If you've already mastered the French braid and a simple side braid feels a little boring, it might be time for you to flex and try the fishtail braid, a fun spin on the classic two-strand braid.
"If you are ever looking for a simple, elegant and classic braid, try a fishtail braid," says Kiyah Wright, a celebrity hairstylist and the founder of Muze Hair. "I’m also a huge fan of this braid type because it allows you to channel your inner mermaid — just in time for summer!"
There is one caveat: Wright says the fishtail braid does require some length to your hair in order to achieve the look. If your hair is long enough to crisscross and weave, then the fishtail braid is calling your name. Here are Wright's quick and easy steps for achieving it.
1. Run a comb through it.
Before you get started braiding, Wright says you'll want to first brush your hair to nix knots and tangles. That way, you won't get tripped up when you're halfway through braiding and you run into a problem spot.
2. Separate hair into two sections.
Before you start weaving your braid, Wright says you'll want to choose a starting point. Brush your hair back and gather your hair where you would like your fishtail braid to begin. For example, if you're looking in a mirror to fishtail your hair, then you might want to try braiding your hair to one side, starting at the nape of your neck. Once you've decided where the braid will begin, separate your hair into two sections.
3. Over-under and repeat.
Holding one section in each hand, grab a smaller section of hair from the outer edge of the right-side pony and cross it over the top, joining it with the left side. Repeat on the left side, bringing a small section of the left-side pony and cross it over the top, bringing it together with the right. Continue until you've nearly reached the ends.
"The key to a fishtail braid is not only how the braid is woven, but making sure you leave out the ends of your hair at the tip to give a full tail-like effect," Wright says.
4. Finishing touches.
It's not really a fishtail braid unless you add a little something to complete the look, according to Wright. "No matter what, it’s almost required to stylize and accessorize your fishtail braid with rhinestone hairpins or a bejeweled hair tie at the end," she says.
5. Add some edge.
If you want to try a fresh spin on the classic fishtail braid, then Wright says you might want to try the three-strand fishtail braid. Like the original fishtail braid, you'll want to brush hair and gather it at your starting point, but this time you will divide your hair into three sections, Wright says.
"Weave the first strand over the second and follow by alternating the second over the third and repeat," she says. Finish by adding a simple hair tie or fun hair clips.