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How to Create a Simple Fishtail Braid

Updated on December 25, 2012
"Fluffed" Fishtail Braid
"Fluffed" Fishtail Braid | Source

The “Fishtail Braid” is one of the easiest yet beautiful braids to twist. It is so simple that if you have medium to long hair you just have to try it at least once.

I enjoy a nice braid because I feel like it adds a touch of sophistication to any outfit. For kids and adds control to an otherwise wild, out-of-control head of long hair.

Pulling you hair to the side and twisting the braid from there down in front of your shoulder is the most popular way to wear the fishtail. But, when it comes to a braid, any way you twist it, it will be beautiful.

As you can see in the photo to the right, the fishtail allows the various shades of your hair to shine through. Pulling the darker hair underneath and twisting it with the lighter hair that grows on top creates a delicate cascade of color.


Before you start, wash your hair with your favorite shampoo and conditioner. Allow it to dry thoroughly and brush it out. Be sure all the tangles are brushed out by running a comb through the final strokes. Twisting this braid can prove to be difficult if you run into tangles mid-braid. A random tangle can be dealt with mid-braid, but one after another becomes annoying and the resulting braid may show it, so get the tangles out ahead of time.

The very first few turns of hair can prove to be a little bit tricky and not look very good, but keep going and it will become really easy and you’ll start to see the pattern coming through.

If you follow along with the video you’ll be braiding your own fishtail in no time at all!!

Step-By-Step Twist the Braid

  1. Brush your hair from the top all the way down the back to make it smooth.
  2. Separate the hair into two sections, right and left.
  3. You can start on either side. For this tutorial let’s start on the right. Use your right index finger and push your finger up through the section of hair separating it.
  4. Place the piece you have separated onto the left section. These first few pieces are the ones that can prove to be difficult. Be sure to keep hold of these strands as you move back and forth from left to right until the braid begins to hold itself together which takes about four turns.
  5. Now use your left index finger and push it up through the left section of hair.
  6. Place that piece onto the right section of hair.
  7. Then go back to the right side and push your index finger through again and place the separated piece on the left and so on.
  8. Continue this pattern until you come to the end of the hair.
  9. Secure the ends with a pretty ribbon or band and you are done!

Some people like to “fluff" the fishtail after they've finished and secured it (see above photo). They do this by pulling the sides of the braid apart slightly. Start at the top of the braid, using both hands, push your fingers into the center of the braid and gently pull outward. Move your hands down and push your fingers into the center of the braid and gently pull again. Continue this pulling process until you reach the end of your braid. How much you pull is up to you.

If you enjoy ribbons or want to add a feminine touch to this braid secure a ribbon at the top, before you begin to twisting the braid and then include the ribbon through the hair as you braid.

Another variation of this braid is to brush your hair over your shoulder before you start and braid from the furthest point back on your hair that you can easily reach.


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