Bridal Hair How-To: Fishtail Crown Updo


When Nashville bridal stylist Trae Howard  entered MODERN SALON’s Slay Belles competition in the fall of 2018, she had around 180 followers. In the age of reach, impressions, and followers, the beauty of entering industry competitions is the opportunity to be recognized for your talent, plain and simple. Howard made the top 10 for that contest, and she's since grown her profile and career exponentially.

Her beautiful bridal finishes are the epitome of romance. So when Howard posted an intricate fishtail crown braid, we knew we just had to ask her for all the details.

Check out her creation in action and scroll to see her steps!


Howard says she used hero products from Alterna Professional Haircare. The products offer a solution. The products offer a solution by giving artists an arsenal of power products designed to create perfect finishes. 


  1. Apply Alterna Sheer Dry Shampoo throughout the root area to absorb any excess oil. 
  2. Lightly backcomb the root area of each section for volume and to prevent pins from slipping when securing the style. Lock in backcomb with Perfect Texture Spray, which provides invisible scaffolding within the hair to create volume and a tousled look; it's a combination of a dry shampoo and hairspray.


  1. Starting in the front section, create a fishtail braid on the heavier side of the part. Secure with a small elastic. Pin out of the way; it will be incorporated later.
  2. Spray Alterna Sheer Dry Shampoo (a powder spray that is designed to deliver a targeted, customizable and  mess-free application) onto the braid and pat in. Use the dry shampoo for grip (without stickiness) while expanding the braid. Lightly apply Perfect Texture Spray to keep braid clean. 
  3. Use Working Spray, a dry, brushable hairspray for control and soft styling, for flexible hold while loosely twisting sections in the crown area. Secure with bobby pins. 
  4. Expanding the shape of the twists, create ridges using extra large hair pins as support while the Working Spray sets the style. Remove hairpins when hairspray has completely dried. *PRO TIP* Using a fork comb helps to keep sections clean and secure as you gently pull at the hair to create ridges.
  5. Curl any sections that need bend, or will have ends exposed, with a 1” curling wand/iron. Apply CC Cream (a multi-benefit treatment that provides moisture, shine, smoothness, softness, anti-breakage, heat protection, light hold, UV color protection, manageability, and strength) from mid-strand to ends of each curl, to soften the shape and prevent frizz or flyaways. 
  6. Below the finished crown area, backcomb the center section of hair and pull into a ponytail, leaving out the sides. Twist the ponytail into a low bun or loop as a base to pin into, and secure with bobby pins. 
  7. Pin the fishtail braid over the top of the base. (This looks beautiful and hides any unsightly pins). 
  8. With the remaining hair on either side of the base, drape and loop sections, securing into the base with bobby pins. Alternate sections from each side for balance. Start with the back and work towards the front pieces. 
  9. Create a romantic bend to the face framing wispies with a flat iron or larger curling iron. Add CC Cream to the ends for a finishing touch. *PRO TIP* Before pinning a shape into place, spray the top and underside with Working Spray and lightly smooth your hand over the section as you work. This builds product support into each section and keeps your work clean and polished.

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