Tuesday, 5 March 2013

How to do a fishtail plait: step-by-step guide with pictures and video

a neat fishtail
The elusive fishtail plait needs demystifying in my opinion. I know there are guides, blogs and vlogs explaining how to do them all over t'internet, but as I was doing one on myself at work the other day (multi-tasking, natch), one of my colleagues asked me to do my own blog explaining how. So Hannah, this one goes out to you.

A very long fishtail I did on my gorge friend Harriet
Fishtail plaits really are surprisingly easy, despite their complex appearance - those who don't know how to do them often view a fishtail plait in awe. Well, don't fear, fishtail-rookies. I'm here to show you just how simple they are.

As far as I'm concerned, the trick to a good fishtail plait is starting with two (yup, that's the first difference to a regular three-strand plait) equal sections. From then on the tightness of your plait will depend on how small the sections are which you transfer from side to side. To get a neat, tight fishtail plait takes a while - especially if your hair is as long as mine - so I usually like to do mine whilst watching TV.

Step 1

Divide the hair into two equal sections. If I'm doing it on myself I tend to do it to the side over one shoulder, but on other people it's easier to do straight down the back. If you're doing one to the side, gather the hair over the shoulder on the opposite side to your parting (and a side parting usually helps.)

Step 2

Take a small section of hair from the OUTSIDE of one half...

Step 3

...and take it over the front of your hair to the INSIDE of the other half. Pull the sections out sideways to keep the plait tight. It takes a while for what you're doing to actually start resembling a fishtail, but persevere and it will come together.

Step 4

Repeat on the other side - take a small section from the outside and transfer to the inside of the other section. Pull tight.

Step 5 and 6 and 7...

Just keep going!

Here's a short video of me plaiting my hair after doing so for a few minutes - hopefully you can see the fishtail has started to come together, and that it's really very simple and repetitive (if a little tricky to explain.)

I hope this blog post has helped, and do let me know how you get on!

If you want some more inspiration for plait hairstyles, check out this blog post.

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