The celeb-inspired fishtail braided bun

How to take your simple knot to the next level

Beauty Crew Editor / January 11 2017

While most of the time we’re looking for quick hairstyle solutions that will get us out the door in a tick, sometimes there are occasions that call for styles that are a little more intricate and take a teeny bit more patience to create. 

Enter the fishtail braided bun, most recently seen on Riley Keough on the Cannes red carpet. Jen Atkin, celebrity hairstylist to the stars (have you seen the ponytail she created for Bella Hadid?), was the woman behind this next-level bun, and she was kind enough to take to Snapchat to share how you can achieve this look. 

Note: This is definitely a style that works best on long hair, so if you’ve got short hair or medium hair and love the idea of a fishtail braided bun, you can try using this technique on a half-ponytail to create a small bun.


Create some volume

Before blow-drying your hair, spray a volumising mist, like Matrix Biolage VolumeBloom Full-Lift Volumizer Spray, from roots to ends.

Matrix Biolage VolumeBloom Full-Lift Volumizer Spray


Tie your hair back

Once your hair is dry, use a snag-free hair elastic to secure a low ponytail at the nape of your neck.


Smooth down any fly-aways

Once you’re happy with your ponytail, distribute a cream through the lengths to smooth down your strands. Atkin used Kardashian Beauty Smooth Styler Blow Dry Cream.

Kardashian Beauty Smooth Styler Blow Dry Cream


Start your fishtail braid

Split your ponytail in half, then take a small outside section of hair from the right section and bring it into the centre, incorporating into the left section. Then, take a small outside section of hair from the left section, and bring it into the centre of the right section. This may sound a bit confusing at first, so you can watch the process in action here, or see a helpful illustrated how-to fishtail braid here – the technique is the same. 

Repeat the process until you reach the bottom, and secure with another hair elastic.

TOP TIP: The key to this look is to keep your fishtail braid tight, so make sure you pull each section taut as you braid down.


Pin and secure

Twist your fishtail braid around the based of your ponytail into a bun and secure with 555 Ripple Pins 2 inch bobby pins. Use a strong hold hairspray, like TRESemmé Salon Finish Extra Hold Hairspray to keep the style in place.

TRESemme salon finish extra hold
TOP TIP: Spray some of your hairspray onto a clean powder brush to tame any fly-aways around your part or on the braid itself.

Main image credit: Getty

Carli was BEAUTYcrew’s Editor from launch in 2016 until May 2020. You can find her words right here on BEAUTYcrew, and previously on beautyheaven.