I'll get this done if it kills me :D

October 25th, 2008, 11:34 AM
I'm having the same trouble with four strands. I can do it really easily with bits of cord, but hair is another matter.

I'm going to try braiding the bottom half of my hair in an English braid to keep it out of the way, then doing a 4-strand on the top half. That should make it thinner, so there'll be less hair to deal with, and it'll also be more 'concentrated' (all the hair will come from the same place, more or less). You might want to try that - I haven't tried it yet, but I imagine it'll help me.

October 25th, 2008, 11:48 AM
I find the 5-strand easier to handle if I make a ponytail first. Once I get it braided, I slide the pony-holder down to the end.

When I'm having trouble with a braid, I'll often work with half the hair over one shoulder while I watch something on the boob tube. Funny - a lot of times these very casual "I don't care how it comes out" braids look better than when I'm taking my time to create a style.

October 25th, 2008, 12:36 PM
Practicing with ribbons is good, if thatīs not enough and you need to practice on hair, without having anyone hairy enough for that :wink: , you could try to practice on a cheap Halloween wig or a doll. When you do not need to focus your mind on the pattern any longer, because youīve done the braid on the wig-hair thousand times, then it will be much easier to transfer it to your own head of hair.
Thatīs how most children start out to practice braiding :) good old doll hair. Itīs so much less damaging and hurtful to knot up fake hair instead of your own while practicing :wink: not just true for young girls.

October 25th, 2008, 12:58 PM
*eyes a horse's tail as practice item* tehehehe.

I may get one of those fake hair pieces from the dollar store to practice on. I DID manage to get one done after making that post. It was horridly sloppy and lots of pieces lost, but I understood the process of which piece goes where.

I can do english braid, french, dutch, four braid...but this five braid has my fingers confused.

I did try the piece of my own hair, pulled over my shoulder, but I think the problem is that many directions I see online are for someone who is braiding another person's hair. For me, I need to know how to braid it myself.

Thanks again for the great tips!!

October 25th, 2008, 12:59 PM
I found it easier to learn this by practicing on smaller parts near my face. It's easier figuring out where the strands go when having lesser hair to deal with.

The five-strand just goes over, under or under, over. The difficult part is remembering where your hands are in the pattern. Keeping your mind firmly on the braid at hand and keeping track of all strands helps. And always braid the strand to the finish - don't stop halfway, because then you'll forget what you were doing.

The good news is that all other braids are dead easy when you've mastered this one:cool:

October 25th, 2008, 02:17 PM
*eyes a horse's tail as practice item* tehehehe.

That's how I learned to french braid! On the mane, though.

There are pieces of hair at the dollar store? In what section?

October 25th, 2008, 07:06 PM
Hipmama--I live in Canada and have seen hair pieces (probably clip ins) at the dollar store--with the barrettes/hair items. Haven't been in awhile, and of course, dollar store stuff always has new things. I can pick up some for you if you want. I was going to get some so kids could also practice braiding for horses. :)

October 26th, 2008, 12:35 AM
I found it difficult to keep the 5 strands separate at first as well. I could work out the movement for the actual braiding but after a couple of moves, I ended up with 4 strands. I tried holding the strands the way Karren Ribble suggests but it didn't work. In the end I sorted it out

Strand 1 (the outside strand) goes across my palm and is clamped by my thumb joint, strand 2 between my little finger and ring finger, strand 3 between the ring finger and the middle finger, strand 4 between middle finger and index. My hand is closed into a loose fist at this point and the last strand is held between my index finger knuckle and the ball of my thumb. My hand is held palm down; (I've just had to try to do a 5 strand braid at the back of my head to try to work out what I was doing)

5 strand braids are slower than others because I need to make sure each strand is in its correct place before moving on and that the end of each under-over-under cycle, I stop to make sure I've still got all 5 and in the right positions.

November 3rd, 2008, 12:49 AM
Thanks, Dark Horse, I will check my Dollar Store. We just got one near my house, and I haven't had a chance to really look around :)

November 3rd, 2008, 12:43 PM
Over under. Switch hands. Over under. Switch hands. Over under. Switch hands. Etc.

That's what goes through my mind when I'm doing a 5 strand braid.

November 3rd, 2008, 01:53 PM
I learned by doing the 4-strand in a particular way. The way I hold my hands is important. Then I learned how to switch strands of hair between my fingers. The only difference was one strand more to play with. A lot of thanks goes to Kupferzopf's site.

November 3rd, 2008, 03:10 PM
The way I do it is to concentrate on the center pieces.

The outside 2 pieces always twist the same way, and then over (or under) the middle strand.

I will hold the 2 on the left in one hand and let the middle hang down while I twist the right 2. Then I'll drop the 2nd right strand (the one on the inside, which become the new middle) and grab the middle and put them both in my other hand. Then twist the outside 2 on the left (letting the middle hang down) and then let go of the inner and grab the middle..then put both in one hand...

etc etc etc

November 3rd, 2008, 09:46 PM
I'm not sure if one more video is going to make it any clearer, but I have one here. (http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v438/KarenLynn/Updos/?action=view&current=5-strandbraid.flv) I'm braiding my own hair, if that's any more helpful.

The way I do it is go from the periphery towards the middle, taking each far strand under one and over the next until it becomes the new middle strand.

Good luck! :flower:

November 3rd, 2008, 09:49 PM
Thanks so much! I finally figured it out, but my braids are no where neat yet. I took a photo of my first five strand braid. I've since made 2 more--nothing photo worthy, but practice makes perfect :D

November 3rd, 2008, 09:50 PM
Thanks KarenLynn--I found that video actually and it helped--though you hold your hair differently than I do. :D

November 3rd, 2008, 09:54 PM
There are no doubt many ways to Rome in this case also. :lol: I'm glad the video was of some help, and congrats on managing one! :thumbsup: