Side Fishtail Braid: How to Wear the Look in 3 Ways

Eunice Lucero | 20 April 2017
a rear view of a woman with fishtail braid sided bun hair standing outside

Three elegant ways to wear fishtail braids to the side.

The past year has definitely been the year of the braid, no question about that. And if you think we’re ending 2016 without paying homage to one of our fave looks, think again! We’re capping off the year by giving props to the chic side fishtail braid, which in our opinions, like with the half-updo and 1990s bob, has definitely reached cult status.

And because we want to share the love (and ’cause we’re just over-exuberant that way), we’ve put together two simple, step-by-step tutorial to creating an everyday fishtail side braid styles that anyone can follow. Let’s all ace this new classic hairstyle, once and for all! Read on to learn more about how to create a fishtail braid to the side on your hair in three different ways.

How to Do A Fishtail Side Braid 3 Different Ways

Look 1: Side Fishtail Braid Bun

blonde woman creates side fishtail braid hairstyles on clean hair
1

Start with clean hair.

Updos have more traction when done on freshly-washed hair. Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner that also imparts some bounce, like Suave Professionals Sea Mineral Infusion Moisturizing Body Shampoo and Suave Professionals Sea Mineral Infusion Moisturizing Body Conditionerand blowdry till 90 percent dry (don’t forget some TRESemmé Thermal Creations Instant Heat Tamer Spray heat protectant!).

blonde woman creates side fishtail braid hairstyles with a side ponytail
2

Make a side ponytail.

Create a low side ponytail so you can create your fishtail braid to the side. Secure your hair with an elastic or hair tie.

blonde woman creating side fishtail braid
3

Split your pony in half.

Divide your ponytail into two parts as you would when beginning a regular fishtail braid.

blonde woman creates fishtail side braid hairstyle and begins braiding
4

Begin your fishtail braid.

Proceed to fishtail: Take one small lock from the outsidemost of Section A and cross it over and incorporate it into Section B. Then take one small lock from the outside most of Section B and cross it over and incorporate it into Section A.

blonde woman creates side fishtail braid bun hairstyles and continues braiding
5

Continue till the tips.

Proceed to fishtail braid until you reach the end of your ponytail. Secure the ends with an invisible or clear hair tie.

blonde woman creates side fishtail bun hairstyles and makes a bun
6

Make a bun with your pony.

Gently pull your fishtail braid apart to stretch and create a messy side fishtail braid. Coil your fishtailed pony around its own base to create a low bun.

 

blonde woman creates side bun hairstyles and creates a chignon
7

Create a neat chignon.

Make a full circle with your fishtailed pony and secure at the overlap with some bobby pins, tucking them away from sight.

side fishtail braid with bun on blonde hair
8

Done!

Spritz your updo with a light dusting of Nexxus New York Salon Care Frizz Defy Finishing Mist to keep the tendrils and frizzies in check. You’re all set!

Look 2: Side Fishtail Pony for Long Hair

creating a side fishtail braid: start by brushing hair
1

Start with clean, freshly washed hair.

Prep hair for your side fishtail braid by washing with a system that strengthens and imparts thicker-looking strands. We like the fullness and smoothness we get from Nexxus New York Salon Care Diametress Shampoo and Nexxus New York Salon Care Diametress Conditioner. Rinse thoroughly, and follow up with a thermal protectant, such as TRESemmé Get Sleek Heat Protection Spray, before blowdrying with a paddle brush.

create a side fishtail braid by splitting your hair in half
2

Split hair in half.

Brush hair over one shoulder, effectively creating a side part. Then split all your hair into two thick sections.

side fishtail braid: create 3 sections of your hair
3

Pinch off a small strip from the inner section.

Take a small strip of hair from your inner section (or the section nearest your neck) and cross it over to join your outer thick section.

create a side fishtail braid continue to braid
4

Incorporate it into the opposite section.

Incorporate the thin inner strip into the thick outer section. Smooth down.

side fishtail braid repeat on the outer section
5

Repeat on outer section.

Repeat the same process on the outer section, which has your fringe/hairline pieces. Take a thin strip of hair on the outermost side of that section, and cross it inwards and over towards the entire opposite section.

how to create a chic side fishtail braid
6

Incorporate into the inner section.

Grasp the new strip and smooth it down in the opposite section.

side fishtail braid repeat the process
7

Repeat the process.

Repeat steps three to six, where you take the outermost strip of section A and cross it over to join the entire section B, followed by the outermost strip of section B crossed over to join the entire section A. (Takes practice.) Take your time, and working this way, from the outwards in, and you will eventually see a herringbone pattern emerge from the base of your plait.

side fishtail braid continue the process
8

Braid till the ends.

Continue your plait till you reach the ends. Secure with a neutral-colored hair tie or a bright or metallic ribbon, for a festive touch.

how to side fishtail braid: pancake your plait
9

Pancake your plait.

Pancake, or tug, the sides of each chain so it fattens out for a trendier look. You can also take this opportunity to even out any lopsided chains or create a messy side fishtail braid.

how to side fishtail braid final look
10

Finish with hairspray.

For a clean look without any halo frizz (a.k.a. those baby strands that stick out when hair is pulled back), finish with a frizz-controlling hairspray, like TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Frizz-Free Hold Hairspray. Hold the nozzle around 12″ away, or until your arm forms a capital letter L. You’re all set!

Once more, with feeling:

side fishtail braid gif
The fishtail, in fast-forward. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

Look 3: Fishtail Side Braid for Medium Length Hair

side fishtail braid apply dry shampoo
1

Refresh hair with a dry shampoo.

If you’re creating this side fishtail style on second or third-day hair, refresh hair first with a dry shampoo like Dove Refresh and Care Volume & Fullness Dry Shampoo.

 

 

side fishtail braid plait hair
2

Braid hair.

Gather hair to the side and begin to create your fishtail braid using the same method mentioned in the previous style.

 

side fishtail braid set with hairspray
3

Set with hairspray.

Lock your side fishtail in with a firm hold hairspray like TRESemmé TRES Two Freeze Hold Hairspray.

side fishtail braid final look
4

Final style.

Now you know how to do a side fishtail braid for medium length hair!

 

 

 

Now you know how to do a fishtail side braid.  Check out how to create other stylish fishtail versions.

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