Prom hairstyle tutorial: Mermaid-inspired fishtail side braid

Looking for the perfect prom hairstyle? Consider your search over. After all, this whimsical, mermaid-inspired fishtail braid will have other heads turning to catch a better glimpse of yours. This look is particularly versatile and works with all sorts of prom gowns. You can keep things loose and more "unkempt" for a romantic vibe, or go for a polished look. You can also dress up this prom hairstyle with all sorts of hair accessories.

The best part? This is one prom hairstyle you don't have to go to the salon for. With only five easy steps, it's a cinch to achieve this look at home.

Secure Side Ponytail

After applying a smoothing or anti-frizz serum to your locks, secure your hair in a side ponytail with a clear elastic band. If you want a polished finish, brush hair out first and straighten any curly or wavy hair (as pictured). Alternatively, keep your natural waves intact or use a curling wand to create a textured wave.

Divide Hair Into Two Sections

Separate the secured ponytail into two sections. If you're aiming for the polished look, brush each section out before you move on to the next step. If you want to achieve the more carefree, romantic vibe, brushing your hair out isn't necessary.

Begin Fishtail Braiding


Pull one small section of hair from the left section over to the right section. Next, pull a small section of hair from the right section over to the left. Repeat until your fishtail braid is as long as you desire. As you continue, tighten the braid by slightly yanking the two section away from each other. Secure with another clear elastic band.

Cut Clear Elastic Band

Carefully cut the top elastic band. If necessary, have a friend help you with this step in order to prevent snipping any hair. After you've cut the elastic band, gently loosen the fishtail braid at the top. At this point, you can also spray a flexible hold hairspray to keep hair intact throughout the evening.

Add Hair Decor

Finish by decorating your new prom hair to match your prom dress. For example, the seashells pictured here add a beachy element. You can also opt for a large vintage brooch, tiny gemstones or pearls, or whatever else your heart desires.