How to fishtail braid

How To Do A Fishtail Braid

As one of the trendiest ways to style long or mid length hair, you can see fishtail braids everywhere from a casual work environment to brides on their wedding days. Fishtail braids may look intimidating and difficult to pull off, but they’re surprisingly easy to do. Take whatever section of hair you’d like to fishtail and separate it into two even pieces. To start braiding, take a small piece of hair from the outside of one of your two separated sections, and cross it overtop of the hair, gathering it up to become part of the opposite section of hair. Repeat this process on alternating sides, and you’ll see your fishtail braid begin to take shape. This technique does tend to take longer than a traditional three-stand braid, but you can cross over larger pieces of hair to create a chunky fishtail that’s more quickly put together. Whether you’re going for a slim, intricate braid or one that’s messy and pulled apart, you’ve got the tools to create any of our favorite fishtail braids!

1French Braided Fishtail

This style combines the fishtail braiding method with the french braiding technique of picking up hair and adding it to the braid as you go. Begin with taking a section of hair from the crown of the head, then dividing it into two sections and begin fishtail braiding as normal. After you’ve crossed over a few pieces, begin picking up sections of loose hair and adding them to your braid. Continue down the length of hair, and tie off at the end.

2Double Wrapped Fishtail

Perfect for anyone with long, thick hair, this fishtail braid is wrapped with another smaller braid. Gather hair together behind one ear, leaving a smaller section of hair loose on the opposite side of the head. Create a fishtail braid with the larger section of hair first, and gently pull apart once it’s secured. Then braid another fishtail with the smaller section of hair, and wrap it around the base of the larger braid, pinning it in place underneath.

3Loose Side Fishtail

Adding a fishtail braid to loose waves helps add romance to the look and makes hair look a little more done up for a special occasion. Simply gather some hair from either side of your part and braid a loose fishtail all the way down to the ends.

4High Pony Fishtail

This glamorous fishtail braid is easy to on any hair long enough to go into a high ponytail, but extensions will make it look even more impressive. Secure hair in a high ponytail, then fishtail braid all loose hair. Using a smoothing serum to control flyaways will help your tightly pulled ponytail look sleek instead of sloppy.

5Fishtail Bun

Turning your high pony fishtail into a bun only takes an extra minute or two. Depending on how long and thick your hair is, fan out the fishtail to give some added volume, then wrap it around the base of the pony and secure with pins.

6Three Strand Braid With Fishtails

Divide hair into three sections from left to right. On the left and right sections, braid a french fishtail (like in the first style on our list), and do a simple fishtail in the middle section. Now, make a three-strand braid using your three completed fishtails, and secure at the end.

7Bubble Fishtail

To create a bubbled effect throughout a fishtail braid, braid part way down then hold braid secure while gently pulling apart the first section you’d like to have pop out. Continue braiding the tight portion of the fishtail, then stop again and pull more pieces out. Repeat this process until you’ve reached the end of the braid, and you’ll have an easy fishtail with some added flair.

8Inverted Fishtail Pigtails

Creating an inverted fishtail uses the same method as the french fishtail, except hair is passed underneath the braid from one section to the other. Once finished, gently pull the hair apart to help your braids really pop.

9Fishtail Pigtails

These double fishtail braids will take more time to pull together than a single braid, but are an easier look to achieve if you’re new at fishtail braiding and are practicing on your own hair.

10Half Up Twists With Fishtail

Gather hair from each side of the head, and tie in a half ponytail. To create the pictured twist, take the loose end of the ponytail and pull it up and through the space between the elastic and your head, depending on which direction you’d like the twist to be in. You can repeat this process to create tighter or looser twists. Finally, braid the loose ponytail in a fishtail.

11Fishtail Halo

Gather long hair on one side of the head the ear and braid to the ends in a fishtail. Gently separate the fishtail to create volume, then pick up the braid and wrap it over the head to the opposite ear, securing with pins. If you have layers in your hair, leave some loose around the face to help frame it.

12Side Fishtail With Loose Layers

Part of the charm of a fishtail braid is that it doesn’t need to be perfectly polished. To get this look, braid a simple side fishtail using the underneath layers of hair, leaving some teased pieces loose in front.

13Dutch Braid Fishtail Ponytail

Start by making a dutch braid on one side of the head, using the same technique as a french braid but wrapping hair underneath the braid instead of overtop. Once you’ve reached the back of the head, braid a few more stitches, then secure with an elastic band. Next, tie all hair (including the dutch braid) into a ponytail at the back of the head. Now you can remove the elastic that was securing the dutch braid, and make a fishtail braid from a section of the ponytail on the same side of the head as the dutch braid. For an added final touch, wrap the ponytail elastic in a piece of loose hair to conceal it.

14Boxed Fishtail Braid

This four-sided fishtail braid looks impressively complicated but is easy to pull off even if you’re not an expert. Begin braiding in classic fishtail form, completing two full stitches, then do your next two stitches as an inverted fishtail, where pieces of hair are crossed underneath the braid instead of overtop. Continue alternating between the two every two stitches until you’ve reached the ends.

15Half French Fishtail

Get this cute side fishtail by only adding hair to the braid from the side closest to the part. The finished product is attached to the head on one side, and should stay put throughout your day.

16Dutch Fishtail Fusion

Begin a dutch braid at the crown of your head by braiding a three-stand braid where hair is passed underneath the braid, picking up and adding sections from the rest of the hair as you go. Once you’ve reached the nape of the neck, switch to a fishtail braiding technique and continue down to the ends.

17Half Up Reverse Fishtail

Braid a reverse fishtail on one section of hair by crossing sections of hair underneath the braid until you’ve reached the ends. To finish the look, pull this braid back and tuck it under your loose hair, creating a wrap around effect.

18Folded Fishtail Updo

Create a french fishtail braid starting from the back of the head, braiding all the way down to the ends. Once you’ve finished braiding, pick up the end and tuck it up and over into the section of hair where you began braiding, then secure with pins.

19Side Dutch Fishtail

Begin a reverse fishtail at the top of the head, crossing hair underneath the braid, and pick up sections of hair as you braid downward. Continue all the way to the ends of hair, then gently pull apart to get this beautiful, thick style.

20Layered Fishtail Braids

This layered fishtail style starts with two inverted french fishtails that cross over each other at the back of the head. Once they’re complete, loosely fold the bottom layer of hair around the finished fishtails, and braid a third fishtail down to the ends.

21Messy Dutch Fishtail

Create this dutch fishtail braid by beginning at the top of the head, and braiding a fishtail where hair crosses underneath the braid instead of overtop. Pick up sections of hair as you go, so that the entire head is incorporated into the braid, and keep working until you’ve reached the ends. Once secured, pull hair apart to create this messy, high volume finish.

22Skinny Fishtail Headband

Braid a skinny fishtail on each side of the head, and bring them together to connect in the back, for a boho-chic style that’s perfect for a laid-back bride.

23Chunky Reverse Fishtail


This braid is created by crossing larger sections of hair underneath the braid instead of overtop. The result is a reverse fishtail that’s quick to pull together, but looks great all day.

24Fishtail Wrapped Bun

Create your favorite bun as you normally would, but leave one section of hair loose. Once your bun is secure, fishtail braid the loose section of hair, then wrap it around the bun and secure with pins.

25Fishtail Updo

To get this chic updo, braid all of hair into a simple side fishtail and secure with an elastic. Gently pull the fishtail apart to give it more volume and presence, then pull it up and around the back of your head, tucking the ends in to conceal the hair elastic. Secure with pins, and you’re all set for a classy evening look.



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