Runway-Inspired Hair: Twisted Messy Side Fishtail Braid Tutorial

Messy side fishtail french braid tutorial

ASOS cardigan in “nude” sz 0, Aritzia camisole, Express jeans 00 short

For the last part of my fashion week partnership with TRESemmé, I wanted to share how to recreate wearable versions of some of my favorite runway hairstyles! I loved the twisted ponytails that TRESemmé created backstage at Marissa Webb and the effortless fishtail braids that accompanied the Alice & Olivia presentation. This is a look that incorporates elements from both, and takes me under 15 minutes to do! It’s a versatile style that you can wear with cozy knits for a casual Fall look, or I can easily see it dressed up with a flowy piece for a more formal occasion. Continue reading for the step-by-step instructions!

tresemme sea salt hair spray

Prep: This is one of those styles I love for day(s)-old hair, as the oils from unwashed hair will make it better to sculpt with. If you have freshly washed hair, I like to add some texture with a sea salt spray like TRESemmé’s Perfectly (un)Done Sea Salt Spray. Spray this generously into damp hair and blow dry until your hair’s about 80% dry, then finish blow drying while twisting sections of hair. This will give your hair a tousled, beachy texture that allows twists and braids to grip and hold better, instead of slipping through.

1. Start with a deep part to one side of your head.

2. Use your fingers and pick up about a 2-inch wide section of hair.

Side fishtail french braid tutorial step 1

3. Start twisting this section of hair in the direction away from your face. Scoop up pieces of hair from the back of your head, bring them around, and incorporate into the twist as you go. Don’t worry about the twist being perfect!

Side fishtail french braid tutorial step 2

4. Once you reach the nape of your neck with the twist, sweep up all of your hair into a side ponytail and secure with an elastic.

5. Use a small piece of hair to wrap around the elastic and conceal it. Tuck the end of this piece into the elastic and secure with bobby pins.

Side fishtail french braid tutorial step 3

6. To start a standard fishtail braid (this is the easiest and my favorite braid to do, since it only involves 2 sections!), separate the ponytail hair into two sections and grip with your hands.

7. Take a small section from the outer edge of Section 1, bring it over to the inner edge of Section 2 and let it join that section.

Side fishtail french braid tutorial step 4

Repeat on the other side. Take a small section from the outer edge of Section 2, bring it over to the inner edge of Section 1, and let it become part of that section.

Side fishtail french braid tutorial step 5

Repeat this process all the way down – whether you choose to do large sections or very thin ones like a traditional fishtail, just make sure to do even sections of similar-sized pieces.

8. Tie off the braid with a thin elastic in a color similar to your hair. Use a small piece of hair to wrap around and conceal the bottom elastic.

9. To make this a looser, softer fishtail braid, use your fingers and gently pull out sections of the braid at the loops. Don’t worry if small pieces fall out, as it can be part of the messy braid look.

Side fishtail french braid tutorial step 6

10. Using a curling iron on low heat, gently curl any small pieces framing your face in the direction away from your face.

Side fishtail french braid tutorial step 7

Optional: For the wispy, sectioned fishtail braid look as seen at Alice & Olivia, simply add additional tiny elastics throughout the mid-section of the braid. Cover each elastic with small pieces of hair, and pull out additional wispy pieces throughout the braid for a more un-done look. I kept mine as one whole fishtail here, but just wanted to show this segmented variation!

Side fishtail french braid tutorial step 9

11. Finish off your hairstyle with TRES Two Extra Hold Hairspray, which has a flexible hold to still allow some movement.

Side fishtail french braid tutorial step 8

And that’s it! Another way I like to adjust this style inspired by the Alice & Olivia presentation is to wrap the fishtail braid up into a messy side bun. Please let me know if you end up giving this a try!

This post is in partnership with TRESemmé, a product of Unilever.

