Dictionary/Terminology

Accents, Braid, Braid Bump, Cascade, Center Gather, Dutch, End Gather, Form, French, Gather, Intermittent Gathering, Lace, Opposite-Side Gather, Plait, Ribbon, Stitch, Taper, Woven.

Click any word above and go straight to its definition.


 

Accents:  Accents are an integral part of the hairstyle. Some things that are commonly used to create accents are…

  • the persons hair
  • ribbons
  • beads
  • fake hair (like extensions added as an accent or for color accent).

See more accent examples: click here!

accents 2


 

Braid:  A braid is not stitched to the head with gathers. It may still have gathers, but those gathers will not be used to stitch the hair to the person’s head. A braid hangs free and loose. (Or can be bunned.)

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Braid


Braid Bump: A braid bump is a section of hair separated from the other sections of hair, created by the weaving pattern of the strands.

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Braid bump


 

Cascade: The cascade is hair left out of a braid to showcase the length, to keep your neck warm, or to finish the look of the style.

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term cascade


 

Center Gather:  Center gathers are placed in the center strand of a multi-strand braid, as apposed to the usual gather placement locations. *Gathers are traditionally added as close to both the outside strands as possible. (Either the furthest outside strands or the immediate strands inside of the outside strands.) This video demonstrates a gather being placed into the center strand in a nine-strand french braid.

See more center gather examples: click here!


 

Dutch: A dutch braid is determined by the pattern. It involves the outside strands of the braid and where they travel to. When the outside strands travel under the inside strand next to them, then the braid is dutch. This typically makes a braid pop up and sit on top of the hair. *However, the gathers may be added from above, if this happens, then the braid no longer pops up, it is folded underneath the hair and partially hidden.

See more dutch examples: click here!

dutch term


 

End Gather: End gathers are placed at only one end of a multi-strand braid, as apposed to the usual gather placement locations. *Gathers are traditionally added as close to both the outside strands as possible. (Either the furthest outside strands or the immediate strands inside of the outside strands.) This video demonstrates both gathers being placed in the same spot for a nine-strand french braid. This allows the braid to become a flap. It is not stitched down on both sides like traditional braids. Instead, it is only stitched down on one side.

See more end gather examples: click here!

 


 

Form:  Forms are the shapes a hairstyle takes on, as the braids traverse the head.

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forms


 

French:  A french braid is determined by the pattern. It involves the outside strands of the braid and where they travel to. When the outside strands travel over the inside strand next to them, then the braid is french. This typically makes a braid fold into or under the hair. *However, the gathers may be added from below, if this happens, then the braid no longer folds in, it pops up above the hair and sits on top of it acting just like a dutch braid with wings, or a flap on each side.

See more french examples: click here!

french term


Gather: A gather is a section of hair which comes from outside the braid, it is traditionally added into the braid to stitch the braid to the head. Gathers can be placed anywhere in a braid. Nontraditional gather location placements lead to artistic hairstyles. *Gathers may be added without the purpose of stitching. They may be added to create a specific pattern or to help the continuation of a pattern. (So, gathers are also added to braids which have no stitching and just hang loose and free.)

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Intermittent Gathering: Intermittent gathering is a technique that involves not gathering into each braid bump. Instead, you braid a length of braid without gathering, when you do gather…gather into a braid bump or two (to anchor the braid to a particular location). Braid out the braid some more and then gather when you need to anchor the braid to a location. Repeat. This causes the braid to lift up in waves, separated from the head in places, folding up into loops depending on the length of braid you created before gathering.

See more intermittent gathering examples: click here!


Lace: Lace braids are only gathered on one side. I guess, it is a form of intermittent gathering. A lace braid may gather only on the right side for half the braid or the entire length of the braid. Lace braids may gather on the right side for half of the braid and then switch to gathering only on the left side of the braid. They can even switch every other braid bump in terms of which side gets a gather that time. Lace is when one side takes a gather but the opposite side does not.

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Lace gather


Opposite-Side Gathering: Opposite-side gathering is an interesting concept that slapped my brain as I was writing this page of definitions. I thought, “if a person can gather on the same side, gather in the center, gather both on a single side, then they can clearly gather into the opposite sides as well”… “What would that look like?” I got out my doll head (that I use for practicing just such an event) and it turns out…it curls the braid under to form a hollow coil much like the Chinese finger torture toy.

See more opposite-side gather examples: click here!

 


Plait: Plait braids re use the strands in a braid over and over throughout the braid. The strands travel back and forth down the length of the braid.

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plait


Ribbon: Ribbon may be used as a strand in a braid, plait, or weave. If you create a five-strand braid it is possible to use three strands of the persons hair and attach two ribbons to use as the other two strands to make up the five-strand braid. When ribbons are used as a strand in a braid, it changes the entire look of a braid.

See more ribbon examples: click here!

ribbons


 

 


 

Stitch:  A stitch is a gather that anchors a braid to the head. I made up the word stitch because “french” and “dutch” did not cut it anymore. Another word was needed for what my brain was creating and adding to the hairbraiding world. Stitching is what people used to think of as french braiding or dutch braiding. (or, even what they used to think of as gathering) However, if you delve deeply into the braiding world, you will find that using the word stitch makes so much more sense. Also, french, dutch, and gathering, clearly mean something of their own (not referring to anchoring a braid to the head via gathering).

See more stitch examples: click here!

stitch


Taper: Taper is a word used to describe a braid with an even number-of-strands. It is not universal, in that a herringbone braid has an even number-of-strands and does not taper from one side to the other. And, the one-strand twist is an odd number. It does taper from one side to the other. Other than these two examples, it has been a great word for the effect created by braids created with an even number-of-strands…(except the round braids. They do not taper either).

See more taper examples: click here!

taper


Woven: In a woven braid the strands come from the gather. Or, a gather is needed to create the next strand that is added to the weave. If the gather comes from the right, it weaves over and under the strands in the braid until it reaches the center. There it becomes a static left side strand that no longer travels, instead, other strands weave over and under it, to get to their side of the braid to become static themselves.

See more woven braid examples: click here!

Woven Braid


 

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