I have loved the fishtail braid since it debuted way back whenever that was. But I am honestly not great at doing my hair and am about as low maintenance as it comes in that area. Just looking at the intricate braid detail on others, I just passed it off as too difficult and yet another hair style I couldn't do.
Then one day at the climbing gym, I was chatting with Rachel about braids and she said it was actually pretty easy to do a fishtail braid and explained it to me. I thought it didn't sound too bad after all and maybe I should try it just to see.
I was blown away that I could actually fishtail braid and figured if I could do it from just having someone explain it to me, then I could pass this knowledge on to my readers with photos to help illustrate!
So here goes!
First, here are the teeny amount of supplies you'll need. This alone should tell you what an easy process the fishtail braid is. I mean, you only need a comb and some hairbands. You'll need two hairbands that you don't mind cutting to remove from your hair. The other two hairbands will stay in your hair at the bottom of the braid. The clear bands are best, but for photo purposes I chose brightly colored hairbands for this tutorial.
Step 1: I prefer to do pigtail braids because I have so many layers and bangs that are growing out that it's almost impossible for me to keep a single braid in tact all day long. If you are doing a single fishtail braid to one side, you can obviously skip this step.
If you do pigtail braids, simply part your hair down the middle and bring each half of hair to the front of your shoulders.
Step 3: Use hairbands that you don't mind cutting later (and throwing away) to put your hair into regular pigtails. The closer you can get the hairband to the base of your head, the longer your braid will be. It's also best to get the hairband of the pigtails in the same spot on each side (which I obviously didn't accomplish here).
Helpful Tip: Use a mirror. It may seem obvious but braid your hair in front of a mirror. Because it takes a bit of time to do this, it's tempting to watch tv while you braid. But using a mirror allows you to see how even your pigtails are and also how even each strand is that you pull apart. The more even each strand is, the prettier your braid will be.
Step 4: Take one of the pigtails and separate it into two equal pieces. I will call these Side 1 and Side 2.
Step 5: Separate a small strand of Side 1 and pull it away from that bunch of hair.
Step 6: Take this small strand from the outside of Side 1 and cross it in front of Side 1 to meet the inside of Side 2. This means that Side 2 has just a little bit more hair than Side 1 now.
Step 7: You will now repeat this action with hair from Side 2. Take a small strand from the outside of Side 2 and cross it in front of Side 2 to meet the inside of Side 1. Now each side should have an equal amount of hair.
Step 8: Continue this process of pulling an outside strand from one piece across and into the inside of the adjacent piece of hair until you reach the bottom.
Helpful Tip: Allow for plenty of time. Fishtail braiding is a fairly time intensive hairstyle. You don't want to feel rushed when doing this. I might be slow, but it takes me about 10 minutes to complete each braid.
Step 9: When you have your braid as long as you want it, use a hairband (clear is best, or one that is similar to your own hair color) to secure your hair at the bottom. You will now repeat this process on the other pigtail.
Step 10: Cut the hairband you used at the top of each pigtail braid to remove it from your hair without messing up your braid.