Fishtail braids are trendy and beautiful. The fish braid can be done in the back, off to the side or even as pigtails. Smooth & sleek or messy & chic, fishtail braids are versatile and fun to sport. Also known as “fishbone” or “herringbone” braids, they look like a lot more work than they are. Learning how to fish tail braid is easy. But if your just starting out I recommend that you master the basic braid first. Just follow these simple steps to braid like a pro.
1. Start your fish tail braid with clean, brushed hair. If you’re prone to flyways, use a little bit of smoothing cream. Divide your hair into two equal sections, referred to from here on out as the Left and Right Sections.
2. Time to start braiding. Using your left hand, pick up a half-inch bundle of hair from the outside Right Section of hair. For a braid that starts at the nape of the neck, pick up this bundle from just under your ear. Make sure the separation is smooth to avoid irritating tangles.
3. Cross this piece over the Right Section and into the Left Section, adding it to the underside of the Left Section.
4. Repeat on the other side. Take a half-inch bundle from the out Left Section of hair, crossing it over the Left Section and into the Right. You are basically creating a series of alternating x’s against the back of your neck.
5. Keep going, alternating sides, until you reach the end of your hair. Tie off your fish tail braid, and you’re done!
Note that it doesn’t really matter what side your start with; the order here was just done for easy understanding. Do what’s comfortable for you!
For even more versatility, change up your technique. Go for pig tails or a side braid, and you can make your braid look more or less intricate by using thinner or thicker sections of hair respectively.
For an even more intricate look, add a twisted crown down the sides of your hairline. After your first divide your hair, separate a half-inch section out from your forehead and twist it away from your face. Move down half an inch and repeat, twisting into your first section. Keep going until you reach the nape of your neck and secure it with a bobby pin X. Repeat on the other side of your hair, then start your braid.
If you want your fish braid to be smooth and sleek, start with wet hair and use a comb while braiding. Clean up your part and separate your sections out with a comb. Apply barely a touch of non-flaking gel and comb before crossing. Comb each section into its new home, and make sure you pull each section tight.
For a messier look, don’t bother pulling your sections tight. Leave the bumps that form while you braid alone, and shake your braid a bit before securing to loosen it. Don’t be afraid to add a little volumizing mousse to the hair on the top of your head if you want to go messy. Fluff it out for a bit of body and start your braid low for an effortless, soft look.
Especially if your hair is layered, it’s common for little pieces to come loose from your braid throughout the day. Don’t sweat it; it’s just a marriage of elegant and carefree. If it bothers you, keep a stock of mini pins handy to clip the renegades back and away.