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The Fishtail Braid, In 5 Easy Steps

by Jill Manoff

Our no-fail routine for looking chic in a pinch (even between shampoo days!)? We throw our hair into a trendy fishtail. It's a versatile style that's this side of "too done," and it’s a cinch to create. We've got your how-to.

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1. Create Two Sections
Pull all of your hair to the nape if your neck, as you would if you were creating a low pony—then divide it in half. (Unlike a traditional braid, a fishtail only requires two sections.)

2. Start Weaving
Grab a small piece (think 1/4-inch wide) from underneath Section 1, and cross it over that section to add it to Section 2. Then repeat the process with a piece in Section 2, then a piece in Section 1 and keep going. You'll start to notice the plait effect after crossing back and forth just a few times.

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3. Make It Your Own
Pull the pieces tight for a polished look, or loosen your grip for a more casual take.

4. Wrap It Tight
Once the loose ends are just an inch or two long, secure them with a clear elastic.

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5. Mess It Up (Optional)
Add some messy softness by freeing some strands around your hairline, give it all a once-over (Imperfect? Perfect!) and go!