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Fishtail Braid Tutorial: How to Make it Bigger & Better!!

Sam Villa

Author Sam Villa | Founding Partner of Sam Villa

Heather Chapman is an educator for advanced bridal, braided & vintage hair styling. Her work has been featured in publications and websites such as Vogue Italia, Behind The Chair and Green Wedding Shoes. We are excited to feature Heather as a monthly contributor to our website as she will be sharing advanced bridal hairstyles, braids and more that will inspire you behind the chair!

We are so excited to roll out this 2-part #biggestbraid series, with the first one on how to create a BIGGER and better fishtail braid. Now let’s get started….

Click here to view part 2

For this look, I knew I wanted to attempt to create the biggest Dutch fishtail braid that I had ever seen online.  Honestly, it could have been so much bigger, but I stopped where I thought it was the prettiest.  For me, the end result that I strive for is what I find to be the prettiest.

Since our beautiful model Lacey has what I refer to as "mermaid hair,” I wanted to incorporate elements of beach, street & glam.  I love the softness of the lengthy, flowing ends and of course, the size of the braid!!  It's so cool that just a pulled apart braid, that has been texturized, can look like a carefully pinned updo.  There are only 3 bobby pins in her hair & one simple elastic at the ponytail. This look is completely secure due to a misting of hairspray & the strength of the texture created by the Sam Villa Texture Iron!

Add more volume to your hair with the Sam Villa Texturizing Iron

Before we begin, you might be wondering, “Can I create this braid without using the Textur Iron?” Yes, you can. However, the hair will have nowhere near the volume or grip/texture as it is when you texturize the hair. Because of the altered texture in the hair, I was able to create a much, much bigger braid than if I had just done this braid on straight, natural hair texture.

How To Create The Biggest Fishtail Braid

Begin on clean, dry hair. Working with manageable sections (no wider than the width of your iron plates and 1/4” - 1/2” thick), use the Sam Villa Textur Iron from scalp to ends to create volume, texture & grip.  Once finished texturizing all of the hair, mist a bit of dry shampoo through a handful of random scalp sections to create a matte effect & extra staying power – this is important when you reach step 4.  Use the Sam Villa Paddle Brush to distribute the dry shampoo & smooth out the texture.

With texturized hair it becomes more pliable and easier to braid

Direct all of the hair to one side of the head & create a Dutch fishtail braid to just past the shoulder (depending on length).

Create a dutch fishtail braid and secure with a clear elastic

You'’ll want to leave out a significant amount of ends to show off the cool, flowing texture created by the Textur Iron & to also create a casual & care free vibe.

Pull the braid apart - also known as pancaking - to loosen the braid

Starting at the bottom of the braid, begin pulling the braid apart – otherwise known as "pancaking" the braid.  Do this until you have reached the top of the braid & are happy with the overall volume & shape.

Complete the braid hairstyle by spraying with a light control hairspray to keep in place

Finish this look by spraying with a working or finishing hold hair spray.

The end result is a gorgeous, textured braid full of volume and texture!

Be the coolest chic at the party!!

Beautiful texture and volume in this dutch fishtail braid by Heather Chapman for Sam Villa Blog

Attend one of my braiding workshops across the US to see these looks done in real time!  You can keep up with my tour stops on Instagram or my website.

I'd love to see you recreate this look on yourself, clients & friends for the holiday season! Tag your photos on Instagram #samvilla (@samvillahair) #heatherchapmanhair (@heatherchapmanhair) for a chance to be featured!

Using the Textur Iron to create this beautiful braid was so much fun!

If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the box below and we'll do our best to respond to everyone!

Click here to learn how to create a French Braided Pompadour.

Photo: Liz Anne Photography // Follow Liz Anne Photography on Instagram
Hair: Heather Chapman // Follow Heather on Instagram
Make-up: Britney Rae "B-Rae" Sanchez
Assistant: Josh Halladay
Model: Lacey Walker
Studio: Suite 6