How to braid a fishbone braid to the scalp

Updated April 17, 2017

A Fishbone braid, also known as the Fishtail or Herringbone braid, is a two strand style braid. The Fishbone braid is similar to a basic braid, which uses three strands. This intricate braid can be worn casually or as part of a more formal hairdo for special occasions, such as proms or weddings. Braided styles are popular on all ages and work best on medium to long hair lengths. Braiding techniques require a bit of patience and practice to master.

Comb hair towards the back of the head, off the face. A tight-toothed comb or hard brush works best to gather hair together. Make sure hair is smooth and free of tangles.

Divide the hair into two sections. A part can be made in the middle of the head or the hairstyle can be created without making a part and using two equal sections of hair.

Start at the top of the head with two small strands of hair from the outer part of the left and right sections closest to the scalp. Take the comb or brush and make sure the hair is smooth before proceeding.

Hold both sections of hair in the left hand securely. Use a rat tail comb or your left index finger to separate two small sections of hair on the left and right side.

Cross the left thin strand of hair over the right bunch of hair. The right thin strand should be crossed over to the left bunch of hair and pulled away from each other to tighten.

Cross the right thin strand of hair over to the left bunch of hair. Another left thin strand of hair should be crossed back over to the right side of hair.

Continue to crisscross the smaller outer strands of hair into the larger opposite bunches of hair, pulling the hair bunches tightly away from each other to tighten the braid and secure it to the scalp.

Repeat until all the hair is braided. Use gel or cream to help with fly-away and loose or shorter hair on the sides of the head.

Take a hair pin, clip or hair band and secure the braid at the end. Hair clips can also be used to create pin-up Fishbone braid styles.


Use thinner pieces of hair for a more intricately detailed Fishbone braid. Hair clips or hair clips can be used to secure loose strands of hair. Use the same amount of hair for each braided section to make sure the braid is even.

Things You'll Need

  • Wide-tooth comb or brush
  • Rat tail comb
  • Hair bands, ribbon or hair clip
  • Hair clips
  • Styling cream or gel
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About the Author

Candace N. Smith is a fashion and business writer in New York. Beginning her writing career in 2007, her work has appeared in various fashion publications including "Kouture Magazine." Graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in fashion marketing from American InterContinental University, Los Angeles, she's taken her experience in fashion, marketing and brand management, and shares that knowledge in her writing.