How to Do a Butterfly Braid

When complete, the looped sections of a butterfly braid will resemble the wings of a butterfly.
When complete, the looped sections of a butterfly braid will resemble the wings of a butterfly. (Image: Baerbel Schmidt/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Hair braiding is a styling method that has been around for years. There are many types of hair braids, including three-strand basic braids, corn-row braids, french braids, fish-bone braids and butterfly braids. A butterfly braid involves four separate braids of varying sizes and, when complete, the style resembles a butterfly's wings. Creating a butterfly braid is relatively simple and takes about five minutes to complete. This style works best on medium-length to long hair of any thickness or texture.

Things You'll Need

  • Hair brush
  • 2 small, clear hair elastics
  • Bobby pins
  • Strong-hold hairspray

Gather a 2-inch section of dry, unstyled hair from above your left ear. Braid into a basic three-strand braid (left strand over the middle strand, right strand over the middle strand, repeat).

Gather the braid into the rest of your hair and make a low side ponytail on the right side of your head. This ponytail should start at the nape of your neck just under your right ear. Fasten with an elastic.

Starting from the back of your head, poke a hole at the top of your ponytail using your thumb and forefinger. This hole will be just above where the ponytail is fastened with the elastic.

Reach through the hole and grab the tail of your ponytail with your thumb and forefinger. Pull it through the hole toward the back of your head. This will create a small, twisted hole in the ponytail at the nape of your neck.

Separate two half-inch-thick sections of hair out of your ponytail, and let the rest hang loose. Braid each of these three pieces into basic three-strand braids. Spray the ends with hairspray to keep them from coming undone while you work.

Loop the two smaller braids, one by one, through the hole you made in the ponytail, working from back to front. These loops will be the "wings" of the butterfly braid. The size of these wings will depend on the length of your hair. Spritz with hairspray or fasten with bobby pins to secure.

Let the braid you made with the remainder of your ponytail drape over your shoulder. Fasten the end with a clear elastic band.

Spritz the whole style with hairspray to hold in place.

Tips & Warnings

  • Freshly washed hair tends to be too slippery to style; for best results, try this braid on hair that has not been washed for at least one day.
  • The size of the braids is an approximation based on hair of average thickness. For very thin or very thick hair, create the braids in relative size to each other.

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