Fishtail French Braid: Step-by-Step Tutorial

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

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 whole lotta halves, but a whole lot of Instagram likes too, that’s for sure. Don’t worry, as the French fishtail braid is not as convoluted nor as campy as it sounds.

How to do a French fishtail braid? Well, 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.


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.


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.


Section off the crown.

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


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.


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, 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.


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.

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