Braiding Basics – How to Fishtail Braid

Easy Tutorial Video: How To Style The Fish Tail Braid

I continue my Braiding Basics series today by teaching  you how to fishtail braid, aka fishbone braid.  This is a classic style that has been around for ages.  I love the fishtail braid, but that wasn’t always the case!

The fishtail braid is one that I used to struggle with and hate.  It can take awhile  to do and there are some very easily made mistakes that can leave it looking lopsided and just off – which can be frustrating after spending so much time doing it!  I got determined to master it though, and practiced it over and over (and over and over again!) until I had it down.  I discovered my errors and am sharing not only the simple technique, but also what to watch for and the common mistakes that are made on this braid.  You’ll be a pro at this one too!

Let’s get started!


Supplies you’ll need: ponytail elastic, small elastic, hairbrush and optional – spray bottle.

Step 1.  Brush out the hair and then pull the hair into a ponytail.  **Optional, spray the hair down with water (it will end up holding better so this is recommended if your little one has fine hair that slips out of a style or if you need it to last all day for school or sports).

Step 2.  Divide the hair into 2 sections.

Step 3.  From the section in your right hand – take a small section of hair from the right most side of that section and cross it over to the right most side of the section of hair you are holding in your left hand.

Step 4.  Now from the left section, take a small section of hair from the left most side of that section and cross it over to the left most side of the section of hair you are holding in your right hand.

Step 5.  Repeat steps 3 & 4 all the way down.

Step 6.  Secure with an elastic.

You’re done! 

Easy Tutorial To Learn How To Style The Fish Tail Braid

But check out these tips to help you troubleshoot your braid:

  • Make sure that when you are picking up the section of hair to add in on steps 3 & 4 that it comes from right behind the section that you previously took on that side.  Grabbing from the wrong place will give you a weird looking back of your braid, with strings of hair just kind of hanging down the length of the braid.
  • Make sure the size of the pieces you are adding in are as even as possible.
  • Make sure that as you go, the place where you are adding hair in from on each side is even.
  • Gently pull on the braid at the very end to even it out if it isn’t hanging straight.
  • Watch my video if any of these tips don’t make sense!  I swear that these will make a huge difference in your fishtail braid.

Fishtail braid - tutorial by Hair by Lori

I’d love to hear how it turns out for you if you want to share it on my Facebook page or tag me in your photo on Instagram @hair_by_lori or use hashtag #HBLFishtailBraid.

If you haven’t already checked them out, here are the other posts from my Braiding Basics series so far:

The 5 Strand Braid - Braiding Basics 4 Strand Ribbon Braid - Braiding Basics  The 4 Strand Braid - Braiding Basics The Rope Braid - Braiding Basics The Dutch Braid - Braiding Basics The French Braid - Braiding Basics

Thank you so much for reading!  I hope you’ll come back next week when I’ll be teaching you how to do a lace braid, it’ll be the last post in my Braiding Basics series.

Check out these posts to #HBLFishtailBraid on Instagram:

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