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Our Easy Fishtail Braid Tutorial

Braid Hairstyles

When it comes to hairstyles, there’s nothing more classic yet intricate than braided locks. Whether you’re a fan of the 4-strand braid or prefer to stick with braids for lazy girls, there’s a braid hairstyle for everyone. Seriously, there's an almost infinite number of braids we could talk about, but today’s focus is the fishtail braid. The fishtail braid is one of the most iconic braid hairstyles in the book—and a super easy one to do! Here’s how to get this braided hairstyle:

How to Fishtail Braid

Don’t be afraid, we’re confident you can get the hang of fishtailing! Follow our 6-step tutorial and you’ll have how to fishtail braid down in no time.

Step #1: Prep Your Locks

Before braiding, try using a hydrating shampoo and conditioner, like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Moisture Shampoo and the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Moisture Conditioner to keep your locks smooth and soft. When you’re out of the shower, you’ll want to gently comb through your hair. Braid hairstyles require tangle-free tresses, so if your locks need a little extra help, use a detangling spray like the L’Oréal Kids Burst of Sweet Pear Tangle Tamer for All Hair Types.

It’s also true that braids often look better when the hair has a bit of texture. Since your hair will be freshly washed, spritz your hair with dry shampoo to make your hair more workable for braiding. Try the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Clay Dry Shampoo, which won’t leave behind visible residue.

Step #2: Part Your Hair

The easiest way to learn a new braiding technique is to do a side braid. This allows you to clearly see each step that you do. Everything will seem much harder if you’re trying to do it behind your head, so go ahead and part your hair to the side of your choice.

Step #3: Add Some Volume

Any hairstyle looks better with volume—and this fishtail braid is no exception. Spray the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT High Lift Creation Spray on your roots to give them instant lift and fullness. For even more volume, backcomb your roots.

Step #4: Split Your Hair Into Two Sections

Take the ends of your hair and split them into two even sections to prep for braiding.

Step #5: Braid Away

Now that you’re done prepping your hair, it’s time to braid! Think about how you want your fishtail braid to look. Do you want a messy, chunky fishtail braid or a neat, detailed fishtail braid? For a chunky fishtail braid, take a medium-sized section of hair from the outer edge of one of the two main sections of your hair. For a detailed fishtail braid, do the same, but take a small-sized section of hair. Then, cross the piece of hair you just picked up over to the inner edge of the opposite section of hair. Next, separate another small chunk of hair from the outer edge of one of your main sections—this time taking hair from the section you haven’t already done this to. Then, cross the smaller section over, incorporating it into the inner edge of the main section. Starting to get the gist? Repeat this, switching back and forth between sections, until you reach the bottom of your hair.

Step #6: Tie it Off

Once your hair is completely braided, secure the ends with a hair tie. If you want a more piece-y look, you can gently tug at your braid to loosen some strands. This will leave you with a trendy undone look.

Ta-da, all finished! That wasn’t so hard, right?

How to Style Your Fishtail Braid

Now that you know how to create a fishtail braid, here are some ways to spice up this trendy hairstyle!

Fishtail Braid Hairstyle #1: Braided Updo

Want to put your fishtail braiding skills to use in your next updo hairstyle? Here’s how:

Step 1: Braid Your Hair

Create a fishtail braid at the back of your head.

Step 2: Create Your Bun

Take your finished braid and twist it into a bun. Hold it in place with one hand and use bobby pins to secure it into place with the other. For a more messy, carefree updo, gently pull at the braid to loosen it.

Step 3: Grab Your Hairspray

Finish the look by spraying the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Precious Oil Satin Hairspray onto your updo for added shine and staying power.

Fishtail Braid Hairstyle #2: Pop of Color

Want to turn your fishtail braid into a bold, colorful hairstyle? We’ve got you covered!

Step 1: Create Your Braid

Braid your hair into a fishtail braid—or two!

Step 2: Add Your Color

Use the L’Oréal Paris Colorista 1-Day Spray to add instant color that will wash out after one shampoo. This spray is a super easy way to add a fun twist to your fishtail braid.

Fishtail Braid Hairstyle #3: Accessorize

When in doubt, accessorize! A hair accessory is an easy way to switch up any hairstyle. Whether you tie your hair with a ribbon or opt for a jeweled hair accessory, there are plenty of options to take your fishtail to the next level.

Check out our article, How to Create a Dutch Fishtail Braid, for a fishtail braid-inspired hairstyle that's a little different.