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Leave a Comment


  1. Love the hair, so stylish. Please check out my ultimate guide to visiting a hairdresser!

    Kisses xo | From Aliona With Love

    Instagram @alionawithlove

    Twitter @alionawithlove

    Posted 11.10.16 Reply
  2. Hadassah Nay wrote:

    Wow!! This looks so beautiful and perfect. I thought this was done by a hairstylist since I normally see your hair without braids. I love it.

    Posted 10.20.16 Reply
  3. Janinafran wrote:

    Wow thanks for this! So detailed, can't wait to try it out!
    XO Janina

    Posted 10.17.16 Reply
  4. I had no idea fishtail braids were so easy! I definitely think I could do this to myself–must try!

    Style by Joules

    Posted 10.17.16 Reply
  5. This looks so great on you!

    Posted 10.14.16 Reply
  6. Girls you're HAIR GOALS!!! Please check out my latest blog trip to a Farfetch mansion!

    Kisses xo | From Aliona With Love

    Instagram @alionawithlove

    Twitter @alionawithlove

    Posted 10.14.16 Reply
  7. julia wrote:

    Hi Jean, I really love the ASOS cardigan, it looks gorgeous on you! but they don't have size 0 and 2 available. I have been kept going back to check but no luck…. Do you know if they will restock them? Thank you.

    Posted 10.13.16 Reply
  8. Khloe Lo wrote:

    Amazing idea! Keep up the amazing work <3
    Check out my blog:

    Posted 10.13.16 Reply
  9. Cam Nguyen wrote:

    I can't wait for my hair to be long enough to do this. LOVE!!!

    Posted 10.13.16 Reply
  10. Ev wrote:
    Posted 10.12.16 Reply
  11. Love love love this hairstyle! Can't wait to re create it 🙂


    Posted 10.12.16 Reply
  12. Robyn wrote:

    Such a cute hairstyle! I wish my hair was thick enough to do this too haha.

    Posted 10.12.16 Reply
  13. Annabelle wrote:

    This looks gorgeous! I used to do fishtail braids all the time when my hair was long.

    x Annabelle

    Posted 10.12.16 Reply
  14. I love this. Can't wait to try it! I even shared this with my friends 🙂

    Posted 10.12.16 Reply
  15. love this look! so pretty <3

    Posted 10.12.16 Reply
  16. I love this hairstyle and how easy it is to do! This tutorial totally makes me wish I still had my long hair so that I could pull this off.

    Sweet Helen Grace

    Posted 10.12.16 Reply
  17. I love this braid! X

    Posted 10.12.16 Reply
  18. Ana wrote:

    Beautiful! I can't wait to try it!

    Posted 10.12.16 Reply
  19. Polly wrote:

    I wish my hair was long enough to braid! What a pretty look!


    Posted 10.12.16 Reply
  20. Kimberly wrote:

    Absolutely gorgeous! Loving the 'twist' on the fishtail!

    Posted 10.11.16 Reply
  21. Love this hair style! It's so different!

    Posted 10.11.16 Reply
  22. Love this hairstyle on you! And that camisole is perfection!

    Jen | affecionada

    Posted 10.11.16 Reply
  23. alba wrote:

    que pasada la trenzaaa!!! me encanta

    Posted 10.11.16 Reply
  24. Wow I'm loving this!! Even if you stopped at the side twist pony it'd be gorgeous!

    Posted 10.11.16 Reply
  25. La Bijoux Bella | by mia wrote:

    Beautiful hairstyle! Cute and classy! 🙂

    La Bijoux Bella | by mia

    Posted 10.11.16 Reply
  26. Madelaine wrote:

    Great instructions and love it! Thank you for sharing!

    Posted 10.11.16 Reply
  27. Anonymous wrote:

    what a beautiful braid!
    Fash 'n' fudge
    Fash 'n' fudge

    Posted 10.11.16 Reply
  28. Marta wrote:
    Posted 10.11.16 Reply
  29. Mei wrote:

    Thanks so much for recreating this look with detailed instructions! I saw it in action through your IG story during NYFW and it looks amazing! I can't wait to try this myself 😀

    Pieces of Mei

    Posted 10.11.16 Reply

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