How to Do a Fishtail Pony

Our friend Reagan Baker is a genius when it comes to all things hair. Back by popular demand, she’s here to recommend an easy look for trips. “I want to wash my hair as little as possible when I’m away,” says Reagan. “Instead, I do braids and ponytails to make it last longer.” Here’s how…

How to Do a Fishtail Pony

1. First, prep your hair. A texturizing spray works as both a dry shampoo and a volumizer, adding lift at the root. This way, your hair will have some nice texture when you pull it back. “I love this product so, so much. It really does work better than anything else,” Reagan says. “It’s the difference between when I use a product and pretend it’s doing something, and using this one which does exactly what it says.”

2. Next, put your hair in a high ponytail and tie it with a hair elastic. A good way to find the perfect not-too-high, not-too-low height is to use your chin as a reference point and go up diagonally from there. Using a brush will make the pony really smooth, but Reagan suggests just raking your fingers through your hair to get some volume at the roots. She loves when things are a little imperfect (and we love her for that!).

3. Take a small piece of hair and wrap it around the base of the ponytail to cover the elastic and pin it down. “It makes it look nicer when you can’t see the ponytail holder,” says Reagan.

4. Now, divide the ponytail into two equal sections.

5-6. Take a small strand from the outside of first section and cross it over to join the inside of the second section; then do the same (in reverse) with the second section. If you take too much, it will look like a regular braid, so the smaller the strands, the more fishtail layers you’ll get. “Just continue to do that forever,” says Reagan. “Fishtail braids are really simple to do, but they are a bit of a time commitment. You’ve got to have some patience, and it’s a great arm workout!”

7. Tie the end with a hair elastic.

8. To add a little more texture, rub the hair in front between your fingers and pull a few strands out to frame your face. Lightly tug and pull outward on the braid in a few places to add some movement — but not too many, Reagan cautions, because fishtail braids can get messy really quickly. Once you’re finished, a light mist of flexible hairspray will make your style last.

How to Do a Fishtail Pony

Et voila! Breezy, travel-ready beauty, for wherever life may take you. “For hair, Oribe makes a really awesome travel kit that has smaller sized versions of everything you need,” Reagan adds.

How to Do a Fishtail Pony

Thank you so much, Reagan! For the curious, Reagan is wearing her favorite mascara, highlighter, tinted moisturizer and lip balm.

P.S. More hair tutorials, including three twisted buns and a messy side ponytail.

(Photos by Ana Gambuto for Cup of Jo. Styling and modeling by Reagan Baker. This post is sponsored by Nordstrom, which has an incredible beauty selection, and where shipping and returns are always free. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Cup of Jo.)