Fishtail Braid

A model on the runway at Patricia Field's Swimsational Disco Soiree and Alicia Keys rock a modern take on the fishtail braid. Photos: Courtesy of Redken | Getty Images

The fishtail braid is a classic hairstyle that exudes elegance with its intricate plait design. But the modern take on this braided hairdo is a refreshing departure from the simple herringbone structure of the past.

"The way the fishtail braid has evolved over the years is that we are using braids as a way to accessorize the hair in certain areas of the head rather than it being just one big braid," says Rodney Cutler, Redken brand ambassador and the owner of Cutler/Redken salons.

And Cutler definitely knows a thing or two about the evolution of this hairstyle as he created a reversed fishtail braid for Patricia Field's Swimsational Disco Soiree by gathering the models' strands into a high ponytail and pinning the plait down to the top of forehead, as pictured above.

"It really is an edgier way to showcase a braid where the traditional braid tends to be a little sweeter and softer," Cutler tells StyleList. "This allows us to maintain the simplicity of the overall shape, but still give the hairstyle a wow factor that is beautiful and interesting."

Newlywed Alicia Keys donned a similar fishtail braid pompadour at the Keep A Child Alive Black Ball this May in London -- pairing her retro 'do with soft and pretty makeup.

To mimic this hairstyle, Cutler believes that it is critical to break it down into sections. "It looks complicated, but if you create first a very sleek ponytail by blow-drying the hair so it's clean and smooth then secure your ponytail, your hands are free to take on the braid itself."

Before you rush to your boudoir to conquer the fishtail braid, keep in mind these simple tips from the hairstylist.

Prep your strands with Redken Align 12 Protective Straightening Lotion and blow dry through using a medium brush. Next, tightly gather into a high ponytail on the very top of the head, about three inches from the hair line and secure with an elastic. Wrap a small piece of hair around the holder and secure with a bobby pin. Fashion a fishtail braid down to the end of the hair and pin it upon itself at the hairline. Set the hairstyle with Redken Vinyl Glam 02 Mega Shine Spray and Redken Forceful 23 Super Strength Finishing Spray.

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