The Timeless Beauty of Fishbone Braids


Fishbone braids have long been popular with women who love to wear their hair up but desire something more intricate. But did you know that a fishbone braid is actually inspired by black braided designs? Fishbones started with African American culture and progressed into popularity with all ethnicities – where they continue to dress up hair around the world today.

Hairdos with Fishbone Braids
The term “fishbone braid” has a double meaning. Some believe that “fishbone” is the same kind of braid we refer to as “fishtail”. But there are also African American braids plaited closely to the scalp with one thick braid in the centre and thinner cornrows joining the main braid at an angle. These truly look like a fishbone. We are viewing examples of both types below.
#1: Long and Loose Braid
This fishbone braid is gathered loosely in the center and tightened at the bottom. If you have long, thick hair, then this is a fun braid to try.
Braided Mohawk With Fishtail BraidSource

#2: Half Up Fishbone
While an updo is always lovely, sometimes you need something a bit more casual. This half up fishbone style is ideal for girls who want something to wear to the office that’s still appropriate for going out in the evening.
Half Up Fishtail BraidSource

#3: Messy and Creative
Twist your hair up and off your shoulders in a whole new way with this style. You can do one side braid or go for two fishbone braids before gathering hair into a low messy bun.
Messy Low Bun With A Side FishtailSource

#4: Fishbone Pigtails
Fishbone braids are just so much fun on super long hair, as there are so many ways to style them. In this example, pigtails return with a grown up feel – embellished with a tribal-print headband. This pays homage to the braid’s African-American roots, while still looking modern and lovely.
Two Fishbone BraidsSource

#5: Crown with a Twist
Fishbone braid styles are so diverse – you can even make them into a crown-inspired updo. Messy hair is very trendy right now, and pinning it up and out of the way is a great choice for that next camping trip.
Updo With Messy FishtailsSource

#6: French Fishbone
If you love the look of a French braid but want something a bit fancier, check out this updo that’s big on style and still simple enough to learn how to do.
Fishtail With A Messy BunSource


#7: Mile Long Braid
Girls with very long hair can rock a fishbone braid like none other. This French-fishbone fusion is gorgeous enough to be suitable for a formal occasion while still remaining casual enough for day-to-day wear.
Fishtail For Long HairSource

#8: Messy Braided Ponytail
There are so many different types of braid designs, but this one is truly unique. A combination of a braid and ponytail, it’s nearly impossible to mess up this style – since the magic is in the mess!
Long Braided Ponytail With A Low WrapSource

#9: Side Braid Beauty
Reminiscent of goddess braids, this fishbone works its way down into a ponytail. Wrap some strands around the hair elastic and pin on the underside to conceal the tools needed to hold this style together.
Side Fishtail And Low PonytailSource

#10: Embellish Your Updo
Fishbone braids are made even more beautiful when they are pinned up with a fun accent piece. Embellish your style with a decorative clip, flower or jewel.
Pinned Up FishtailSource

#11: Crown of Braids
For black hair, a fishbone style is an easy and practical solution when you want hair up and out of the way during warm weather. Get it done at the salon for a long lasting hold that you can wear for weeks at a time.
Goddess Braids UpdoSource

#12: Cornrow Fishbone
Tricks with weaves and extensions are called to solve the styling issue for a certain period of time. Check this out! The tightly braided cornrows are combined with a unique “inside out” braid to give you a long lasting style that’s much fancier than regular cornrows.
African American Three Fishbone BraidsSource

#13: Tight Black Braids
Since fishbone braids first originated with African-American weaving patterns, it makes sense that the style still looks stunning on black women today. No quality instructions would be sufficient to complete something as complex as this on your own, so it’s better to make an appointment with a skilled braider.
Black Fishbone Braids With ExtensionsSource

#14: Crowned and Twisted
Pictures like this one prove that simple braids can provide a fancy style. Best of all, unlike a lot of pulled back styles, you won’t need any hairpins to keep this one in place.
Fishtail Twist HairstyleSource

#15: Diagonal Braid Updo
For your next formal commitment, why not go with a style that won’t be easily duplicated? This French fishbone is tucked in and pinned under one ear, making it a beautiful, sleek style that doesn’t actually take a whole lot of effort.
Fishbone Braid UpdoSource

#16: Double Messy Braid Updo
The fishbone braid can be styled into many different thicknesses and positions – in this case it’s an updo with two blended braids which are fun to wear. If it gets a bit messy, don’t worry – it only adds to the personality.
Messy Fishtail Braid UpdoSource

#17: Thick Golden Crown
Blonde hair glows in this upward style with a fishbone plait. This will work best with long hair or an attached braid.
Updo With A Headband FishtailSource

#18: Color Showcase
With these fancy braids, it’s easy to show off layers of hair color. If you’ve ever wanted highlights or lowlights, now’s the time. A Braid and bun will provide a fun color contrast you’ll love to sport.
Low Fishtail BunSource

#19: Gathered and Stretched
Make a fishbone braid out of two small side sections. Pull at the braid here and there, varying its tightness for a fancy look of the braid that would look pretty common otherwise. Another fun trick to make this hairstyle amazing? Ombre color.
Half Updo With A Fishbone BraidSource

#20: Adult Side Braid
Side braids are lovely and convenient for long hair, but sometimes they tend to look a bit immature. Grow up with this intricate side braid that’s appropriate for all ages and occasions.
Side Fishtail BraidSource

Fishbone braids are so much fun to wear, but can sometimes be a challenge to style. Go to your favorite salon to get some pro tips or to have them style your hair for you if a special event is coming up. No matter your hair type, ethnicity or strand length, there’s a fishbone style that will flatter your locks and leave you feeling fabulous.

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