How To: Sidewinder Fishtail Braid

By Alison Alhamed | 05/14/2012 11:55:00 AM


click image to zoomSidewinder Fishtail Braid french MODERN Facebook Kristi Jo Parrett Studio 417 SalonThe Sidewinder Fishtail Braid created by MODERN Facebook fan Kristi Jo Parrett of Studio 417 Salon in Springfield, MO. MODERN Facebook fan Kristi Jo Parrett, who is a stylist and wedding consultant at Studio 417 Salon in Springfield, Missouri, created this look she calls the Sidewinder Fishtail French braid. Kristi, who we learned is one of six sisters, has been honing her hairdressing skills for many years. And, when she posted this picture of the Sidewinder Fishtail Braid on our Facebook wall, we knew we had to track down the steps.

This updo, perfect for bridesmaids, flower girls, and prom-goers, shows off multi-dimensional hair color and can be polished off using flowers, jewelery or a veil!

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Step 1: Begin with a side part. Seperate a circle of hair at the crown of head. Backcomb this hair into four horizontal sections to create a cushion within the hair giving height to the style, using light-hold hairspray.

Step 2: Comb back the hair from the front of the head over the cushion, being careful to fully hide the textured hair. Spray hair with light-hold hairspray and fingercomb backward to create a more imperfect look.

Step 3: Separate a section at the front of the hair running parallel to the hairline starting at the side part and ending behind the opposite ear. Begin fishtail french braid close to the part taking extra care to keep braid tight and secure to head.

Step 4: Continue the braid along the hairline until you reach behind the ear. Now redirect the braid to travel horizontally across the back of head. The hair you grab to add into the fishtail french braid will now come from the bottom of the hairline and the hair within and under the backcombed section."This is where it gets tricky," says Parrett. "The hair that was fingercombed and laid over the cushion is not grabbed as hair that contributes to the top side of the braid. Instead, grab pieces of hair that lay behind that curtain of hair and directly under the backcombed section allowing the curtain of hair to fall behind the braid. This hair will now be picked up with the hair taken from the bottom hairline." (This technique creates the look of a partial inside out braid).

Step 6: Continue this technique until the braid has traveled 75 percent of the way across the back of the head. You will redirect the braid for a second time to travel vertically until the rest of the lengths are picked up. The braid will then become a free-hanging braid on the side of her head.

Step 7: Braid hair all the way to the ends and secure with a clear elastic band. Since the overall look of this braid is a modernized imperfect braid it is OK for the layered pieces to stick out along the braid.

Step 8: Wind the loose braid in a cinnamon bun fashion toward the center of the nape, being sure to tuck in the tail so the elastic band cannot be seen. Secure with bobby pins and spray with a finishing spray.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alison Alhamed

Alison Alhamed, Editor in Chief of Modern Salon Magazine | Editor of First Chair

Since July 2008, Alison has worked across all brands under the MODERN SALON Media umbrella, including MODERN SALON, SALON TODAY, FIRST CHAIR and MODERN SALON TV. Alison’s passion for the beauty industry grew even deeper after she enrolled in beauty school, working as an editor by day and a student by night. Alison earned her cosmetology degree from Pivot Point International in Bloomingdale, Illinois, in May 2011.

You can find Alison on Google+ or e-mail her at


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Theresa Haines    
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New jersey  |  May, 14, 2012 at 04:17 PM

I wish you could post videos for us visual stylists it's so much easier to see it done than reading step by step....a video tuturial would be AMAZING!

Deborah Knight    
La Jolla, CA  |  May, 19, 2012 at 12:57 AM

I totally agree. It gets lost in translation with words, give us a video! This is gorgeous, we want video, PLEASE!

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Tolono, Ill.  |  May, 22, 2012 at 03:57 PM

I would love to see a video please reading it is confusing, beautiful work so gorgous!!:) thanks Debbie

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Tolono, Ill.  |  May, 22, 2012 at 03:57 PM

I would love to see a video please reading it is confusing, beautiful work so gorgous!!:) thanks Debbie

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