How to do a fishtail braid: 6 definitive YouTube tutorials

Scale the heights of mermaid chic with these fishtail plait videos – from Elsa to Zoella and all that’s in between…

We all thought we learned how to plait hair before the age of 10. But then fishtail braids arrived on the scene, and now even some of the most sensible adult women are spending hours in front of the mirror trying to work out which strand goes where. No longer! Here are the best YouTube tutorials to help you get your hair, not your knickers, in a twist.


1. Best for long, thick hair: The Beauty Department’s The Fishtail Braid

“It’s important not to overthink a fishtail braid,” says Lauren Conrad. But it’s SO HARD, LAUREN!

Still, if anything can soothe you into plaited perfection, it’s this tutorial – with its calm, plinky-plonky soundtrack and great tip about using a hair elastic to hold everything still while you go. Nice relaxed result, too.


2. Best for Frozen fans: Annies Forget Me Nots’ Dutch Fishtail Braid

For Elsa fancy dress, or just channelling an ice queen at the office, you’ll need to master the perfect messy Dutch fishtail plait – which means plaiting hair from the root like a French plait, before starting the fishtail braid. Just don’t let it go before it’s finished… (sorry).


3. Best for hippies: Nicole Guerriero’s Fishtail Accent Braid

Full plaits can be a daunting prospect if you’ve not worn one since school, so tousle-headed fans might prefer this hippie accent braid from Nicole Guerriero. It would also work nicely on mid-length hair and thinner hair, if you don’t fancy faffing around with extensions.


4. Best for shoulder-length hair: Lilith Moon’s French Fishtail Braid

If you don’t have a waist-length mane you can still pull off a fishtail – provided you can plait with your hands out of view. This classic braid by Lilith Moon can also be tucked into an impressive updo, and threaded with flowers if you’re feeling especially Pinterest.


5. Best for curly or afro hair: SunKissAlba’s How To: Fish Tail Braid

Keeping curly hair damp and conditioned is key to containing it in a fishtail, and Alba’s twisty hair tutorial is a lesson in purposeful messiness. It’s nice and slow too, so no need to panic if you’re flailing.


6. Best for featuring Zoella: All Things Hair UK’s How to Create a Fishtail Hairstyle

Because, Zoella.

Lauren Bravo