For long periods of time, people have had a love affair with their heads of hair! No matter your style preference, color preference, or preferred length, the hair industry is big business!

Hair is a protein filament that grows from follicles found in the dermis, or skin. Hair is one of the defining characteristics of human beings. Most common interest in hair is focused on hair growth, hair types and hair care. Hair is primarily composed of protein, notably keratin.

People often change their hairstyles when they are basically, well, ready for a change. Much like changing outfits, shoes, etc., wearing your hair in different styles can not only change your appearance, but enhance your mood as well.

A popular, trendy, sporty and sophisticated hairstyle is the fishtail braid!

A braid is a complex structure or pattern formed by interlacing three or more strands of flexible hair. Compared with the process of weaving, which usually involves two separate, perpendicular groups of hair strands (warp and weft), a braid is usually long and narrow, with each component strand functionally equivalent in zigzagging forward through the overlapping mass of the others.

One distinctive, classy form of braid is the fishtail braid. The fishtail braid gets its name by the fact that the structure of the braid resembles a fish tail and the gill pattern of a fish. Fishtail braids overlap in such a way that the braid is instantly recognizable as the fishtail braid.


Hail the fishtail braid!

How to Structure the Fishtail Braid:

  1. Divide your hair into two sections, parting the hair straight down the middle (makes a left and right section).
  2. Pull a thin strand of hair from the outside of the left section. Now pull this same strand of hair over the top of the left section, and grasp the same strand of hair under the right section (the strand of hair has gone over the left section and finishes under the right section). Try to use the same thickness of hair for each strand throughout the braid, or the braid may look uneven.
  3. Repeat step 2, in the opposite way, going from the right section to the left section. Pull a strand of  hair from the outside of the right section, pull the strand over the right section, and then weave the same strand of hair under the left section.
  4. Keep alternating this same movement (steps 2 and 3) with the hair strands (left to right, right to left, left to right, right to left…over and under, over and under) until you reach the bottom of the braid.
  5. Tie the end of the braid with a hair bobble or an elastic band to ensure that the braid doesn’t unravel.
  6. Add a cute ribbon, hair bow or hair accessory charm over the elastic band to add your own signature fashion personality to the braid.

Lo and behold…you’ve accomplished the fishtail braid!


Fishtail braids are dressier than the common braid. The most common braid (although lovely in its own right) is a flat, solid, three-stranded structure. The fishtail braid is a more complex braid that adds a classier, sassier and brassier look to the braid.

Hair Fun Fact: The word “hair” refers to two distinct structures:

  1. The Hair Follicle: The part of hair beneath the skin. This organ is located in the dermis and maintains stem cells, which not only regrow the hair after it falls out, but also regrows skin after a wound.
  2. The Hair Shaft: The hard filamentous part of the hair that extends above the skin surface. A cross section of the hair shaft may be divided roughly into three zones.

Give me a head with hair, long beautiful hair…that I may wear a fabulous fishtail braid and stand out in any parade!


Hair Fun Fact: Hair fibers have a structure consisting of several layers, starting from the outside: the cuticle; the cortex and the medulla.

Braid Fun Fact: The oldest known reproduction of hair braiding goes back about 30,000 years. The Venus of Willendorf, now known in academia as the Woman of Willendorf, is a female figurine estimated to have been made between about 28,000 and 25,000 BCE. The figurine wears braided hair. The Venus of Brassempouy is estimated to be about 25,000 years old and shows a braided hairstyle.


The braiding of hair, in addition to being a trendsetting hairstyle, is considered a social art form. The fishtail braid is exceptionally glamorous and lovely to look at. Braiding can take time. When the Industrial Revolution arrived, mechanized braiding equipment was invented, often used for the braiding of ropes and cable using copper wire.

Ramp up the volume and sizzle with an “on fire” hairstyle”: the fishtail braid! Hair fashion sense…tailor made!

Braids work with short, medium and long length hair. Wear your braid from here to there!

Fishtail braids spice up any outfit and any shape of face. Also, no matter your hair color or hair type, the fishtail braid adds glitz and glam to your overall appearance.

Fishtail Braid Fashion Tip: To get exceptionally curly, wavy hair with no dry heat, merely wear your hair for a few hours in a fishtail braid. When you remove the braid, beautiful wavy strands of hair will frame your fabulous face.

The Fishtail Braid: Who says tails have to trail your tight tushy? Do the fishtail down your back, over your shoulder, as a headband, etc. Leave a trail of hair in the fishtail!


Fishtail Braid Fashion Tip: Fishtail braids often create an air of youthful glamour when hair wisps are left to fly freely, while the fishtail drapes over your shoulder(s). Fly away wispy hair highlights the fishtail braid, if you dare!


Great lengths, the fishtail braid!

The fishtail braid: Flashy, fun and festive!

“That is an amazing, magnificent braid in your hair.”

“It’s called the fishtail. The only style of braid I’ll wear.”

“Do you think you could do the fishtail braid to my locks?”

“Certainly. With your lustrous hair, the fishtail braid will rock!”

“I’ll pay you a pretty penny for your attention and your time.”

“I’m a fishtail braid expert. I’ll have you hair braid perfect in no time.”

“You mean you’ll do it for free? I smell something fishy going on here.”

“My payment is getting to do the fishtail braid at all. A real treat, my dear!”

Wear the fishtail braid and you’ll never turn back. You’ll see!


Watch for Nancy’s next book in her award winning murder mystery series, Deadly Decisions – A Natalie North Novel, coming to bookstores and online bookstores in early 2017.

Nancy Mangano is an American fashion journalist and author of the Natalie North murder mystery book series, A Passion for Prying and Murder Can Be Messy. Visit Nancy on her author website, Twitter @, her fashion magazine Strutting in Style! at, and her Facebook fan page Nancy Mangano




About authornancymangano

Nancy Mangano resides in Orange County, CA. She has blended her love of detective work and style in her novels, A Passion for Prying and Murder Can Be Messy.
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