Hair Tutorial: How to Do a Loose, Messy Fishtail Braid
Truly, Anh Co Tran is nothing short of a hair god. He can create romantic, brushed-out waves one minute and then turn around and nail a model-off-duty–style fishtail braid the next. In fact, that’s exactly what he did when we got him in the Byrdie studios. But we know what you’re thinking (because we thought it too): Of course a professional hairstylist can whip up stunning looks in an instant, but what about us non-pros? Well, there’s a reason we invited Tran into our studios. The man can do (duh), but he also can teach.
The fishtail has always been one of those braids that simply escape me, personally. After having Tran break it down, however, I can confidently say I can fishtail braid. I may not be as speedy as I would like to be, but you don’t have to be fast to do this tutorial.
Braid novices and braid pros alike, this is how you fishtail—scroll through for the step-by-step tutorial!
Repeat this motion all the way down the braid. (Yes, it is a bit tedious, but it’ll be worth it in the end.) Don’t worry if it gets messy—in fact, embrace the messiness.
You can make the sections as big or small as you please. Tran prefers the look of small pieces. You’ll get a tight fishtail that you can muss up when you’re done braiding.
Tie off your braid with small, clear elastic. The Blax Clear Snag-Free Hair Elastics ($7) are a hairstylist favorite.
Now it’s time to make your perfect fishtail braid less perfect. Lightly pull on each side of the braid to fatten it up. Pull out a few pieces at the top to create the ultimate falling-out fishtail à la Ciara.
Give it a spritz of finishing spray (we love Aterna’s Caviar Anti-Aging Perfect Texture Finishing Spray, $28) for added hold and texture, and that’s it.
Ready to master another braided ’do? Check out our easy boxer braid tutorial!
Credits: Hair by Anh Co Tran, Makeup by Stacey Tan, Photographed by Paley Fairman, Modeled by Ali Collier, Produced by Clique Studio