How to Make Fishtail Pop Smoke Braids

Pop Smoke Braids

Pop Smoke Braids: The fishtail braid looks elaborate and will become a favorite for rushed mornings, especially if you have long hair. It turns out beautifully and is great for an average day or to wear to a formal event. Fishtail braids also tend to look better when they get a little messy, so you’ll be able to wear them all day. These types of braids are similar to regular braids, but just use 2 strands instead of 3. If you’re able to braid, then you’ll easily be able to learn to fishtail and create amazing hair looks!


Pop Smoke Braids:
Pop Smoke Braids

Doing a Regular Fishtail Braid

Divide your hair into 2 even sections. You will have a left piece and a right piece.

Take a thin strand of hair from the left section. Gather it from the outside. It should be no thicker than 0.5 in (1.3 cm).

Pull the thin strand up and across the left section. Move it towards the right 1.

Pop Smoke Braids

Tuck the thin strand under the right section. It will now become part of the right section.
Tug gently on the 2 sections to tighten them. Move your hands up as far as they can go. The tighter you make your braid, the better; you can always tousle it for a messier look later.
Take a thin strand from the right section. Gather it from the outside of the section, and make it no thicker than 0.5 in (1.3 cm).
Pull the thin strand up and across the right section. Move it towards the left section.

Tuck it under the left section. It is now part of the left section.

Pop Smoke Braids

Keep alternating sides until you reach the end of your hair. Leave at least 1 in (2.5 cm) of your hair unbraided so that you can tie it off.

  • Try to use thinner strands the further down you go on your braid. This will help make your braid look more even; your hair becomes naturally thinner towards the ends.

Wrap a hair tie around the end of your hair. If you want, you can take a strand of hair, and wrap it around the hair tie to hide it. Secure the strand with a bobby pin.

Create a tousled braid by rubbing it between your hands. You may want to skip this if your hair has lots of layers; it may end up loosening and getting tousled on its own.

Doing a French Fishtail Braid

Gather up a section of hair at the crown of your head. Try to keep it at eye level or higher. Make it as centered as you can.
Split the section into 2 halves. You will have a left half and a right half.
Pull up a thin strand from the left side of your head. Try to gather it from your hairline. Make the strand thin, and no larger than 0.5 in (1.3 cm).
Pull the thin strand across the left section and towards the right.

Tuck the thin strand under the right section. It will be a part of the right section from now on.

Pop Smoke Braids

Pull a thin strand of hair from the right side of your head. Make sure that this strand is the same distance from the center of your head as the strand you pulled from the left side. Again, make sure that it is no thicker than 0.5 in (1.3 cm).
Pull it across the right section and towards the left.
Tuck the thin strand under the left section. It will be a part of the left section from now on.

Pull up a new center section. This section should be equal in size to the first section you pulled up. Fold it across to the left side as you did with the first center section.

Pop Smoke Braids

Keep alternating sides until you reach the base of your head. At this point, you can tie your hair off, or keep braiding it.
Continue braiding your hair in the fishtail fashion. Try to keep the braid as tight and smooth as possible. You can always tussle it up later.
Tie the braid off towards the end. When you have about 1 in (2.5 cm) left of hair, tie the braid off using a hair tie.
Create a messy fishtail braid by gently tugging on the edges. Keep in mind that if you have lots of layers in your hair, the braid will become messy on its own.

Making a Faux Fishtail Braid

Find some thin hair elastics that match your hair color. You can also use clear ones if you can’t find any that match your hair. You will be making several topsy-turvy ponytails, right after the other, so make sure that you have enough.

  • This braid will work best on longer hair. It may not work very well on hair that is shorter than the upper arm.

Pull your hair into a low ponytail. Try to make the ponytail as close to the base of your head as possible, but don’t make it too tight.

Pop Smoke Braids

Create a topsy-turvy ponytail. Start by slipping your pointer and middle fingers through your hair, right above the elastic. Split your fingers apart, creating a hole. Pull the ponytail over the elastic and down through the hole. Tug gently and smooth down your hair.
Tie another elastic around your hair a few inches down from the first 1. If you have thin or fine hair, tie the elastic closer to the first 1. If you have thick hair, tie it a little bit further away.
Create another topsy-turvy ponytail. Slip your fingers through your hair, just above the elastic, and make another hole. Pull the tail down through the hole.
Keep doing this until you have only a few inches of your hair left. Tie your hair off with a hair tie.
Consider hiding the elastics. You can do this by gently tugging on strands of hair to fluff them out a little. You can also wrap colored bits of ribbon or string around the elastics. Add some colorful beads for a boho or festival look.

Fishtail Braid Variations

Make a side fishtail braid. Start by gathering your hair into a low ponytail, and pulling it either to the left or right of your neck. Tie it off with a clear elastic. Fishtail braid your hair as usual and tie it off. Snip the clear elastic off when you are done.

Try making a topsy-turvy ponytail before you start doing the fishtail braid. Start with a low ponytail. Slip your fingers up through your hair, right between the nape and the elastic. Pull the ponytail down through the hole. Once you have flipped your ponytail, start fishtail braiding as usual.

  • Try poking a flower or 2 into the hole of the topsy-turvy for a cute, boho look.

    Pop Smoke Braids

Use a clip or barrette to cover up the hair tie. You can also tie a ribbon over the hair tie in a bow. This can help make your braid more interesting and complete your outfit.

Roll your braid into a bun at the nape of your neck. Keep it in place with a few bobby pins. This will be especially effective if you have really long hair.

Add some colored hair extensions before you start braiding your hair. This will give your braid a spark of color, and make it look more interesting. Fold a single clip in extension over the base of your ponytail and then work it into the braid.

Pop Smoke Braids

Things You’ll Need

  • Clear elastic tie (or any other cheap hair tie)
  • Hair tie
  • Brush or comb
  • Bobby pins (optional)

More tips

  • if you have short hair (shoulder length) you should do it tight so it will not fall out.

  • It’s better to make a tight braid first and tousle it later, than making a loose braid.

  • If your hair is very smooth, you can try teasing it, or spraying it with some hair spray before you start braiding.

  • Don’t get too frustrated if you can’t get it at first! Try doing it on a smaller piece of hair and slowly go bigger. It’s recommended if you do it with strings/threads firstly.

  • The French fishtail braid is great for short and layered hair.

  • Make sure that your hair is firm and not slippery!

  • Fishtail braids seem to work better on hair that hasn’t been washed for a day or 2.

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