Everyone loves a good messy side braid, but most ladies who style their hair into the plait know that it takes just the right combination of precision and messiness to look perfect. Sure, girls with messy side braids may look like they just threw their hair into the style, but we know they put some effort into the look. Between technique, product, and luck, it takes just a little bit of practice, but when you get it right, this braid can’t be beat.
For some professional advice on the messy side braid, we turned to Sally Hershberger hairstylist Edgar Parra. Take a look at the tutorial above and follow Edgar’s steps below to get the braid at home — with four strands!
Step 1: Give yourself a deep side part, separating your hair in two. From there, separate each section in two again, leaving you with four sections of hair.
Step 2: Starting with the section on the far left, cross underneath the next section, then over the third section, then under the fourth section, as if you were basket weaving your hair. Continue this with each “new” far left section until your hair is completely braided all the way down.
Step 3: Secure the end of the braid with a clear elastic.
Step 4: Gently tug sections of the braid apart to loosen things up a bit, giving you the messy look. Don’t pull too hard — just enough to loosen the plait.
Hairstylist: Edgar Parra
Photographer: Primo Bolo III
Model: Cailan Cassidy