And we’re back with another hair tutorial! This time around, we have a fishtail braid tutorial. One thing I love about this braid is that it’s really versatile. You can leave the braid neat and tidy for a polished look, or pull on the tail to mess it up and fatten the braid up a bit. It’s the perfect summer braid and so fun + easy!
The key to nailing this look is really in the prep work, which we’ll get to. It’s amazing what you can do to your hair with product + a little bit of magic (Jay will teach you all of the magic… so read along for that part!)
We started with freshly blown out hair. Similar to the Game of Thrones braid from a month ago, he shampooed my hair but did not use any conditioner. The reason for this is that it helps the braid to hold better. After towel drying, he did add two pumps of Oribe’s Balm d’Or Heat Styling Shield, which protected my hair. He wanted me to tell you guys that he swears by blowing hair out with a boar bristle brush as it tames flyaways without pulling too hard.
He then applied anti humidity spray to the ends only and curled them with a 1.25″ barrel curling iron. I asked him why we were doing this and he explained that the wave makes the braid fall a little bit easier, and the ends won’t broom out.
From there, we parted my hair to the side and used what Jay calls a “U Section” to separate the front + back. Jay emphasized that it’s good to play with the part and make it a little bit messy. Clip the bottom section out of the way.
Next… add volume! To fluff up the two sections at the top, Jay sprayed on Thick Dry Finishing Spray and rather than teasing my hair, he laced it with a boar bristle brush. (Note that I didn’t know what lacing meant, he explained that while a tease starts at the ends of your hair, a lace starts in the middle. And lacing it using a boar bristle brush gives it a more airy finish… he compared it to “cotton candy vs. spider webs.”
Determine whether you want to have a few pieces left out of the braid in front. Jay recommends smoothing these guys with a bit of Fiber Architect to give them that messy, bed head sort of vibe.
To start the fishtail, grab two giant sections (one from each side) and cross them over each other.
Check the volume in front, and secure with bobbi pins that match the hair so that they remain hidden.
Play with the front and tame any frizzy bits around your face with pomade.
Back to the braid. Continue to take pieces from the bottom of each side and cross them over.
Do this until you have two equal sections.
Continue to grab from each side, holding tight with your thumb. For a messy look, you can grab different sized pieces (skinny + big), just be consistent. Another tip that Jay had was to braid down (with gravity) vs. out… it will help the braid to lay flatter.
Like I mentioned earlier, you can tug the braid to add a little volume/make it feel a bit messier.
Jay finished by curling the pieces we left out, and then we were done!
photography by Lydia Hudgens.