Being total plaiting enthusiasts, we’ve tried just about every fishtail hairstyle under the sun! You could say this labels us as an authority on how to create fishtail hair – well if the shoe fits.
And to prove our credentials, we’ve pulled together our favourite fishbone plait hairstyles, guaranteed to elevate just about any hair look or ensemble you’ll be rocking this season. But before we get started, what actually is a fishtail braid?
Fish plaits as they are sometimes called, are similar to a basic 3-strand braid, however, you only divide your hair into 2 sections. You then take small chunks from your original sections and weave under (or over) each other until you create the fishtail effect. Watch our video tutorial to perfect this braided style.
3 types of fishtail braids
1. Small fishtail
Often we think of fishtail braids as a long, full braid, but this lovely ‘do shows that you can also just braid a small section of your hair and still achieve striking results. This is one for those who are time poor, but still want to be hairstyle rich! Credit: @emmachenartistry
Style tip: For added body, we suggest pancaking your braid by gently tugging to separate your plait.
2. Messy braids
The beauty of braids is that, sometimes, the messier they are the more intricate your hair will look.
This ‘do combines various styles of braiding, starting with two fish plaits on either side, which then merge with multiple smaller braids, culminating in one large beautiful braid! Keep things wispy and relaxed for this one. Credit: @sabrinadijkman
Editor’s tip: Make braiding easy by using the Toni&Guy Flexible Hold Braid Balm. This handbag must-have is great for helping create and maintain your braided styles.
3. Fishtail hairstyle with flowers
This hairstyle is so enchanting yet so easy to pull off! Perfect for festivals, weddings and summer parties, this ‘do will have you looking like a fairy princess in no time.
4. French plait + fishtail hair combo
Incase you haven’t noticed, we’re big fans of intermingling different braid styles, so go ahead and let your creative braiding juices run wild! We think that this lovely loose French plait, which transitions into a pretty and neat fishtail, looks oh-so gorgeous! Credit: @bernice_braydenlove
Editor’s tip: Have you got thin or fine hair that doesn’t have enough grip to braid properly? Don’t fret: all it takes is a couple of spritzes of the VO5 Volume Dry Shampoo before styling. Now you’re ready to weave as many fishtail plaits as you wish!
5. Rainbow fishtail braid
Sporting rainbow hair? Then it’s your duty to show off all those dreamy colours to the world with this stunning look. Get creative with your braids so that you truly showcase your magical locks. Throw on a flower crown for that Coachella vibe! Credit: @hairbyjessicaybarra
6. Stacked braids
Not satisfied with a classic and simple fishtail plait? Then why not show off your braiding skills with multiple intricately weaved variations.
With her pastel hue and delicate flower accessories, we think this braided style is another one to add to the festival hair line-up. Credit: @sarennastyles
7. Adorn your fishtail hair
As if a fishtail hairstyle wasn’t pretty enough, add in a stunning hair clip and you’ll totally upgrade that look from pretty, to pretty fabulous! We love how this hair slide totally accentuates all that’s lovely about fishtail hair. #nailedit. Credit: @mekosmanes
8. Fishtail crown braid
Perfect for those who love wearing their hair down, yet also want something practical and secure, this ethereal-looking plait adds tonnes of depth and interest to any look.
Editor’s tip: If you want that lived-in tousled look, spritz damp or dry hair with TONI&GUY Sea Salt Texturising Spray. This fan fave sea salt spray will create defined and textured waves to your mane.
9. Half-up, half-down fishtail braid
Can’t decide between wearing your hair in a pretty updo or leaving it down? Well, now you don’t have to!
Suitable for straight, wavy or even curly hair, this half-up fishtail hairstyle is by far one of our all-time favourite ‘dos! And don’t worry about any unexpected photo opportunities, because you’ll be looking totally on point from all angles.
10. The fairytale worthy ‘do
This stunning style is the stuff of fairytale princesses! We love the varying sizes of fishtail braids that wrap over one another, creating an almost crown-like effect. Keep the rest of your tresses textured and wavy, for a romantic twist on the look. Credit: @kelseesbeautybar
11. 2-strand fishtail hair
If you struggle to work with 3 pieces of hair to create a standard fishtail plait, fret not, as there is a simple alternative: the 2-strand fishtail weave.Credit: @iselinakslen
12. Halo braid
We love the impact a halo braid can make. Everyone will rave about how much they love the style and how difficult it must be to do, but between us, a fishtail halo braid is far easier to create than you might think. Credit: @jodycallanhair
13. Fishtail braided side bun
Want a hairstyle that looks just as good from the back as it does from the front? Then come a little closer and let us tell you exactly what you need: a fishbone plait side bun!
Next read: Follow our step-by-step guide to get the look.
14. Formal fishtail updo
We don’t know about you but this fishtail hairstyle is making us dream of summer weddings. The mix of bigger and smaller weaved braids and loose tendrils make this the perfect hairstyle for any bride-to-be. Credit: @theupdogirl
Editor’s tip: Ensure all your hard work stays put with a firm hold hairspray.
We love the fast-drying VO5 Invisible Firm Hold Hairspray which not only works to secure your updo but with it’ll help to fight frizz too.
15. Fishbone plait updo
This is an updo with a difference and we can almost guarantee people will be asking whether you did it yourself!
Simply put your hair in a ponytail, braid the length into a fishbone plait, then wrap your braid over itself, flat against your head. Secure your braid with bobby pins and you’re done! So simple, but simply stunning. Credit: @hairbyshannonmarie
16. The undone updo
The best thing about a fishtail hairstyle is that even if you create a really loose braid, it will still look super stylish!
Take this look for example: pulling the partially woven strands into a relaxed bun really adds a dose of glam. Credit: @evbeauty.co
17. Fishtail accent
Attached to your ponytail but looking for a fresh new way to style it? Enter this fishtail and ponytail combo. The simple accent braid totally transforms this look from drab to fab! Credit: @jodycallanhair
Editor’s tip: Give your tresses a high shine finish with a few spritzes of TONI&GUY Finishing Shine Spray. This superfine mist gives your hair brilliant shine and polish, while helping to control static. It’s a win-win!
18. The faux fishtail
So this sneaky little ‘do is masquerading as fishtail hair, and it certainly looks strikingly similar. Rustle up as many hairbands as you can find and secure the top section of your hair with one of the bands.
Split your hair into two sections and loop until they form a bow. Use another hair band to secure, then repeat all the way down your hair until you have this amazing style. Credit: @citiesbesthairartists