How to Draw Anime & Manga Style Hair Braids

This short step by step tutorial explains how to draw anime and manga style hair braids with several illustrated examples.

Anime girl with braid drawing
Anime girl with braid drawing

Analyzing the Shape of The Braid

Though the shape of the braid may seem fairly simple it can actually get a bit confusing.

Braid bricks comparison
Braid bricks comparison

One easy way to think of the shape of a braid is as a sort of “stack of bricks” as shown in the above illustration.

Drawing Straight Anime Braids

Straight anime braid drawing
Straight anime braid drawing

Step 1 – Basic Straight Braid Shape Outline

For straight anime braids (basically just hanging down) draw a straight vertical line that will be the middle of the braid to and then draw two lines around it that will indicate the outer shape of the braid. You can also draw a basic shape of the tail end of the braid.

Step 2 – Inner Lines

From there draw two more lines inside the outer shape lines closer to the center line. You can erase the center line afterwards.

Step 3 – Finished Construction Lines Drawing

Now project a set of short straight lines (angled downwards) going from each line outer line of the braid to the inner line that is farther away from it. This will give you the basic shape of the braid.

Step 4 – Basic Straight Braid Drawing

Within these construction lines you can then draw the “organic” curved shape of the braid.

Step 5 – Finalized Straight Braid Drawing

For the finishing touches you can add some small hints of the curves of the hair inside the braid.

Drawing Curved Anime Braids

Curved anime braid drawing
Curved anime braid drawing

Step 1 – Basic Curved Braid Shape Outline

For a curved anime or manga style braid draw a curved line that matches the kind of curve that you want the braid to have. Around this line draw the lines that represent the outer shape of the braid. Again you can add the basic shape of the tail of the braid at the end.

Step 2 – Inner Lines

Draw another set of curved lines between the outer shape of the braid and its center line and erase the center line afterwards.

Step 3 – Finished Construction Lines Drawing

From each outer line of the braid project a set of slightly curved lines to the inner line that’s farther from it. This will give you the basic shape of the curved braid.

Step 4 – Basic Curved Braid Drawing

Based on these construction lines you can again draw the actual shape of the braid.

Step 5 – Finalized Curved Braid Drawing

Same as the straight braid example you can then add the finishing touches by giving slightly hint’s of the inner hair of the braid.

Conclusion

Drawing braids may seem simple but it can actually get a little tricky. Hopefully the explanation in this tutorial helped you gain a better understanding of how to draw them.

For more on drawing anime hair see:

How to Draw Anime & Manga Male & Female Hair

For drawing a female anime face in 3/4 view see:

How to Draw an Anime Female Face 3/4 View