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

Three elegant ways to wear the side fishtail braid.

The past year has definitely been the year of the braid, no question about that. Today, we want to give 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 three simple, step-by-step tutorial to creating an everyday fishtail side braid styles that anyone can follow. Let’s all ace this stunning hairstyle, once and for all! Read on to learn more about how to create a fishtail braid to the side on your hair in different ways:

Look 1: Side Fishtail Braid Bun


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 Conditionerand blowdry till 90 percent dry. Don’t forget to use some TRESemmé Thermal Creations Instant Heat Tamer Spray before styling.


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.


Split your pony in half.

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


Begin your side 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.


Continue until the end.

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


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.


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.



The style is complete and you’re all set!

Look 2: Side Fishtail Braid Pony for Long Hair


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 Diametress Shampoo and Conditioner. Rinse thoroughly, and follow up with a thermal protectant, such as TRESemmé Get Sleek Heat Protection Spray, before blowdrying with a paddle brush.


Split hair in half.

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


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 ad continue your side fishtail braid.


Incorporate it into the opposite section.

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


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.


Incorporate into the inner section.

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


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. You will eventually see a herringbone pattern emerge from the base of your plait.


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.


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.


Finish with hairspray.

For a clean look without any halo frizz, 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: Side Fishtail Braid for Medium Length Hair


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.


Braid hair.

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


Set with hairspray.

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


Final style.

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