Lauren Mackellar, over the past ten years, has established herself as one of Melbourne’s leading and most sought after session stylists, working and directing some of Melbourne’s most popular, leading inner city salons.
Her strong commitment to fashion and hair is demonstrated in her vast understanding of all facets of colour, cutting and styling.
Lauren is a senior stylist at Edwards & Co. Melbourne and Sydney.
For bookings and more information visit: edwardsandco.com.au.
We are so excited to have Lauren on board as our go-to girl for tutorials! She will be sharing lots of handy tips, tricks and styling secrets with us.
I hope you've been enjoying my hair tutorials so far. I'm extra excited to bring you the next few styles because they were all inspired by my all time favourite thing- fishtail braids!
Fishtail braids look so effective and once you see how easy they are, you'll be doing them with your eyes shut. They are such a good go-to for when you want to add some interest to your hair, and they form the base of so many nice hair-ups, as you'll see later on!
One of the best things about fishtail plaits is that you can make them pretty, edgy, boho inspired, romantic, loose, tight, intricate, chunky.. You name it.
So let's get started with the basic how-to and then we'll take it from there!
Start with clean and dry hair. If the hair is freshly washed you may want to section out the hair and spray the roots with some dry shampoo or a light texture spray- but this style works well on day 2 or 3 hair too.
For those of you who've tried a fishtail plait before and had trouble with the start (probably the trickiest bit) create a low ponytail at the base of the neck and secure loosely with a hair elastic.
Now split the ponytail into 2 equal sections.
Take a small ribbon-like section of hair from the outside of your RHS section, and cross it over the top so that it lands smack bang in the middle, joining it with you LHS section.
Now you're going to repeat the same thing on the other side. Take a small ribbon-like section from the very outside edge of your LHS section, cross it over the top so that it lands in the middle.
You should now have an 'X' of hair - this is the basis of your fishtail plait.
The thing to remember here is to keep your sectioning tidy as you're getting the hang of it, so that you can see your pattern forming clearly. As you get better you can afford for your sections to be a bit uneven and textured, but don't forget you can also mess it up later when you're all finished if you want to.
Go back to your RHS, take a new outside ribbon-like section, cross it over to the join your LHS. Repeat again with a new outside section from your LHS. You should now have 2 'x' appearing, this is what gives the fishtail plait its texture, or 'scales'!
A good tip is that It'll help if you keep your thumb on the middle where your X's are to keep it secure while you take your sections with your other hand.
Keep repeating this allllll the way down to the end.
How cool is the texture of the plait?! This looks extra effective on hair that has highlights or balayage in the ends.
Secure the end with a small elastic band.
So now you've finished your fishtail plait! Stand back and admire your handiwork!
Continue working back, bricking your sections as you go.
So now the fun starts. Using your hands, pull apart, separate and loosen your plait. This will determine the size and fullness of your bun, so if you want to keep it small, just start slowly, and if you want it quite soft looking, really go for it! It's fun to see all the woven texture coming out and people will marvel at how you did it!
At this stage, before you begin to pin it up into the bun it's a good idea to spray lightly with a flexible hold hairspray. This is especially important if you have layered hair and don't want to see all the little ends poking out, or if you have frizz or fly-aways. You can spray directly onto the plait, or onto your hands and then run your hands in a downward motion over the plait to smooth down any wayward hairs. I used Bamboo Anti Humidity working spray.
Okay so now that your plait has been loosened up, remove the small elastic that you placed on the ends. Take a small piece of the end of the plait, and holding it tight, push the rest of the plait up, so that it starts to scrunch. You might need to assist it by loosening it up more as you go. Your bun is starting to take shape!
When you're happy with the size and shape of your bun, secure with some bobby pins from the underneath. A good trick here is to draw tiny circles on the scalp with the bobby pin before pushing them in- it picks up extra little hairs and holds it in tighter! And don't forget to spray the pins with hairspray too, that'll keep them from slipping out.
And there you have it! Your fishtail bun is finished. It’s so pretty and romantic, perfect for any special event. Good luck, keep practicing and I'll see you soon with some more super quick and easy hairstyles using fishtail plaits!
Make sure you tag us on Instagram if you give this style a go; we'd love to see your creations! Use the hash tag #tutorialsbylaurenm and #ohhellohair.
Hair: Lauren Mackellar laurenmackellar.com.au / @hairbylaurenm
MUA: Mae Taylor maetaylor.com / @maetaylor_makeupartist
Photos: Red Rabbit Photography redrabbitphotograpy.com.au / @redrabbitphotography
Model: Teagan Simonis / @teagansimonis