Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fishtail Braid Tutorial

Nobody panic.

You're at the right place.  This is the blog where I write about the mundane and ridiculous details of the life of our family.

This is not a how-to-fix-hair blog.  This is not a how-to-improve-your-appearance-in-any-way-shape-or-form blog.  Trust me when I say you do not want me writing about that kind of thing.

But over the past month or so, I've counted seven different people who have commented on Adelaide's hair when I've fixed it this way, saying, "I just don't know how to do that," or, "I wish I could do that to my daughter's/sister's/pony's/own hair."

Here's the thing: the fishtail braid (sometimes known as the herringbone or fishbone braid) is very, very easy.

Adelaide has declared that she is tired of me undoing her hair to demonstrate when these different people mention her hairstyle, so I'm just going to do a quick tutorial and refer people here.

Now let's see how confusing I can make something relatively easy.

Before we begin, I've found that this style is easiest to do when hair is wet.  You can do it with dry hair for a slightly messier look that seems to be all the rage with college girls these days, but if you want the style to stay in her hair for the day- and when you're first trying this out- I'd go with wet hair.

First, divide hair into two sections.

Next, take a small section on the outside of the right half...

...And cross it over, grabbing it with your left hand, combining it with the left half of her hair.

Here in the first few cross-overs, it's important to pull the hair taut each time- makes for a tighter braid.

Now we're going to do the same thing on the other side.

Take a small section on the outside of the left half...

...And pass it over to combine it with the right half of hair.

You should now have something like this:

Now you're just going to repeat those steps:  Grab a small bunch of hair on the outside right, pass it to the inside left.  Grab a small bunch of hair on the outside left, pass it to the inside right.  Over and over again.

Here it is about a dozen passes down:

And just keep going.  Add a hair band at the end...

And you're done.  A pretty braid with a not-so-pretty name.

Now if there aren't any questions, go forth and braid.

Oh, I almost forgot!  Derek only agreed to take tons of pics of me braiding our daughter's hair in exchange for the promise that this one would make it on here:

What?  I always braid our daughter's hair under a Vikings hat.  You probably should, too.


  1. Very nice tutorial. I'm going to have to try this one! :)

    Have you ever started the braid higher on the head for more of a french-braided fishbone braid? Just wondering if that's possible. . .

    1. I have not. Adelaide has a rather large head (thanks to two parents who both have big heads- literally), and a single french braid only emphasizes its... bigness. When I do french braid her hair, I find it's much more flattering on her to do two french braided pigtails. On a normal-sized head, however, I think that would be a neat idea!

  2. That's a lovely braid. And braiding under a hat must require extra skills - it looks hard!

    My youngest daughter, now 13, would rarely tolerate sitting still for long enough to do something like this.

    1. Well, I don't imagine Adelaide will let me fix her hair much when she's thirteen, either. Guess I'll just have to get my fill now.


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