Okay so you want to know how to do a fishtail braid. Gotcha.
The reason why can be nothing more than you don’t want to face the world yet another day with your go to pony tail. Yet you still want your hair out of your face.
Or as Cosmo magazine put it “Braids are great for spring-and into
summer-because they keep you cool, look totally adorable, can
be casual or dressed-up and they’re pretty much rain-proof.
Plus, once you get the technique, they’re a much faster option than
blowing out your hair.”
Did you get that? Faster than blowing out your hair!
To help master the technique involved we’re going to show you exactly how to braid a fishtail.
Don’t worry it’s super easy.
Plus we’ll venture a step or two beyond that with two other super easy braids that anyone, yes even you, can do.
Even better after doing them a time or two or three you should be able to pull together any of these easy side braids in five minutes or less.
I told you they were easy.
This will make it simple to expand your hair styling repertoire in next to no time.
Here’s the three braids
- Four Strand Braids
- Rope Braid
Learning how to do any of these three has got to be completely helpful, right?
Okay now it’s been said that when it comes to braids the options are endless.
Unfortunately our time isn’t.
Which is why any suggestions for quick and easy braids would have to include the fishtail braid.
It’s an intricate looking style that attracts attention yet perfect for the girl on the go. Best of all is very very easy – once you get the hang of it.
So let’s see what we can do to help you get the hang of it! Both with explanations or if you prefer you can watch and learn here’s the video:
Generally you first want to pull all your hair to one side.
Use an elastic at the top of the braid (near your head) to hold the hair loosely in place. You’ll want to do this while you’re learning this styling technique since it makes things go a lot easier.
Okay then. The fishtail uses two roughly equal sized sections. To make is easy to explain we’ll call them.
Step by step here’s what you do.
- Using your finger, separate out a piece from the back of Strand A, cross it over Strand A adding it to strand B
- Then separate a piece from the back of Strand B, cross it over Strand B adding it to Strand A.
- Re-establish your grip on each of the two strands and repeat.
- Section out a small piece of hair from the back of Strand A, cross it over Strand A adding it to strand B.
- Take a piece from the back of Strand B, cross it over Strand B adding it to Strand A.
Got it? Repeat that until you get to the end of your hair.
You might think of it this way. You’re always taking hair from the outside part of each strand of hair furthest away from the center of the braid. That piece is either from the front most part of the front section or the back most part of the back section. You then simply transfer that to the other section.
You’ll find once you start to make your way down the braid, this braid starts to get a whole lot easier.
As you go you’ll want to pull the braid relatively tight. Some would say as tight as you can because while you can always loosen things up later, you can’t tighten.
Obviously you don’t want the final result so tight that it looks like you’re ready for a mixed martial arts cage fight.
Other than keeping tension on your braid another way to tighten things up is to use smaller pieces of hair when braiding.
BIG IDEA: Rather than a plus sized plait you are shooting for a style that is soft but still structured. One that produces a whole new look for you. A look that radiates “pretty” in an entirely different way than your usual style.
Anyway, once done braiding, secure the plait with an elastic on the end – maybe an inch below where you stopped braiding.
Unlike the one you started with, you want this to be tight so don’t be afraid to wrap it more than a few times around the hair.
Then remove the elastic you added to the top of the braid by sliding it down and off.
Now obviously to make the fishtail bigger and messier just pull at the braid to loosen it. You can make it as big and voluminous or keep it as tight as you like.
To go wider still move the elastic holding it closer to the end and go crazy to produce a … laid-back, nonchalant style.
BONUS: Simply take it out for great second day hair that oozes a tossed and tousled texture while projecting a messy-on-purpose un-doneness requiring zero effort to pull off. Sorta like getting two sexy styles in one.
I know, right?
Once you get this braided style down you’ll wonder what took you so long to learn how to do a fishtail braid.
So there you go. Now you should know how to do a fish tail braid.
Remember that as Marie Clare pointed out, “The fishtail braid gets a bad rap for looking overly complicated to try at home, but it’s really just a matter of practice.”
So you can quit now and go practice or explore the next one with this…
4 Strand Braid Tutorial
Good news! This one is as super easy as it is super elegant looking.
Like the other two braids found here it’s great for those days you feel like glamming things up with a classy somewhat showy look but still want to keep the styling simple.
And like the fishtail this is another side braid so you’ll want to start by pulling your hair all to one side after brushing all your strands away from your face.
Next and as best you can divide your mane into four more or less equal sections. (This is probably the hardest part getting to four sections roughly the same size.)
The video calls them sections 1, 2, 3, 4.
Pretty original huh?
Oh and that’s counting from the back.
Otherwise the braiding simply an over and under matter. Here’s what I mean.
Take the first section, in this case the one furthest back and cross that over the one next to it.
- In essence you’re crossing one OVER section two.
- Then cross section one UNDER three.
- And finally take it OVER four.
So it’s over, under, over kinda like weaving.
Pro Tip: Do your best to keep the tension on the hair the same the entire length of the braid.
Next you take section two and slide that OVER section three, UNDER section four and then OVER section one.
Again you’ll want to keep this one the tighter side.
When you get to the bottom hold the braid in place with a clear elastic.
Then loosen the entire braid just a bit.
If you want longer fuller looking result consider your clip in extensions as a way to achieve that affect.
Also as with most braids don’t be intimidated. A little practice goes a long way to building your confidence.
The 2 Minute Rope Braid Hairstyle
Another popular braid you’ll often see on display is the rope braid.
You might say this is one twisted braided hairstyle!
Yet after you learn how to do this one you literally can have your hair rope braided in two minutes or less.
Let’s get going.
As with the other braids smooth your hair by running your brush through the strands. Then using your fingers mess them up since the brush tends to compress the strands some.
Pro Tip: Spray in a little dry shampoo to give your hair some added grip and texture, you know something for the braided hair to hold onto. In fact now that I think about it you might do that with the fishtail braid too.
Make a side part on the opposite side where you want the braid to be. Split that section in two, and pull the front section over the back.
Grab a bit more hair to add to the front section… cross it over the back… grab more hair for the front section.
Once the braided hair is below your ear start to reach farther back and grab bigger chunks of hair to add to the front section. You are shooting to be done adding hair just before your braid hits shoulder length.
At this point you can see the benefits of adding the dry shampoo. The braid looks thicker and holds a lot better.
From here you’re going to twist each of two strands in the same direction – clockwise or anti clockwise. You want this to be on the tight side.
Next you’re going to take the two twists and wrap them around each other going the opposite way. So if you twisted them counterclockwise you’ll want to wrap them clockwise. You may need to twist more as you wrap.
Make sure you keep enough tension on the strands so you end up with a tight enough braid.
Use an elastic to secure the braid at the end.
Now you want to loosen the braid to give it maximum fullness. Pulling on the hair lets you double or even triple the thickness of this braid. Or not. It’s totally up to you and what look you are going for.
To lock in the look use your favorite hair spray.
Hopefully after reading and watching you’ve picked up some tips to upgrade your braiding know-how when it comes to quick and easy plaits – be it the fishtail, four strand or rope braid.
Still as polished and elegant as they look, these three braids take mere minutes to do plus are convenient for both day and night occasions. Or no occasion at all.
Now go rock any or all of these three insanely chic braided hairstyles