When browsing pictures on Pinterest or Instagram, you may see many pictures of braids and plait hairstyles and have the same doubt as me, "They look similar, are they the same?" To figure out this question, our team did a deep research, now, let's dive into all the things we about plaits and braids.
Table of Contents
Know About Plaits
The term plaits is used by British English people. They call braids plaits. This hairstyle is commonly adopted by people with black hair as they are overprotective about their hair. These are usually made by sectioning three different strands of hair and weaving them together to make a single plait.
Learn About Braids
The term braids is commonly used by Americans. Braids encompass a broader category of hairstyles characterized by intertwining multiple sections of hair. Braids, in a broader sense, involve weaving more than three strands of hair together.
They can include multiple sections, allowing for various patterns and designs like fishtail, dutch, and French braids. This hairstyle is best for people with curly or wavy hair which is why you have seen this hairdo on curly-haired ladies.
What Is The Difference Between Plaits and Braids?
Although both plaits and braids involve braiding hair strands to create intricate patterns, there are still subtle differences between the two techniques. Let’s have a look below.
1. Strand count
The major difference between plaits and braids lies in the number of stands needed to achieve them. Plaits can be created by using three strands of hair, whereas braids can be made by using up to nine strands.
2. Use of Hair Extensions
A plait is normally done with real human hair, whereas a braid may use synthetic hair extensions or human hair extensions or accessories to create unique designs.
Plaiting hairstyle follows the symmetrical pattern by weaving the outer strands over the middle one alternatively and repeating it to the end of the hair length, whereas braids are more complex as they follow different styles and patterns which include French or Dutch braiding.
Plaits are less time-consuming as they are an easy and simple process of weaving three strands together, but on the other hand, braids are time-consuming because they are more complex, and include different styles and techniques.
In general, braids are more tightly than plaits. Loose weaving is considered a plait, and tighter weaving is a braid. Plaits may be a type of braid, but braids may not always be a plait.
So if you are talking about braiding technology, Plait and Braid are the same, if you are referring to a hairstyle, Plaits and braids are different.
Plaits vs Braids, How to Choose?
When it comes to choosing between plaits and braids there are factors to consider that align with your needs and style preferences.
1. Hair Texture and Length
Examine the texture of your hair: are they thick, thin, long, or short? Because choosing a hairstyle depends in part on the texture and length of your hair.
For thick hair, you should try a braid hairstyle. It is because the thickness of the hair makes it easy to complete various braid hairstyles easily.
On the other hand, if you have thin or short hair or prefer a more relaxed appearance, plaits can be a wonderful choice. For making plaits, you don’t need to have more volume or long hair, as it is simple and elegant on its own.
2. Personal Preference and Comfort
Always go for a hairdo that makes you feel good about yourself. Women prefer to do plaits because it is an easy hairstyle, and requires no extra skills. Nonetheless, a lot of people choose braids since they are distinctive and offer a variety of hairstyle possibilities.
3. Different Occasions
You may select one of the two hairstyles for various situations. For formal events like a friend's wedding or bachelor party, plaits work best. It also looks classy for your regular office attire or at a formal business meeting.
Braids are a popular choice for social gatherings, date nights, and concerns because of their chic and seductive appearance.
4. Time And Maintenance
Making plaits is simple and requires no effort. For ladies with hectic schedules or teenage girls, it is the ideal choice. On the other hand, because of their complexity, braids might take more time to make and maintain. However, if you want a fashionable look, they are well worth the work.
What Are Different Types Of Plaits and Braids Hairstyles?
Now let's explore some different and popular types of plaits and braids.
1. French Braid
The French braid involves adding sections of hair as you progress along the scalp. This technique creates a pattern that lays flat against your head.
2. Fishtail Braid
This particular braid requires dividing your hair into two sections and then crossing strands from each section over to the side in a criss-cross manner. The braiding technique used in this method creates an appearance that resembles the scales of a fish.
3. Boxer Braids
These braids are tightly styled close to the scalp. Often appear as braids running down the head. They provide a stylish sporty look.
4. Three Strand Braid
This type of braid involves dividing the hair into three sections and weaving them over and under each other. It is a hairstyle best for various occasions.
5. Milkmaid Braid
In this style, two braids are wrapped around the head like a crown creating a vintage-inspired hairstyle.
Cornrows are woven braids that are plaited close to the scalp in rows or patterns. This traditional African braiding technique involves using a method to braid the hair to create lines, geometric shapes, or even carving patterns.
7. Dutch Braid
The Dutch Braid hairstyle is a braiding technique where sections of hair are crossed underneath each other rather than, over the top resulting in a raised and textured braid. It's quite similar to the French braid.
Are Cornrows A Type Of Braid or Plait?
Cornrow is a type of braided or plaited hairstyle that is popular among black women, by braiding the natural hair close to the scalp and creating a raised row that resembles a cornfield.
How to Braid/Plait Hair With Hair Extensions?
@sweethearts_hair Long braided ponytail extension! #hairtok #hairtutorial #braidstutorial #extensions ♬ Slow Motion - AMARIA BB
You can easily add hair extensions while doing braids/plaits as they are going to make your braid look healthier, stronger, and natural. Moreover, you can simply use natural wigs in plaits or braids style. It will be an effortless fashion and you are good to go. Let’s look at steps that how you can use hair extensions with braids.
1. Select an Appropriate Hair Extension
The first and most important step is to select the right extensions for your hair. If you have black and curly hair, you need to select black curled hair extensions that best suit your hair colour and texture.
2. Refresh Natural Hair
Wash your natural hair and apply a good serum that makes your hair smooth and tangle-free. Finger-comb your hair and blow dry your hair.
3. Start Sectioning
Now comes the first step towards the process of your braiding. Start sectioning your hair in a way in which you want to make a braid. It depends if you like to have a single-sided braid or two-sided.
4. Place The Extension
Once you are done sectioning, take a strand of your natural hair and combine it with two strands of hair extensions so that you can achieve a stronger drip and the extensions stay in place.
5. Start Combining and Braiding
Start weaving the strands to achieve a plait. Then repeat this process for every three strands to get the complete and fuller braid hairstyle.
6. Secure The Braid
Last but not the least is to secure your braid at the end. If you skip this step, your effort is going in vain so don’t forget to tie it up with an attractive band and apply hair spray at the end to get a neat look.
Tips for Maintaining Braids and Plaits
1. Cleaning and Moisturizing
It is advised that you use mild shampoos and conditioners when washing your hair. To ensure that the moisturizer is locked in the hair, make sure to leave a conditioner in your hair for ten to fifteen minutes. It produces easily styleable hair that is frizz-free and smooth.
2. Protective Measures at Night
Nifty and fashionable braids are not possible with frizzy hair. Cover your hair with a silk or satin scarf or use a silk pillowcase to protect your style while sleeping, reducing friction and preserving the braids.
3. Provide Nutritious Oils or Serums
Applying serum to damp hair is a good way to seal it in moisture and give it a healthy, lustrous shine. It is best to use nourishing oils like coconut, sunflower, and argan oil to prevent itching.
4. Steer clear of tight styles.
Tight hairstyles frequently result in headaches, discomfort, and even hair breakage. Opt for styles that don't strain your scalp excessively. Applying oil to your scalp can enhance blood circulation, which is beneficial for healthy hair growth.
So, after reading this guide, you will therefore be able to distinguish between plaits and braids as well as the various kinds of braids.
Whether you're Team Plaits or Team Braids always remember that your hair is like a canvas. Embrace the style that makes you feel amazing because, in the realm of hair fashion, diversity is key. Just be yourself and rock it. That's what sets trends!