How to Fishtail Braid With Thick Hair

Updated April 17, 2017

Braids are a fairly simple way to style long hair yourself without a lot of products or accessories. A fishtail braid, sometimes called a herringbone, is a modern alternative to the classic plait. It is suitable for all types of hair shoulder-length or longer, and works for all occasions, from casual events to more formal parties. It may help to practice on a friend a few times before trying a fishtail braid with your own hair.

Spray hairspray onto dry hair.

Split your hair into two equal sections at the back of your head. This is where fishtail braiding differs from French braiding, which requires three sections.

Take the right section of hair in your right hand. Pick up a half-inch section of hair from the outside of the left section with your left hand. Take hair from the area near the base of your ear to achieve the scaly look. Cross it over to the inside of the right section.

Repeat with the other side, holding the left section of hair in your left hand and using your right hand to cross a half-inch section of hair from the right side over to the inside of the left section. Continue crossing small sections of hair over to the opposite side until you get to the end of your hair.

Secure the end of your hair with a snag-free elastic.


Keep layers smooth and tight for a polished look. Let layers fall out of the braid for a more relaxed, effortless finish. Pull your hair over to one side before you start braiding for a side fishtail braid.

Things You'll Need

  • Hairspray
  • Snag-free elastic
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About the Author

C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."