Wednesday, April 1, 2015

How To: Faux Fishtail

I love fishtail braids during the summertime - its one of my favorite, easy styles. However, I keep pretty short layers in my hair to make it less heavy & my hair has a very soft texture so it doesn't hold braids very well. I've been using this technique quite a bit for fishtails as it is much more secure & it keeps most of the short layers in tact. This is super easy - since it requires no braiding whatsoever! 

As always, I start with tangle-free hair. It doesn't matter if it is curled or not! I had just gotten my hair done so it was straight for these images.

Using my trusty teasing comb & hairspray, I make sure to create some major volume at the crown of my head. If you aren't a fan of volume/teasing you can skip this!

It's super important to smooth out your teasing before beginning the faux fishtail. So smooth out all of your teasing because once you complete the look, it will be hard to fix any imperfections.

It is essential to have several elastics & bobby pins on hand for this style.
First you just use an elastic to create a side ponytail. (I am not wearing extensions, however, if I were, I'd clip a couple of small pieces in on the side where the side pony is.)
Next, take a small section of the longest layer & separate it from the rest of the pony tail. You can see below how I secure mine to keep it out of the way in the image below.

These 3 images show exactly what you'll do the rest of the way down, just keep repeating these steps. I think I end up using 8-10 elastics as I work my way down.

1. Take two small sections from the bottom side of the ponytail.
2. Join them together on top of the pony & secure them w/an elastic.
3. Then do a little topsy-turvy thing - aka just flip it back into the open section.
It is important to pull your hair apart after you've topsy-turvied - you can see how I am pull it apart just to keep the the twisted look pulled up - it also pushes up the elastic. (Does this make sense!?! Ha!)
After you're done, doing the 3 main steps (over & over)... let the sectioned off section of hair down and wrap it around the ponytail. I secured it w/a bobby pin - you can also tuck it into the elastic as well.
John was shooting these images for me - but he had to take a call (resident probs) so I was trying to get a quick picture on my own.
You can see that it looks just like a fishtail, but requires no braid whatsoever. If this was confusing, or if you have any questions let me know - you can tweet at me too, @emilyanngemma. 
Look at Fitz back there, he was dying to get his teeth on my hair - he loves hair. :/ 

DRESS (This is in China so it takes about 21 days to arrive.. here's a similar option.) (PS. this maxi dress is perfect for spring/Easter & is $50!) || WATCH || BRACELET || RINGS (& here) || EARRINGS || Lips: this liner (candy yum yum) + this lipstick (#26)


  1. Thanks for the tutorial, love the braid trend:)

  2. Wow this looks exactly like a fishtail! Crazy, what a cool trick!

    x. Sabrina // Simply Sabrina

  3. This is such a cute look! I'm bookmarking this tutorial for the summer because I cannot fishtail for the life of me!

    Sunday Brunch

  4. This is amazing! I love a fishtail braid, but tend to be too lazy with it and it falls out easily. Love your tutorial, looks really simple and as you mentioned secure :)

  5. In Genius! I have a lot of layers like you and always end up with a few sticking out when I do a traditional fishtail braid! This is perfect!!!
    xo, Lee

  6. This is amazing, thank you so much! This was so helpful :)
    XO Janina

  7. I will have to try this hairstyle! How is the quality of that dress?

  8. I love this! It will definitely save me some time instead of attempting to braid my never ending hair!

  9. Love this tutorial! I've always wanted to try a fishtail braid. Thanks for sharing. :)

  10. I'm so bad at braids so I need to try this! My hair is always a little too soft to hold them (I shouldn't be complaining right?! ha!) definitely will need to pull up this post to recreate ; )

    x Emily, The Glam Files

  11. This is so great! Super easy to do and looks so fabulous! Xo

  12. love the idea! great pictures!


  13. Lovely Dress.

    Check out my new post on my blog about Waikiki/Hawaii

  14. I LOVE this! Thanks so much for sharing!
    The Style Storm
    <3, Christina

  15. Emily,
    Thank you so much for this post!! I also have think hair, so cut layers into it and the hairdresser also thins it out! I love the look of a fishtail braid but could never do it without having lots of bits of short hair sticking out of it! This way of doing it is just genius!!
    Michelle (In Ireland - Love following you from here!)

  16. These are amazing faux fishtail. I used the style for my website as well and try to do like you done. I've been reading your blog for years and I love more the style and presentation.


Thank you so much for your comments - it means the world! I always try to reply if you leave a question. If you do not have an address set-up, I can’t reply though!


design + development by kelly christine studio