With fall underway, I’ve been on the hunt for new hairstyles to dress up my look. I was a HUGE fan of the messy bun all summer as I found it complimented my maxi dresses well, and while I still like to sport my beloved bun hairstyles on days I can’t be bothered to wash my hair, I’ve been having more face-to-face meetings lately and feel I need to add a more stylish and trendy look to my hairstyle rotation.
Back in my corporate days, important meetings meant sleek ponytail and high bun hairstyles, but I find those looks are a bit over-the-top for a work-at-home mom who meets with clients at Starbucks in between school pick-ups and drop-offs. So I’ve been flipping through magazines and searching my feed on Pinterest for inspiration, and decided to give the fishtail braid a try.
It’s one of those styles that looks complicated, but it’s really simple to do a fishtail braid, and you don’t need an extra set of hands or hours in the morning for it to work. Fishtail braid styles are surprisingly simple!
I fell in love with this style a few years ago when the layers in my hair were too short to pull the look off, but now that my hair is a bit longer, I find a small amount of styling wax and hairspray helps smooth my hair and tame fly-aways.
Here are 8 different fishtail braid hairstyles I’ve been experimenting with lately. I find they are a great way to make me look more put-together, and since they work best on second-day hair, they make the perfect running late hairstyles.
I hope you love these hairstyles for long hair as much as I do!
1. BASIC SIDE FISHTAIL BRAID
If you don’t know how to do a fishtail braid, or need a refresher, this tutorial by thebeautydepartment.com is a great place to start. It will give you the basics on how to perfect the fishtail braid and with a little texture, you can make this a less structured and more casual look. Try finger-combing as she suggests and go with looser side fishtail braids if you’re trying for an easy feel.
In the tutorial she uses clear poly bands like these from Goody Classics. These are great because they blend in with every shade of hair and hold painlessly! To take this look to the office or a meeting go for a sleeker vibe. Get the smooth, brushed out look she starts with by using a boar bristle brush, like one from Schone Body, which really smooths flyaways and distributes natural oils throughout your hair.
2. DUTCH FISHTAIL BRAID
I absolutely love this Dutch fishtail braid by Missy Sue. It took a bit of practice for me to perfect the top part of the braid, but I assure you, it was worth the time and effort! I love wearing this look with a big, chunky sweater, and I find it’s a great way to keep my hair out of my face while also looking stylish!
The inverted braid starts by parting the hair on one side with a comb. In the winter (particularly with a chunky sweater) static and flyaways can be a constant battle. Use a wooden comb like this Meta-C Green Sandalwood comb which separates hair without causing it to stand on-end. You can follow her lead and use the comb to loosen your Dutch braid to really take this look to the next level.
3. CHUNKY REVERSE FISHTAIL BRAID
You all know how much I love all of Luxy Hair’s styles, and this Chunky Reverse Fishtail Braid is no exception. I think this is a fabulous look for fall and winter, and I love Mimi’s suggestion to apply hair extensions if you want to add a bit of length to your braid!
For this reverse side fishtail braid Mimi uses Luxy Hair extensions, which are thick and gorgeous, but can be an investment for extension newbies. With a style like this side fish braid, you can try these Tressmatch Remy extensions in a similar blonde ombre tone. If you love the look of extensions you can always upgrade later, especially for hair-down styles.
4. FISHTAIL BRAID UPDO
This Dutch braid meets messy bun look by Missy Sue is perfect for a night out on the town with the girls and it’s surprisingly easy to do!
Missy uses a basic paddle wet brush to start, which is perfect for long hair. Then using a rattail comb she separates her hair to begin the side fishtail braids. Watch for a comb made of sandalwood to keep static under control.
5. HALF UP, HALF DOWN DUTCH FISHTAIL BRAID
If you’re a fan of the half up, half down look (like me!), you will LOVE this Dutch fishtail braid creation by Alex Gaboury. It’s perfect for summer weddings or holiday parties, and I think the sexy beach waves really finish the look off!
The half-up fishtail braid looks so romantic, like a wreath or crown. It’s really great for special events. If you want to dress it up even more, weave a ribbon or a floral crown, throughout the top to complete the princess look.
6. DOUBLE DUTCH FISHTAIL BRAID UPDO
If you’re looking for an updo for a special event, I would definitely consider this ‘do by Missy Sue. The double Dutch braids provide an elegant look, and I love that the bun is both structured and messy. I’m bookmarking this one for Christmas!
This look is held together with bobby pins. Keep it in place during any festivities by using non-slip pins. When placing bobby pins angle them first up, and then twist and down to really keep things held tight.
7. SIDE FISHTAIL BRAID
I really love this look by Luxy Hair. It’s the perfect compliment to beachy waves, and while it isn’t overly complicated, it’s a great way to add a bit of style to your look when you’re running late!
I really like the half-up style with the side fishtail braid that she does here and I can’t believe how fast it comes together! The “five minute curls” are incredible and polished. Using a hair wand can help you get the loose wave effect and it’s definitely worth the investment. Opt for a wand with a glove so you don’t burn your fingers working on your waves!
8. HALF UP FISHTAIL FRENCH BRAIDS
This half up look by Missy Sue is another fabulous style for weddings and holiday parties, or days when you have a little extra time and want to dress up your look!
She adds sparkle with cute floral bobby pins, which complete the special, party-ready style. If you’re not ready for sparkles, you could also dress this up with a less flashy clip. Of course, it looks perfectly lovely without the pins too and would be great for a date night.
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