Waterfall Plait Hairstyle Tutorial

Hair Romance - Waterfall Plait - braid hairstyle

When is a braid a plait? Or when is a plait a braid?

Do you find braiding terminology confusing? I used to, as there are so many ways to describe braids. In the UK and Australia, a plait is a basic 3 strand braid. I now use US terminology to make things easier, but on my earlier posts you’ll read more about plaits.

For this hairstyle, I have to revert to the term ‘plait’. A waterfall braid is a totally different style, and I couldn’t think of another way to describe this braid.

Hair Romance - Waterfall Plait - braid

The waterfall plait is like a cross between a waterfall braid and a crown braid. Pieces of hair cascade out of the plait, and the two plaits are pinned around the back of your head in a low half-crown.

Waterfall Plait Hairstyle Tutorial

Hair Romance - Waterfall Plait hairstyle tutorial


This style can be done in curly or straight hair. Adding in some curl will make the waterfall sections blend in better with your hair. I’ve used a 25mm curling wand to create this curl in my hair.

  1. Start by sectioning off hair a two inch section of hair on your right side. Split the section into three equal pieces and begin your plait (braid).
  2. Form your braid as normal, crossing the left over the middle and the right over the left. When you cross over the third piece, drop a section free from the braid and let it hang down.
  3. Repeat down the braid (plait), dropping a piece loose from every section that crosses over from the top. You’ll end up with a braid as in the third picture. Secure the end with an elastic.
  4. Repeat on the left hand side, creating another waterfall plait and secure the end with a clear elastic.
  5. Use bobby pins to pin the braids (plaits) across the back of your head in a low half-crown hairstyle. Pin one braid across and then tuck the ends of the second braid behind the first and pin in place.

Hair Romance - Waterfall Plait - braid hairstyle tutorial

Styling tips

  • Start with a larger section of hair for each braid. This will leave enough hair in your plait (braid) as you drop sections out. Unlike a normal waterfall braid, you don’t add in any hair to this waterfall plait.
  • Use small clear elastics at the end of each braid (plait) as they won’t stand out in the finished style.
  • If your hair is long you can fold the braids in half then pin in place.

Hair Romance - Waterfall Plait - braid style

Do you get confused with braiding terms like plait and braid? Do you like this waterfall plait hairstyle? Love you to share it and let me know if you try it.

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    • Hair Romance says

      Thanks Fi! Yes, it’s perfect for wavy hair. The braids keep your hair back from your face and add some detail to loose, messy waves x

  1. stephanie says

    I have a question: I’m having a social coming up and I was wondering what hairstyle would be acceptable. I was thinking this one would be great! My dress is white with black polka dots, it falls just above the knee, and it has about 2 inch straps with a sweetheart neckline. My friends call it my 50s dress.

  2. Alicat2911 says

    This looks amazing! It’s the reverse of the Waterfall *Braid.* I come from Australia and classify braids as being attached and close to your head (ie Crown Braids) and plaits as hanging loose, like this. Your blog is amazing! Keep it up!! Xx

  3. KTay says

    I wore this today with wavy hair. So pretty and simple! Sometimes this kind of braid is called a feather braid, because the pieces feather out.

  4. linc says

    Am mature woman and hairdresser did a waterfall across one side of my head, around my head and then braided into the hair brushed back from the other side of my head in the back.
    because my hair is just past shoulders, she had pulled my shorter underhair in the back into a pony tail. Then brought the braid, the loose brushed back hair from the other side of my head and the ponytail and twisted them into a left sided mini bun.

    Looked very sophisticated….but I am thinking it takes three hands…but am still trying!

    • Hair Romance says

      That does sound more complicated Linc, but with practice I’m sure you could do it in your hair :)

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