A simple braid is made from three equal strands of hair. The hair strand on the outside right passes over the top of the hair next to it and becomes the middle strand. Then the hair strand on the outside left passes over the hair next to it to become the middle strand. This braiding action is continued along the length of the hair, then secured with a rubber band or covered elastic.
A French braid is made using the simple three-strand technique except that it begins with a small section of hair, and additional strands are added to the outside strands as the braid progresses along the length of the hair. A French braid lies flat against the head. This is the same technique used for cornrows except that instead of dividing the entire head into one or two sections which essentially follow a straight path, the hair is divided into a number of different sections, some of which may form complex patterns.
A lace braid is made in the same fashion as a French braid except that hair is only added to one side, not both. A perimeter braid is similar to a lace braid. The hair is divided vertically into two even sections, and loose lace braid is made near the ear. Then the two lace braids are brought together in the middle back and fastened together.
A Dutch braid is similar to a French braid in that it uses three strands of hair, begins at one point and gathers in more hair until reaching the end. The difference is how the strands are braided. In a French braid, the hair strand comes over the top and down into the center. In a Dutch braid, the hair comes from the outside and up into the center. This results in a braid that sits on top of the hair.