Think back to when you were first learning how to do a standard braid. Remember how intimidating it seemed? But after sitting in front of a mirror for a bit, you finally mastered the technique. And guess what—the same goes for learning how to create a fishtail. It sounds, and looks, a whole lot harder to do than it actually is. The key is: don’t overthink it, and be patient while you get the basics down. Essentially all you’re doing with this style is making X’s with your hair. How hard can that be?
Celebrity hairstylist Creighton Bowman showed us the ropes. Whether you’ve got a formal event coming up, or just want a fun everyday look, follow along so you can add a new ’do to your hair arsenal.
1: Gather hair to one side and secure into a ponytail at the base of your neck with a clear elastic.
2: Separate the pony into two sections; you’ll work holding one in each hand. Pull a strand of hair from underneath one section and bring it over the top of the other, as pictured. Let the strand of hair merge with the rest of the locks. As you continue, try to keep each strand about the same thickness throughout to avoid an uneven braid. (Having trouble? Check out this thorough guide to fishtailing.)
3: Once you’ve fishtailed all the way to the tip, spritz hair spray on the ends. Use a comb and tease the bottom of the braid, or you can rub the ends between the palms of your hands. This will create a knot-like texture that will secure the braid in lieu of another elastic.
4: Go through the length of the braid, pulling apart slightly (as pictured) for a fuller and messier look. Pro tip: for extra fullness, try doing this style after adding clip-in extensions.
For a different take on the fishtail, check out this tutorial.