How to Make a Fishtail Braid


Learning how to make a braid is as much a right of passage for women as successfully applying eyeliner without suffering an eye injury, or wearing tights for the first time that aren’t opaque white with a crotch that hits uncomfortably at the knee. The braid is important in every young girl’s life, not only for its utility in dance class or at athletic events, but also in giving girls the skills to achieve perfectly woven friendship bracelets.

Because it’s been awhile since we initially learned how to braid hair, it’s time to bring the traditional look up a notch. Moulay Yacoubi of Pierre Michel Salon teaches us how to make a fishtail braid.

Step 1:
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Secure the hair into a low ponytail. Here, Yacoubi combed the hair into a slightly off-center ponytail at the nape of the neck.

Step 2:
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Divide the ponytail into two sections– one on top of the other. The top section should only include about 1/4 of the hair from the entire ponytail.

Step 3:
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Divide the hair from the top section into two smaller sections.

Step 4:
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Cross the top two small sections as if you were beginning a traditional braid.

Step 5:
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To begin the fishtail braid, bring up small sections of hair from the ponytail and braid them into the two top sections, alternating sides of the ponytail. It’s similar to a French braid, but instead of pulling hair from along the hairline, you’re pulling sections from the ponytail only. Repeat the steps until all of the hair from the bottom section is braided into the top section of hair. If you have longer hair (like shown above), you’ll likely be left with excess hair on the top section once the bottom section has been braided in.

Step 6:
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With the remaining hair, repeat the motion of step 5– pulling hair into the braid, while alternating sides– but instead of taking hair from the bottom section like in step 5, you’ll be pulling hair from either side of the ponytail itself.
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Continue braiding until you reach the end of your ponytail.

Step 7:
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If you want to create an evening appropriate look, wind the fishtail braid around the base of the ponytail to create a messy bun. Secure with wide bobby pins for an impressive updo!

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