fishtail french braid final inspo shot pink hair

How to Create a Fishtail French Plait: Step-by-Step Tutorial

Half-French, half-fishtail, a whole lotta sass.

We want to introduce you to the fishtail French braid. What happens when you take the half-updo craze, mermaid hair, half a French braid, and half a fishtail braid—and then combine them all in one? A lot of halves, but many Instagram likes, too, that’s for sure. Don’t worry, as the French fishtail braid is not as convoluted or campy as it sounds. How to do a French fishtail braid? First off, the appeal: Apart from nailing four (!) trends in one, the French fishtail hairstyle’s trademark herringbone weave revs up the entire plait, making it unique, sophisticated, and more texturized. The half-updo keeps you from looking like you tried too hard. And the pink hair? Well, that’s just one of our favorite looks, not to mention one of the most undeniably fun hair colors out there.

How to do a Fishtail French braid

A fishtail French braid is a variation of the classic braid. Instead of crossing the same pieces over each other, you add small pieces from each side of the plait as you work your way down. Intrigued and hoping to learn more about how to create a fishtail braid? Follow this detailed tutorial:


Start on freshly washed hair.

Your fishtail French plait will definitely  pop on shiny, dyed locks, so best to prime hair with a specially-formulated wash and care regimen for color-treated hair. Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Color Care Shampoo  and Conditioner is a system that  contains lower sulfates than other shampoos (and as an added bonus, its keratin-infused  systems also provide 48-hour frizz control.). Rinse well, and towel-dry hair.

fishtail french braid clean washed hair

Curl your lengths and ends.

Using a 1 1/2″ barrel, begin twirling sections around a curling iron, starting halfway down the hair. Curl in different directions for a more modern, tousled feel.

fishtail french braid with curling iron

Section off the crown.

Using a fine-toothed comb (or your fingers, for a more casual feel), section off your hairline till the crown.

fishtail french braid section front

Start Frenching!

Begin French-braiding from the hairline for the first 1/3 of your head, or until your crown section runs out on the sides. The braid can be as precise or (as we prefer) as low-key as you want.

fishtail french braid built-in plait

Switch to a fishtail.

For your other half of the French fishtail plait, switch out the weave (from a regular plait into a herringbone) after your original section in Step 5 runs out on the sides. To achieve this, split your ponytail into just 2 halves, and pinch tiny sections from the outside of each half. Alternate crossing each tiny section into the thick opposite half, incorporating it. Repeat on each side. Note: The fishtail portion isn’t a built-in braid, which means it’s not attached to your scalp.

fishtail french braid hybrid plait

Done! Fishtail French braid unlocked!

Continue the fishtail till the ends and secure with a hair tie. Hybrid French fishtail braid on lock! Finish off with a mist of TRESemmé Compressed Micro Mist Extend Hold Level 4 Hair Spray  to hold the look in place.

fishtail french braid final half updo

Thinking about trying out this fishtail French braid? Be sure to snap a picture and tag us @AllThingsHairUS!

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