Messy Fishtail Milkmaid Braids

Wow, it’s been nearly a year since I cut my hair into a bob and my hair is just now starting to feel *long* again. I mean, I still have a ways to go before it’s back to the length it was, but it always amazes me how fast the time flies. When I was growing out a pixie cut, I felt like it was going to be a really long and awkward process and in a way I guess it was. It took probably six months, but then when six months have passed, it feels like no time at all. Like, how was it a year ago since my last big chop??? Where did the year go? Anyway, this is a style I started wearing a few months ago and will work with slightly shorter and much longer hair. What I love about it though is how full the fishtails can look—just look at the third row of pictures below!Step one: Separate your hair into two pigtails and tie them off with elastics (don’t tie them too tightly, we’ll remove these elastics at the end).

Step two: Start making your fishtail braid on one side. To make a fishtail braid, divide your hair into two sections. Take a small piece of hair from the outside of your left section and cross it over to the right. Repeat on the other side, taking a small section of hair on your right side and crossing it over to your left.

Step three: Continue making a fishtail braid down to the ends of your hair. Keep the braid as tight as possible. Tie off with an elastic.

Step four: Repeat on the other side of your head, making a simple fishtail braid and tying off with an elastic when you get to the ends of your hair.

Step five: Remove the top elastic you started with on both sides; you can just pull it off over your fishtails braids or cut it off—just be careful with your hair!

Step six: Pancake your braids, making them messy and big. Don’t worry if some pieces fall out of the braid, you can pin them or smooth them back in place at the last step.

Step seven: Take a few bobby pins and pin your braids on top of your head in classic milkmaid braid style. I like to start by pinning one side and then placing the other braid on top and tucking the ends underneath. You can also “clean up” the braids a bit by tucking pieces underneath and pinning them in.

That’s it! It’s a simple twist on the classic milkmaid braid style, and once you get the hang of fishtail braids they’re really easy. I think starting with them tied off in pigtails helps a lot since the hair feels less likely to “slip” away from you, and once you remove that first elastic, the braids start to get really thick. I think the best thing about this look is to just pancake away and let it be messy. Cheers, Rebecca.

Credits//Author and Photography: Rebecca Stice. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.