How to: the fishtail ponytail

Fishtail braids can be surprisingly simple to master, though their beauty is that they give off a look of detailed complexity. On the runway at the Melbourne Fashion Festival, Australian accessory brand Mimco use a hip version of the braid to compliment their very futuristic collection.

The collection was entitled Paradise Battalion and L’Oreal Professionel Hair Director Damien Rinaldo created a perfectly complimentary look: this half-fishtail hairstyle that’s very urban and chic, where the fishtail plait works its way around a ponytail. If you want to recreate this hairstyle for yourself, read on after the break for a complete how-to.

fishtail plait around ponytail

How to: fishtail plaited ponytail

Start working on this hairstyle by prepping damp hair with mousse like Volume Lift mousse by L’Oreal. Apply it from roots to ends. This helps you in styling and protects your hair as well.
Rough dry your hair with a blow dryer.
Now it’s time to section your hair. Start by creating a straight center part and then separate your hair into two horizontal sections (from ear to ear). This creates a top and a bottom layer.
Take some hair gel, like L’Oreal Fix Design Gel, and use it to smooth out the top upper section of your hair. This creates a neat finish by smoothing out just the upper part.
Comine the two sections back together into a low ponytail and secure with a hair tie, leaving a piece of hair free on the side. You’ll need this to conceal the hair tie.
Spray the free piece of hair with L’Oreal Infinium Lumière Ultimate hairspray and wrap around the hair tie to cover. Secure it with a pin underneath the ponytail.

fishtail braid ponytail

Now it’s time to start creating the fishtail below the tie. To create a nice fishtail plait always remember that you go over then under with each piece of hair. Begin by combing the ponytail together and then dividing it into two sections (left and right much like pigtails). On the right part, take about a half inch section of hair from behind the ear or the rightmost part and then cross it over. Make the strand cross from on top of the right section and then to under the left section (the strand will now be part of the left section). Repeat this on the left section to the right and continue doing it alternately. Think of it as cris-crossing your hair.

Continue until the fishtail braid is about 10cm long and then secure it with an elastic. Use a strand of hair to conceal the elastic just like you did on the other tie.

fishtail braid ponytail

Finish the hairstyle by brushing the remaining ponytail and then spraying on Tecni. Art Crystal Gloss for extra shine and Infinium Lumière Ultimate hairspray to keep everything in place.

Tip: Spray a towel or cloth with Tecni. Art Volume Lift mousse and run it from the crown down to the first hair tie, following the direction of the hair. This will smooth down any fly-aways and give a seamless finish.

fishtail braid ponytail

Still not sure? If you’d like a video tutorial on creating this style, let us know in the comments and we’ll endeavour to bring you one.

For another, even simpler variation on the fishplait (this one being a ‘faux’ fishtail that’s actually twisted rather than braided) you can check out the tumbled tail hairstyle tutorial.

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