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How to Do a Fishtail Braid: Step-by-Step for 4 Popular Styles

how to do a fishtail braid
Want to learn how to do a fishtail braid?  It is a nice variation from the usual hair braid. It looks very intricate, but it is actually easy. It uses only two sections of the hair versus the regular braid which uses three sections of hair. Below is the step by step tutorial of how to do a fishtail braid (4 different styles).

 Classic Fishtail Braid 

  1. Divide your hair into two large sections. Use the pointed end of a fishtail comb to evenly part the hair in the middle.
  2. Get a small piece of hair from the outside of the left section and cross it over, passing it on to the right side.
  3. Get a small piece of hair from the outside of the right section and cross it over, passing it on to the left side.
  4. Just repeat and alternate steps 2 and 3 until you get to the end of your hair. Try to get even pieces of hair from each side. If you want a messy look though, uneven pieces would do the trick.
  5. Tie the end of the hair with an elastic or adorable pin.
  6. If you want to loosen the braid, gently pull the braid to loosen it. Do this when you have already secured the end of the hair with an elastic.

French Fishtail Braid

  1. Take a small section of hair at the crown of your head and divide it into two sections.
  2. Get a small piece of hair from the outside of the left section and cross it over, passing it on to the right side.
  3. Get a small piece of hair from the outside of the right section and cross it over, passing it on to the left side.
  4. Get a small piece of hair from the outside of the left section again, but this time you will add more to this piece by picking up hair from the left side of your hairline and add it to the left section. Cross everything over and pass it on to the right side.
  5. Get a small piece of hair from the outside of the right section and pick up hair from the right side of your hairline to add it to the right section. Cross everything over and pass it on to the left side.
  6. Continue to take hair in a circular section and adding it to the fishtail braid.
  7. When you get to the end of the hairline, where there is no more hair to pick up, just do the regular fishtail braid. Do steps 2 and 3 alternately.
  8. Secure the end of the hair with an elastic or adorable pin, once done.
  9. Loosen the braid, if you want.

 

Side Fishtail Braid

  1. Gather your hair on one side and secure it in a side ponytail with an elastic. This will make the braiding process easier. As much as possible, keep the elastic close to the head.
  2. Divide your hair into two sections.
  3. Get a small piece of hair from the outside of the left section and cross it over, passing it on to the right side.
  4. Get a small piece of hair from the outside of the right section and cross it over, passing it on to the left side.
  5. Just repeat and alternate steps 3 and 4 until you get to the end of your hair. Try to get even pieces of hair from each side. If you want a messy look though, uneven pieces would do the trick.
  6. Tie the end of the hair with an elastic or adorable pin.

 

Half Up Half Down Fishtail Braid

  1. Let us start with the first fishtail braid. Grab a small section of hair on the front left side. Split this into two pieces.
  2. Get a small piece of hair from the outside of the left section and cross it over, passing it on to the right side.
  3. Get a small piece of hair from the outside of the right section and cross it over, passing it on to the left side.
  4. Just repeat and alternate steps 2 and 3 until you get to the end of your hair. Try to get even pieces of hair from each side.
  5. Tie the end of the hair with an elastic.
  6. Now, do the second fishtail braid. Grab a small section of hair on the front right side. Split this into two pieces.
  7. Just repeat the steps 2 to 5.
  8. Grab the ends of the two fishtail braids and pull them together towards the center back of your head. Secure with an elastic.
  9. You can wrap around a small portion of hair to cover the elastic and secure it with a bobby pin. If you want to be fashionable, use a cute ribbon to cover the elastic.
  10. If you want it a bit messy, you can gently loosen the two fishtail braids.

 

Fishtail Braid Bun

  1. Gather your hair on one side and secure it with an elastic to make a side ponytail. Keep the elastic as close to the head, as much as possible
  2. Divide your hair into two sections.
  3. Get a small piece of hair from the outside of the left section and cross it over, passing it on to the right side.
  4. Get a small piece of hair from the outside of the right section and cross it over, passing it on to the left side.
  5. Just repeat and alternate steps 3 and 4 until you get to the end of your hair. Try to get even pieces of hair from each side.
  6. Tie the end of the hair with an elastic.
  7. Loosen the braid by gently stretching and pulling it out to make your hair thicker.
  8. Twist the braid into a bun by winding it in a circular motion to create a bun.
  9. Put it in place using a bobby pin. Push it through the bun to make sure it is secure. Use as much bobby pins as you need.

 

Fishtail Braid Tips

  1. Before starting with the braid, brush your hair first to remove tangles.
  2. The thinner the layers of hair you take from each side, the more intricate the fishtail braid is.
  3. Pull the braid tight every time you pass a layer of hair to one section. This can prevent pieces of hair from sticking out.
  4. If you want a clean look and there are strands of hair sticking out, you can use a hairspray to smoothen the braid.
  5. For a more textured look, pull out some strands.
  6. When you get towards the end of the hair and you have little hair to braid, you can finish off the hairstyle with a regular braid.
  7. If you have smooth hair, you can use a little hairspray to keep the fishtail braid in place.

So, which one is your favorite? You can match your outfit to the kind of fishtail braid you will do. For example, you can try the fishtail braid bun on a formal occasion. If you are wearing a one shoulder top or a tube dress, the side fishtail braid would look great. For a dainty look, you can either go for the classic fishtail braid or French fishtail braid. If you are attending a music festival, half up and half down fishtail braid would complete the look!  A fishtail braid is a great look, and looks best on healthy hair.

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