I’ve been seeing the DNA braid, otherwise know as the three strand fishtail braid everywhere lately, and I SO wanted to try it! At first I was a little discouraged, because my hair is obviously on the short side, AND I have shorter layers in the front. So I thought that even if I attached extensions the layers in my hair would prevent me from doing this braid.

But then I got creative! 😉 It’s true that you should have one length hair to pull this braid off, so I decided to use my little trick from the past (you can see how I used it to to the intricate 5 strand braid)! If you have a similar haircut to mine, or a bob with overall shorter length, but not many layers, you can definitely pull this off by following the below tutorial step by step. If your hair is long, the technique of the DNA braid is the same, you’ll simply have more options on how you can incorporate it into your style (You lucky you! 😀 Maybe one long side braid?) Ok, without further ado, let’s get started (HINT: If you prefer to see things in action rather than read, scroll down to the video on the bottom of this post)!

Put it in a half up style

DNA braid tutorial at

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Part off a triangular section in your crown area, leaving the hair in the front and sides out of it. This is especially important if you have shorter, layered hair. That way you’ll be able to get a section more or less unified in length to braid (leaving out the shorter hair from the front and sides).
  2. Divide that section into 3 strands (the middle one a bit thinner).
  3. Take a small outer piece of the left strand and cross it over the left strand, bring it under the middle strand and combine it with the right strand.
  4. Take a small outer piece of the right strand, this time cross it under the right strand (be careful to also bring it under the section you combined from the left side), bring it OVER the middle and combine it with the left strand. Keep it as tight as possible.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you get to the bottom of that section (braid as far down as you can). Tie it off with a clear elastic once you finish. When you let go, the braid will start to twist on its own. You can twist it some more to further enhance the DNA effect.
  6. Now it’s time to incorporate those shorter layers from the front and sides into the style. Pick up a section close to your parting and divide it into 2 strands. Start twisting them over each other away from the face. Add a new section to the bottom each time before you twist.
  7. Once you’ve incorporated all the hair you want, twist the sections together further down, loosen up the twist and pin it to the back of your head over the DNA braid. Repeat on the other side.
  8. Tuck the ends of those twist underneath and pin them in place with bobby pins, making sure that nothing is covering up the DNA braid.

TIP:  The more unified in length a section you pick from the start, the better. You’ll be able to braid further down and the twisting DNA effect will be more visible. Style the rest of your hair as you like. I chose to use a curling wand and give my hair some curls and waves for a softer look.

DNA braid tutorial at

DNA braid tutorial at can also see the video version of the tutorial here:

I hope you liked this DNA braid tutorial and that it will inspire you to try out new things, without letting your hair length be a barrier!

Until next time lovely! Happy hairstyling!


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I'm a self-taught hair lover that wants to inspire others ;)

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