A classic style you can always fall back on.
Of the many fun variations of braided hairstyles out there, the fishtail braid is one of the most coveted braids at the moment. Making the rounds on runways and street-style mavens everywhere, it’s not just a clever way to keep hair from sticking to your neck when it’s hot out. The fish tail braid’s appeal stems from its complex-looking herringbone plait that quirkily resembles—you guessed it!—a fish’s tail.
Looks can be deceiving though, as this fish plait is surprisingly low-maintenance. This look is also super versatile, as it paves the way for some chic updos like a low bun. This half-futuristic, half-folksy braid that’s been having a major renaissance seriously takes less than five minutes, hand to heart.
That said, we put together five different tutorials on this hypertrendy plait that ensures you’ll master how to make a fishtail braid, no matter your hair type or skill level. Read on:
Fishtail Braid Tutorial #1: How to Fishtail Braid
Step 1: Wash and condition early.
Wash and condition your hair the night before with TRESemmé Thick & Full Shampoo and Conditioner. Let your hair dry overnight for a little bit of natural texture. Minimal time spent on heat styling during this busy time of year is always appreciated.
Step 2: Add some sleekness.
Step 3: Time to braid!
Part your hair into a deep side part and gather it all to your preferred side. Separate it into two sections and begin crossing one smaller section from each side over into the other. Be sure to pull each added section firmly before moving onto the other side.
Step 4: Secure your braid.
Continue braiding until you get to the bottom of your hair and secure the braid with a hair tie. Gently pull the braid apart for more dimension and viola! You’ve achieved the ultimate ‘running errands’ style that still manages to be chic.
Fishtail Braid Tutorial #2: How to Create a Half-up Fishtail Braid
Step 1: Create Soft Curls
Starting with clean, dry and detangled hair, Dove Quench Absolute Leave-In Detangler can jump in and help make hair smoother and more manageable if needed. Comb hair back and prep hair with a heat protectant to protect your hair from any heat damage. Create soft waves with a one-inch curling iron.
Step 2: Section hair and create fishtail plaits.
Gather small subsection of hair on both sides of your crown. Split one side into three strands, then begin creating your fishtail braid. Braid hair from root to mid-length, then tie on an elastic band to hold the braid in place. Move on to the opposite side and repeat the same steps to create your plait.
Step 3: Connect your braids to create a half-pony.
Cross braids from the left and right side over to the back of your head. Once you’ve connected your braids, tie an elastic band around them to create a single ponytail. Take a subsection of hair from your ponytail and wrap around the elastic band to conceal it and add a stylish touch to your hairstyle.
Step 4: Set with hair spray.
Finish off your hairstyle with hair spray that provides a flexible hold, like TRESemmé TRES Two Ultra Fine Mist Non-Aerosol Hair Spray.
Fishtail Braid Tutorial #3: Basic Easy Fishtail Braid
Wash and detangle hair.
Ed’s note: Typically, you can create a fish braid whether hair is straight or curly, but we like having a clean slate without any residue (more traction!). To add a fringe, pull out hair at the front section to frame your face.
Section your hair.
Begin the fishtail stitch.
Create the second section
Continue the plait.
Tie it off.
Ed’s note: Our model simply flipped her plait over to tie it off, but if you’re digging the look of an inverted plait, try a Dutch fishtail braid instead. To achieve, simply cross the side sections over instead of under.
Pancake your braid.
Fishtail Braid Tutorial #4: How to Do a Fishtail Braid on Curly Hair
Start on clean, freshly washed hair.
Part hair to one side.
Pancake your plait.
Fishtail Braid Tutorial #5: Messy Milkmaid Fishtail Plait
Part your hair.
Create two pigtails.
Start braiding one pigtail.
Repeat the same technique on the left section of your hair, ensuring that you are holding your tresses tightly while you braid so your plait doesn’t come loose.
Once you reach the bottom, secure your fishtail plait with a clear elastic. Then, pancake your plait to loosen it and make it appear slightly disheveled, before repeating the whole braiding process on your other pigtail.
Create your milkmaid crown.
Secure your milkmaid braid.
Ed’s note: If you have long hair and find that your braids don’t finish in the center of your head, you can bring them down behind your ears and secure them there so that the ends are hidden from view.