Fishtail Messy Bun and Half Up Fishtail


Hi gals! So, this week I’m choosing to blog about a style that would certainly fall into the category of “Looks Way More Complicated Than It Is.”

SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist Fishtail Messy Bun Final Updo

In order to achieve this look, you have to have an understanding of:

  • Fishtail Braids (I’ll go into this more below)
  • Dutch Braids
  • Messy Buns

The updo looks pretty good with shoulder length hair, but with a few adjustments, this is something that would be possible with even slightly shorter hair. Certainly the half up version might be possible. Also, due to the complex look, the braid might show better with highlights, but I’d love to see some of the brunettes go wild with this look! Take a pic and share it with us on Instagram (@sunquisthair).

 As always, when you are parting your hair as you are with this braid, use some products that have sun care protection for your hair to at least somewhat protect your scalp – such as the items at my store: http://SunQui.st.

The Fishtail Braid

Fishtail Braids might have been what got me so excited to learn braids in the first place. My mother is a music teacher, and throughout my early years, she taught tons of teenage girls who did all sorts of cool things with their hair. Without a doubt, the fishtail braid was the one that made me want to have long enough hair to be able to do such a thing. I never tried the braid until the advent of youtube, but once I learned how, I could not believe how easy it is.

Step-by-Step (with Pictures) on how to do a Simple Fishtail Braid

  1. Start with two relatively equal sections of hair. I’m demonstrating this with just a ponytail, but you can do this with any two sections of hair. SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist Fishtail 1
  2. Take a small piece from the outer part of the first section and pass the piece to the inner part of the second section. If you are doing a French fishtail, the piece should go over the section. If you are doing a Dutch fishtail, the piece should go under the section. Whichever method you use, be consistent. 
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist Fishtail 2
  3. Take a small piece from the outer part of the second section and pass the piece to the inner part of the first section. Same rules as above. 
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist Fishtail 3
  4. Continue swapping small pieces between the two sections of hair. You can experiment with how much hair to grab each time, but it doesn’t really matter too much.
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist Fishtail 4
  5. After a few swaps, if you pull the two sections wide, you will see the beginnings of the fishtail braid start to appear. 
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist Fishtail 5
  6. Continue braiding for the length of the ponytail, and then hold with your non-dominant hand. Pull gently on the sections of the braid, until you have reached the desired look and tie off with a clear plastic elastic.
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist Fishtail 6
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist Fishtail Final

Step-by-Step (with Pictures) on how to do Half-up Fishtail Wreath Braid

After you are feeling confident about mastering the fishtail braid, experiment with doing a Dutch fishtail. The Dutch fishtail is pretty much the same as the regular fishtail, except that you add in a little extra hair to each outer piece before passing the piece to the other section. To make it stand out properly, be sure to continue passing the outer piece UNDER the section from which it came.

Once you’ve got a fairly good understanding of the Dutch Fishtail, you are ready for the first hairstyle. The overarching idea is that you will get a Dutch Fishtail started on either side of your head, and attach the two ends to the back with bobby pins:

  1. Grab two sections of hair from one side of your head (you’ll be repeating this on the other side).
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist Fishtail Messy Bun 1
  2. Start a Dutch Fishtail for at least five or six repetitions. You are doing this partially to get enough hair to make the sides look full, but also partially because you want the braid to be directed towards the back of the head.
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist Fishtail Messy Bun 2
  3. After the braid is properly directed, finish off the braid with just a normal braid, continuing to put the smaller outer piece underneath the first section and to the inside of the other section.
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist Fishtail Messy Bun 3
  4. Check to make sure you don’t have any weird lumps on the top of the head when you pull the braid to the back.
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist Fishtail Messy Bun 4
  5. Pancake the braid by gently pulling on the sections before tying off the end with a plastic elastic
  6. Repeat the steps on the other side of the head. On the side of your head with less hair, you might need to incorporate more of that side into your braid.
  7. Using two bobby pins, attach the two braids together on the back of the head. Tuck the tails of the braids underneath the other.
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist Fishtail Messy Bun Half-Up Final

Step-by-Step (with Pictures) on how to do Fishtail Messy Bun Up-Do

In order to turn this look into something updo-like, there are just a few remaining steps:

  1. Do the Half-up Fishtail Wreath Braid (above)
  2. (Optional) Do a quick twist on each side with the remaining hair from the front and sides of your hair. To twist, separate out the remaining hair and twist together until it reaches the back of the head. Use a clear elastic band to tie the two twists together.
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist Fishtail Messy Bun Optional Twist
  3. Put together a messy bun by using a normal elastic and tying a ponytail but then don’t pull the ponytail all the way through. Use bobby pins to tie up any loose ends.
    SunCare for Your Hair: SunQuist Fishtail Messy Bun 7
  4. Finished! Here’s your Fishtail Messy Bun Updo! 

Thanks and a word about Protective Hair Care 

Thanks for reading! I hope that you come back to visit for next week’s Braid of the Week. As always, I would love to hear your feedback on the Braid Bar blog (braidbar@sunqui.st) , or even any general feedback on SunQuist, Sun Care for your Hair, and SunQuist Protective Hair Care Products (suggestionbox@sunqui.st).