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Are Braid And Plait The Same?

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Last updated Apr 9, 2024

"Braids" and "plaits" are two terms that are often used interchangeably and are often used to describe a hairstyle that involves dividing the hair into three or more strands and then intertwining them to create a structured braided look. The main differences between "braids" and "plaits" are in the following five aspects:

1. Use area

"Plaits" is more commonly used in British English and some other English regions, while "braid" is more common in American English. One more thing, Braid is usually used for practical and aesthetic purposes and can be worn on various occasions from casual to formal.

2. Strand counts

The main difference between braids and plaits is the number of strands used. Plaits usually involve three sections of hair, while braids can contain any number of hairs, ranging from three strands to nine or more.

3. Technology

Plaits involve braiding the outer strands alternately over the middle strands, creating a symmetrical pattern. Braiding, on the other hand, may involve more complex techniques such as backhand or overhand braiding, Dutch or French braiding, and the use of additional strands to create elaborate designs.

4. Hair type

Braids and braids are suitable for different hairstyles. Plaits are usually used for straight hair, while braids are usually used for curly hair. Women with type 1 (straight) and type 2 (wavy) hair often use a single braid style called braids.

On the other hand, women with type 3 (curly) and type 4 (frizzy) hair often choose plaits, which are made up of multiple smaller braided designs. These braidings are very complex and take a long time to install correctly.

5. Maintenance and lifespan

Braids are usually made of curly hair braided in intricate ways. Therefore, they are very easy to maintain and have a long service life. Wear a silk hat or pillowcase when sleeping and moisturize your scalp regularly. Wash well with dry shampoo and the braids will last about 4 to 8 weeks without any worries.

Plaits are also low maintenance but have a shorter lifespan than Braids. Braids are usually done on straight and wavy hair and last no longer than a week. Whenever hair grows, the roots loosen up, and the same goes for braids.

Plait Styles:

1. Three-Strand Plaits:This is the simplest form of plait or braid and is made up of three strands of hair intertwined.

2. French Plaits:This is an elegant braid in which hair from the sides is added to the braid as it is braided, creating a more intricate design that looks like it is braided directly into the scalp.

French Plait

3. Fishtail Plaits: To create this sophisticated hairstyle, first divide your hair into two sections, then cross the small pieces from each section to the other side to create a textured fishtail pattern.

Braid Styles:

1. Dutch Braids:Similar to the French braid, the Dutch braid starts at the top of the head by braiding strands of hair together but crossing the two strands over each other for a more pronounced, raised look.

Dutch Braid

2.  Box BraidsBox braids are individual braids made using synthetic hair extensions or in some cases, natural hair. They are usually long and slender and can be designed in a variety of ways.

3. Cornrows Braids: Cornrows are small, tight braids, usually close to the scalp and often arranged in straight lines or complex patterns. They are popular with people with textured or curly hair.

Cornrows Braid

4. Waterfall Braids: The waterfall braid is a variation of the French braid in which some of the strands fall out as the braid progresses, creating a cascading effect that looks like a "waterfall."


Q: Are braids/plaits good for hair growth?

A: Braids/plaits do not provide any additional stimulation for hair growth. Your hair growth depends on your genetics. But braids/plaits often help prevent breakage and help your hair retain moisture, so they can help make your hair appear to be growing. In fact, it's protecting the strands you already have.

Q: Which hairstyle should you choose for plaits and braids for curly hair?

A: Both are very popular hairstyles right now and are suitable for curly hair types. But I recommend that you tie your curly hair into braids instead of plaits, and surveys have found that women with curly or type 4 hair often choose braids as their preferred hairstyle.

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