View Full Version : The eleven strand plague braid tutorial

January 23rd, 2011, 11:28 PM
OK, when I was sick in bed and bored silly, I invented a new very textural braid I call the plague braid. Plague because I was feeling like I had the plague. It has a total of eleven strands of hair and looks complex, but is actually just simple braids constructed in layers. You will make one central braid and four rope braids. I'm splitting this into two parts to get around the image limits.

Part one:

Starting point: Brush or comb your hair well so it is tangle free. Brush as you work if needed. My hair likes to tangle at the ends as I work so I keep my tangle teezer handy!


Next, gather up the crown hair from right behind the ears up to the crown.


Either dutch or french braid this crown section. I used dutch braiding here. Once you have braided a few inches down the back of your head, just do a regular free hanging braid down the length.


I have secured this initial braid with a pink hairtie for colour coding purposes. Next, grab two sections from behind each ear and bring these to the front. Each of these will become a two strand rope braid.


To do a rope braid, divide the hair into two sections. Twist each section in the same direction.


Next, take the twisted strands and twist them around each other in the OPPOSITE direction you twisted the individual strands. For example, if you twist strands 1 and 2 away from your face, when you twist the two together you'll wrap them around each other towards your face. The tension of the two strands will keep the rope braid in place. Continue this to the end of the strand and secure with a hair tie. It will loosen some but maintain the rope braid. I have secured this with a red hairtie for colour coding purposes.


Repeat the rope braid with the other front section and secure. Again, I have used a red hair tie since this is the second of two front braids.


Now, divide the remaining unbraided hair into two sections. Each of these sections will be subdivided into two more strands and rope braided.


Here you see one of the back braids being twisted together. Rope braid the length and secure. I've used yellow hair ties to indicate its a back rope braid. Repeat with the last section of hair.


January 23rd, 2011, 11:29 PM
Part two:

You will now have a total of five braids. One central braid and four rope braids. Here the centrail braid is pink, the two front ropes are red and the two back ropes are yellow. Take the pink braid and the two yellow braids and braid ut those three together. For demonstration purposes I will leave the coloured ties on but for actual wear I remove the ties once I reach the end of each rope braid and secure the new layered braid with one tie.


You now have the central layered braid and the two rope braids from the front. Take these remaining three braids and again braid them together. Again, I am leaving the colour coded hair ties in for instruction purposes but would remove them for actual wear.


You now have a complete plague braid made with eleven strands! See, not hard at all. :) It has three strands in the dutch braid and two in each of the four rope braids for the total eleven strands.


You can wear it down your back or bun it in any bun you like. I'm partial to bunning it in a nautilus, cinnamon or inside out bun. It looks ridiculously complex, has tons of texture but is actually easy to do, being just a layered braid.


Enjoy! I want to see it in other people's hair!

January 23rd, 2011, 11:53 PM
It is so pretty! I wish I had enough hair to try :( I'm dying to see what else people do with it! I love shots of awesome styles with far longer hair than mine it is like looking at thousand dollar shoes that I can't afford yet.

January 23rd, 2011, 11:56 PM
You are getting there! 23 inches is a good start. I'm at a couple of inches past tailbone but it seems like yesterday was at 23 inches.

January 24th, 2011, 12:12 AM
Oooooooo! I want to try this soooo bad, grow hair, grow!!!

January 24th, 2011, 12:41 AM
I so want to try this but my hair is just too thin :(

January 24th, 2011, 01:03 AM
I so want to try this but my hair is just too thin :(
and mine is too short... :(

January 24th, 2011, 01:07 AM
haha, I read 'elven strand' instead of 'eleven strand'. It certainly does look like an elven braid! Very pretty!

January 24th, 2011, 01:17 AM
Maria, my hair is about as thick as yours is--not very thick at all. You can dooooo eeet!

January 24th, 2011, 04:47 AM
Qamar, I love that you are calling this the plague braid! I have a really bad flu at the moment, and have been joking that it is the plague. I get some funny looks when I say that in public though! :p

January 24th, 2011, 05:02 AM
Wow, that's a brilliant braid! Good job for inventing that, definetly a style that I'm gonna try when I'm layer-free and longhaired:)

January 24th, 2011, 05:09 AM
I'm delighted that I actually invented something. I drool over styles other people have created and feel inadequate in my own creativity. Bummer it took plague addling my brain to noodge the creative streak.

January 24th, 2011, 05:52 AM
That looks absolutely supercool! All I still need now is... rope braiding skills... and about 15 inches extra of hair... Grow pretties, groooow!!!

January 24th, 2011, 08:04 AM
Haha, the plague braid! I love it! XD
Also the lighting in those pictures is really pretty.

January 24th, 2011, 08:11 AM
Aw, that is beauteous!!! What a wonderful thing to have come out of your sick days. I will give it a shot, like, two years from now. (Not even APL yet.)

January 24th, 2011, 08:37 AM
I may try wearing this to work tomorrow... I'll post pics if my husband is awake to help me!

:D great braid, and great tutorial!

January 24th, 2011, 02:16 PM
Thanks! It's my first tutorial. I tried to make it very clear.