Never learned how to do a fishtail braid? You're not alone. While braids are usually one the first styles girls learn to DIY (after pigtails, of course), the fishtail braid is a bit more complicated. But it's important to remember this: braiding is probably the simplest style to master. All you really need is a pair of hands and a hair tie. No hot tools or hair products necessary.
Yet anything outside the classic three-piece overlap can sometimes seem intimidating. Case in point: the fishtail braid, otherwise known as the standard braid's chicer, trendier cousin. Sure, it may look elaborate and way too time-consuming -- but trust us, you can learn how to do a fishtail braid without a spendy session with a professional stylist.
Yes, even if you've watched fishtail braid tutorials on YouTube and thought your fingers just can’t do that, think again. These fishtail braid instructions are easy to understand, and you only have to follow five simple steps. Plus, we've included clear, close-up photos. So there's no need to pause and rewind.
Time to break out the elastics, stretch out your fingers, and get ready to unleash your inner braid connoisseur.
To begin, gather your hair into a ponytail at the nape of your neck. Use a throwaway elastic -- one that you can snip away with scissors at the end.
Next, split your ponytail evenly into two sections. Unlike the classic plait, a fishtail braid only requires two sections.
Use your finger to separate a small section of your hair from the outer edge near the elastic and cross it over to the opposite side (overlapping just like you would if you were doing a standard braid). Re-grip your hair to tighten plait, still holding two sections. Repeat with a small section from the other side.
Continue overlapping pieces from both sides of your ponytail, all the way down to your ends. Be sure to pull small sections from underneath to cross over, and try to grab the same size (about a half inch) sections from each side.
Once you've woven your hair down to the ends, secure the fishtail braid with another elastic. Then, use scissors to carefully cut out the elastic at the base of your ponytail. Finish your fishtail braid by gently tugging on your braid with your fingers to loosen it for an effortless look.
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