Let’s be real for a second: sometimes on the weekends, we find ourselves getting a little lazy with our hairstyles. Topknots? Ponytails? Yep, they’re basically our go-tos. But can you say boring? So we’re looking for new, fun and easy ways to wear our lovely locks on our days off. And to that end, allow us to introduce you to your new hairstyle obsession: the Mermaid braid.
So named because it’s wide and flat like a mermaid’s tail, there are as many variations on this braid style as there are fish in the sea. No matter how you choose to style it, the general technique is the same: a very fine French braid, incorporating delicate strands of hair into the plait as it flows elegantly down your back or over one shoulder.
Although Mermaid braids LOOK complicated, the truth is that they’re actually really easy: all you need is our simple how-to guide and some practice! If you’ve got the French braid technique down, you’ll have no issues embracing your inner Ariel. Our favorite way to wear this was inspired by Blake Lively: slightly messy and over to one side, and perfect for weekend brunches.
(As with the French braid, we recommend you NOT do this in a mirror when you’re just starting out. Mirrors can be confusing when you’re mastering a new braid technique; you’re better off going by feel at first.)
How To Master The Mermaid Braid:
1. Deep part your hair to one side, pulling all the hair over to the “heavy” side (the side that has the most hair from the deep part on it).
2. Divide out a 2″ section of hair on the “heavy” side towards the back of your head.
3. Split this section into three equal pieces for braiding.
4. Cross the back strand over the center strand, then the front over the center strand. This is just like how you’d do a regular braid.
5. Cross the back strand over the center again, this time incorporating a narrow piece of hair from the back (below where the braid began) in with the section you are crossing over.
6. Cross the front strand over the back strand, now adding in another narrow section of hair from directly in front of the braid.
7. Keep repeating these steps, pulling in small pieces of hair and adding them to the braid until the plait reaches the end of your hair.
8. Secure the braid with your hair tie of choice. Voila! You’re ready to charm the handsomest sailors who ever sailed the Seven Seas.
And in case you’d like to see the process in motion (if only to see how truly simple it is), here’s an amazing video from Missy Sue:
Now that you have the technique down, make the Mermaid your own! Incorporate delicate ribbon, try a fishtail braid–the sky is the limit with this versatile style. Go forth and enjoy your weekend!
Read more: Pretty and Practical Braids You Can Do in 5 Minutes.