SUMMER WEEK! Easiest Fishtail Braid Tutorial

I think this is one of the most-requested tutorials I get asked to do. Believe it or not, it was something I didn't know how to do until last year. The tutorials I read just didn't make sense and I knew there had to be an easier way to do it. So I thought about it, pictured the process in my mind, and this is what I came up with. It's a great basic hairstyle, perfect for summer, on greasy hair days, and I'll be using it on future tutorials. Now repeat these two words: outside in. Those are the only two words you'll need to do a fishtail braid. Read on:

T O O L S:

  • mirror
  • hair elastic
  • Optional: bobby pins, dry shampoo, hairspray
M E T H O D:
  • Stand in front of the mirror. Smile, because this is an easy tutorial.
  • Pull hair to one side. It doesn't matter which one--just pick a side. I do this for 2 reasons: 1--you can see what you're doing 2--it's the easiest way to fishtail/herringbone braid.
  • Divide hair in half. I call these two sections of hair Left and Right (as facing you). Creative!
  • Decide which piece you're braiding with first. I chose the left section.
  • Repeat the words I mentioned earlier: outside in. Get familiar with the pic below:
  • Take a small section of hair from outside of the left section. The size of the small section doesn't matter. It can be whatever size you like, but keep the size consistent.
  • Take this section and cross over to the inside of the right section. 
  • Now, take a small section from the outside of the right section.
  • Cross it over to the inside of the left section.
totally not flippin' the bird here!
  • Repeat outside in, outside in (I even say it to myself sometimes when braiding) until you're finished. Here's what it looks like after braiding a few pieces:
  • Secure hair with an elastic & spray with hair spray if needed! That's it. You did it!

T I P S:
  • Keep the size of the pieces you braid with consistent, otherwise it will bunch up in the small sections. Smaller pieces take longer to braid but will provide a tighter braid.
  • You can either keep the braid taut or loose. I like to keep mine taut, pulling both halves out after each piece goes to the inside, and then let it loosen naturally. Once you've braided your hair, pull the braid gently out if you like, as I did below:
  • Is your hair layered and pieces are coming out of the braid? No problem. Grab some bobby pins, spray with dry shampoo for extra hold, and then pin your stray pieces back into place.


Tweet or Instagram (ellesees) me pics of your fishtail braids!


  1. I love fishtail braids. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great tutorial, loving the result!
    Happy Wednesday!

  3. i love it! now if only my hair would be a bit longer so that i could try it, too!

  4. I love this braid - I'm going to try it out this WE


  5. Love the fishtail braid....am wearing it now:) This is a great tutorial, Elle.

  6. I can't wait for my hair to grow longer so I can try this out :)

  7. Thanks! I totally get confused when I do this and have to try it again!

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  8. Cute pictures! Everytime I do a fishtail people ask me how I do it and I think it's definitely the easiest braid to do

  9. I feel like I need a third hand to do this! I'm gonna try again later. Outside, in, outside, in.

  10. I just mastered the fishtail braid this spring–it's so darling!

  11. I love this! I had never figured out how to do it! :D thank you as always Elle!

  12. I'm practicing this over the weekend. looks so great! (and almost easy enough for me to do...)


  13. i love this tutorial. in fact, i was going through lauren conrad's vids the other day.... and i really wanted to create this myself. your hair is so pretty, and great fishtail tutorial. :) thanks for sharing, e! hope you're having a great day. :)

  14. OMG I'm literally sitting at my desk trying this right now!!! I need my layers to grow more but I'm totally giving this a shot. I love fishtail braids :) xoxo

  15. I need my hair a little bit more uniformly cut so I can go for something like this... Love it!

  16. This is such a pretty look for the summer. If I had long hair, I'd totally be attempting it.

    Rowena @ rolala loves

  17. I remember when my sister and I would do these as kids. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. :)

  18. took me a few tries, but once you "get" it, it's pretty easy. yours came out really even and nice!!

    Anastasia of Beverly Hills-GIVEAWAY
    Win a FREE pair of glasses from Firmoo

  19. I've seen a lot of pictures of fishtail braids on Pinterest. They look so cool. I think I'll try this on my own hair. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Eep!! That sounds complicated. I'm going to have to practice outside, in. lol

  21. Super awesome Elle! I have never known how to do this. Your tutorials are so easy to understand. I love them. I wish my hair had the length to do this. It's a really cute look. Excellent tutorial girl.

  22. Honestly.. you have saved me! Great tutorial!!!

  23. I love these braids! You made it seem easier than I thought so I'm going to try this weekend, will let you know how it works out for me.

  24. I use to wear my hair in a fishtail ALL the time as a little girl. Great tutorial.

  25. Your braid looks gorgeous! I always seem to get cramp when I try to do a fishtale braid.

    I found you through BBU Blog Hop :)

    natalieroseanne.blogspot.co.uk xxx

  26. Gonna show this to my friend as she is desperately trying to learn to do a fish braid :)
    Found you through BBU Blog hop :)

  27. Great tutorial! Thanks!

    <3 Josephine

  28. Excellent!! Thank you! :)

  29. You've done it! After years of feeling dumb because I couldn't understand how to fishtail, even after watching all those Youtube and Pinterest instructionals, this was finally simple enough for me to get, so thank you! (Oh, and you were right on saying "outside, in". At first I was like, yeah whatever. But when I was trying it I somehow started chanting it to get myself through. :) ) Thanks!


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