Nail A Fishtail Braid With This Easy Step-By-Step

No matter how much or how little time you enjoy putting into your hair, braids are something that can be mastered with just a little bit of practice. Once you master French braiding, the next step is learning how to fishtail braid. The best part about braids that are slightly more advanced, like said fishtail braid, is that they easily make it look like a lot more effort has gone into your hairstyle than actually did. But not only can a fishtail braid up your hair game, it's also the perfect accessory for any outfit and any occasion as it can be made to look classic and sleek or messy and chic.

When styling and braiding hair, it's always helpful to have a texturizing spray or dry shampoo on hand, especially if you're working with first-day hair. These kinds of products can add more volume and hold to hair so it will more easily stay in its style. And once you've mastered this braid, don't be afraid to play around and dress it up with different types of accessories. Try out various elastics, incorporate a ribbon, or even pin in some flowers for a boho-chic vibe. But before getting carried away with the extra possibilities, here's how to get your fishtail started.

1. Tie and Divide

Although you don't have to start with a low ponytail, it's easier to begin the braid this way. Slip a small rubber band around your hair (don't make it tight if you want to remove it later) and divide your hair into two equal sections.

2. Pass One Strand From Right To Left

It doesn't matter which side you start on, but I usually do on the right. Grab a small section of hair from the back side of the right section of hair, bring it around the front, and pass it to the left side.

3. Collect It Under The Other Side

Gather the section you passed from the right half of hair into the left half of your hair. If it helps to better hold on to the section you just moved, collect it underneath the left section.

4. Pass One Strand From Left To Right

Now do the exact same thing except on the opposite side. If you collected the section from the right under the left half, try not to grab the same section of hair when you pass back from left to right.

5. Collect It Under The Other Side

Again, you don't actually have to pass the section underneath the opposite half of hair, but it can help keep your braid tighter.

6. Repeat Steps 2-5, Then Tie Off The End

Continue to pass sections of hair back and forth from right to left and vice versa until you reach the bottom of your hair. If you want a messier look, try grabbing different-sized sections. For a sleeker look, grab smaller, equal-sized sections. Then just tie off the braid with a small elastic.

7. (Optional) Remove The Top Hair Band

If you prefer a more uniformly sized braid, you can keep the elastic at the top of your braid secure. But if you prefer a wider base, either pull it over the braid or just cut it off.

8. (Optional) Loosen The Braid

Tug gently at either side of the braid to loosen it up and make it appear more voluminous. You can also pull out pieces of hair around your face to frame it. Then you're done!

Images: Miki Hayes