How to Do an English Braid

by Susan Sosbe ; Updated September 28, 2017

Knowing how to do a basic English braid is the first step in learning how to do any other kind of braid. For hair styles, it is classic and timeless and can be either casual or elegant. An English braid works best on hair that is medium to long in length. Here are the steps you need to follow to braid an English braid.

Brush your hair back toward the nape of the neck.

Divide the hair you want to braid into three equal segments.

Take the segment on the right and cross it over the center segment of hair. The right segment will now be the new center.

Take the left segment of hair and cross it over the new center segment of hair. Now the left segment is the new center segment. The segment that was originally the right segment is now the left.

Tighten your braid as desired.

Repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 until you reach the end of the hair.

Secure the end with a hair tie.

Spray the hair lightly with hair spray to help secure the look, if desired.


  • For a more sophisticated look, tuck the end of the braid under the plait and secure with a bobby pin. For a softer, whimsical look, loosen small tendrils of hair around the face. For different looks, consider braiding the hair only at the crown of the head, leaving the rest of the hair loose. Or you can divide the hair in half and have two braids, one on each side of the head.

About the Author

Susan Sosbe has been writing professionally since January 2008. She has published hundreds of articles and essays and has appeared in publications such as "Girlfriend 2 Girlfriend" and "Root & Sprout." Sosbe attended college at the State University of New York in Oswego, N.Y.