How To: Easiest Fishtail Braid Tutorial (Video)

Hey you! How was your weekend and your first day of summer? It was a rainy weekend, but the sun decided to come out Sunday, so I finally got a dip in the pool. One of my favorite summer hairstyles (for the pool, beach, or anytime) is the fishtail braid.

But no matter what tutorial I tried, I just couldn't figure the braid out. Instead, I tried a trick using the same method of when I taught myself how to braid as a little girl: I visualized the braid unraveling and then how to put it together. I came up with this method and everyone who has tried it can now fishtail braid. And now so can you. Here's how to:

  • large mirror (if doing this on yourself)
  • brush or comb
  • hair elastic

-Brush or comb hair to remove tangles. This will make it easier to braid.
-Do a side part.
-Now, take your hair to the opposite side of where you just parted it. TIP: I like braiding my hair in front since it's easier when you can see what you're doing! Even if you wouldn't wear it on the side, try it this way for practicing the braid until you get the hang of it.

-Divide your hair in half. The two sections should be equal so your braid will be even. I call them the right section and the left section.
-I consider each section to have an outside and an inside. The outside points toward the wall. The inside points toward hair (see pic above).

-Take a piece from the outside of a section of hair. You can start with either the left or right section. 
-Make sure the pieces you choose remain the same in size so the braid will be consistent and even.

-Take that piece from the outside of your section and cross it over to the inside of the opposite section.  For example, take a piece from the outside of the right section, and cross it over to the inside of the left section.

-Now, you'll repeat the same steps but with the other section of hair.
-Take a piece of hair (it should be the same size as the first piece) from the outside.

-And cross it over to the inside of the opposite section.
-Now, go back to section 1, take a piece from the outside, and cross it over to section 2.
-Take a piece from the outside of section 2, and cross it over to the inside of section 1.
-Repeat until you are ready to finish the braid.
-Secure with hair elastic and you're done!

-Tips & Tricks:
  • I suggest pulling hair taut after you complete a piece to help keep braid from falling. 
  • If you have fine hair, try using smaller pieces.
  • You don't have to wear this as a side braid, just try this method for practicing.
  • To give hair texture, try using a dry shampoo, volumizing powder, or beach waves spray on dry hair before braiding. Don't use this on the roots, but instead, put product on fingers and rub through hair.
  • For a bigger braid, try a volumizing shampoo or beach waves spray (the latter makes me hair frizzy and gives me bigger hair). Also, once hair is braided, gently pull at pieces to make the braid a little bit bigger and more undone.
  • For those sprigs of hair (if you're like me and have layers), spray a little dry shampoo on a bobby pin. Insert bumpy side down pushing the sprig back into place. See video for demo.
  • Or you can create an undone braid look by embracing those sprigs of hair. Use beach waves spray, dry shampoo, or texturizing paste to define those pieces.
  • I like allowing a dampened fishtail braid to dry. You can spray it with water after you braid it. Once dry, let the braid out for no heat waves.
-Still need help? I am arranging Google Hangouts for one-on-one tutorials (more details in video). So before you say you can't do it (yes you can!) check out my video tutorial below of the fishtail braid:

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  1. Hey, you DID make this seem easy peasy! I think I'm gonna have to try it out this week ;) Looks chic!

  2. This is one of the most detailed tutorials I've seen, Elle:) The "outside to inside" really works. I've been doing this to my hair coz it's seriously one of the easiest to do.

  3. Such a wonderful tutorial! Shame I don't have my long hair any more. x

  4. Thank you for sharing this! I have always wanted to try this hairstyle!


  5. Wonderful tutorial babe, thanks for sharing it <3



  6. I love the way it turned out! I need to practice this on myself!

  7. Good for you for teaching yourself this!! I need to practice on the fishtail braid! I haven't done it in a long time!

  8. I have to try your tutorial! I've attempted to do a fishtail braid before but I felt like I didn't have enough hands :)

    The Tiny Heart
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  9. I'm a huge fan of the fishtail braid as I've recently figured out how to do it lol!! Great tutorial!

  10. I am going to try this with my daughter! Gorgeous summer braid! Thanks friend! Susan

  11. going to have to try this out. Not sure if it will try out right with my hair.

  12. Thanks for the reminder. I have to try this again when my hair gets a little longer!

    little luxury list formerly Chic 'n Cheap Living

  13. I love the look of a fish tail braid. It's so pretty!

  14. Yet another reason why I wish I hadn't cut my hair- looks so good in that braid!

  15. I have always been afraid to attempt the fishtail braid, just because it looks so darn complicated! You made it seem easy, so thank you for this!

  16. I love fishtail braids. I used to do them all the time but find it a bit hard since I have layered hair. My issue is when I do the braid on the side, the back of my hair falls out of the braid so I have to put a ton of bobby pins in the back. I am going to try to your bobby pin sprig trick.Thanks for sharing!

  17. Although you clearly simplified this, I'm still like...what? Super cute fishtail braid, but I'll probably just have someone else do it for me, lol.

  18. Your fishtail is perfect! Totally jealous! My hair needs to be thicker for mine to look as good as yours!

    <3, Pamela

  19. Now I just need long gorgeous hair like you!!!

  20. Okay, yeah, this actually makes sense! Someday my hair will be longer and I'll give it a try =)

  21. Great tips on a fishbraid Elle! I like how you said to visualize it unravel and figure it out that way.

  22. Nope. Can't do it. But keep in mind I also couldn't play poker after reading Poker for Dummies. :) haha

  23. I love your braid. I will give it a try but I have no luck braiding my own hair.

  24. This is so pretty and your tutorial seems so easy! I wish my hair was longer to do this!


  25. You make it look so easy! I'm going to try-key word try-to recreate this look!

  26. The fishtail braid is one of my favorite hair styles. I used to think it was so difficult, but it is surprisingly easy! I can now do it without a mirror, even! Great tutorial!

  27. I've missed your blog! I'm trying to get back into a routine of visiting my favorite blogs now that our twins are in a routine. :) This makes me really want long hair — yours is gorgeous braided!

  28. Such an easy tutorial. Thanks so much for doing this. Our office will be full of fishtails soon :)

    xx 365hangers

  29. Thank you for this tutorial! I have really long hair, but I cannot seem to grasp doing braids. Will definitely be trying this!
    xoxo Lauren

  30. Love the fishtail braid... a quick and easy change from the plain old plait.

  31. Fishtail braids were my favorite when I was a kid. Now my hair is too short!

  32. I'm SO glad you did pictures and video, because I need both so that I don't get confused! Great tutorial girl!

  33. I love fishtails braids but never did them. I am a visual learner so the video was perfect! Thank you.


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