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Unconventional Techniques: 3 Strand Twists, 4 Strand Braids and Inverted Cornrows

Avatar • May 12, 2015

Two strand twists, 3 strand braids and cornrows are pretty staple styles within the natural community. If you have mastered all 3 and are ready for more of a challenge, then this article is for you!

1. The 3 strand twist

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If your individual hair strands are fine or if you have overall low hair density, you may find that two strand twist outs are just not your friend. The final result may look scalpy or you end up ruining the look by over-separating in order to cover up some of that scalpiness. If so, the three strand twist may be the way to go as it generally results in more twist out volume than a two strand twist. The only rule to gain more volume is to part your hair exactly as you would for a regular two strand twist out but then proceed to three strand twist the section.

2. The 4 Strand braid

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This is a popular styling technique for the wavier or straighter Caucasian hair but it works just as well for curlier and kinkier hair. I would not really recommend doing box braids with this method as it would probably be very time-consuming with little visible difference, but it works really well for styling bigger sections such as ponytails (or puffy tails!), pig tails or hair sectioned into 4 braids for pinning up or for kids. Start off with stretched hair and you will have an easier time!

3. The Inverted Cornrow

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Some of you may already be doing the inverted cornrow as your regular cornrow style. I certainly didn’t realise the difference until one of my work colleagues asked me how I managed to not have a raised bump on my cornrows. This is when I actually saw that there are two different techniques one — the regular cornrow where the hair is braided to a raised pattern and the inverted cornrow where the hair has a flat appearance. Neither of these are too difficult to master with some practice.

First up is the inverted cornrow tutorial

For comparison, here is a regular cornrow tutorial

 

Do you think you’ll give any of the above 3 styles a chance?

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Tabatha
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Tabatha

The only one I don’t do is the 4 strand braid and it’s only because I had no idea that it even existed.

AfroCapricornette
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AfroCapricornette

There are even 5 strand braids! YT has tons of white girls that do these. Had no idea 3 stand twists existed until last year let alone 4 and 5 strand braids.

Yolanda
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Yolanda

I can only do inverted braids vs regular cornrow. I started practicing on my hair when I was younger and that is the way that felt more comfortable. I have done 3‑strand twists but I did not see a big enough difference to justify the amount of time it took to do them.

SophieBeans
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SophieBeans

I’d like to try the three strand twist sometime! But isn’t the “inverted cornrow” a French braid?

nylse
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the inverted cornrow is called a french braid.

Emilee
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Emilee

“I certainly didn’t realise the difference until one of my work colleagues asked me how I managed to not have a raised bump on my cornrows”…I can totally relate! The same thing happened to me. I thought I was doing a cornrow, when I was doing an inverted cornrow (or as someone pointed out..it is also called a french braid). I now can distinguish the two by my hand placement. For the cornrow (also called a dutch braid…I know so confusing :), I use my pointer fingers to weave the hair under and for the french braid, I use my… Read more »

Julia
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Julia

Finally! Like everyone else has said, I’ve always thought cornrows were just smaller french braids. I’ve had people stop me and ask me how to do it. I always thought that was strange. I’ve been wanting to learn the raised braid, but didn’t know what to search for. Silly.

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