The New Hair Braid for Overachievers

Forget the French braid, it's all about the new mermaid tail.

Mermaid Braid Back Angle View
(Image credit: Marie Claire)

Meet the cooler—and, admittedly, more complicated—cousin of the French braid. Stylist Nicholas Penna Jr., the owner of SalonCapri, in Boston, calls it the "mermaid tail."

Here's how to get this look, which he created:

1. Prep roots with L'Oréal Professionnel True Grip Texturizing Powder.

2. Add volume by backcombing the hair on your crown.

3. After backcombing, loosely braid one or two small sections of hair behind each ear. Twist the main portion of your hair into a pseudo-French twist and secure it to your head with bobby pins, leaving the ends hanging down.

4. Loosely braid the length of your hair, incorporating the little braids from behind your ears.

5. Secure the braid bottom with an elastic then mess the whole thing up a bit by pulling out a few sections of hair here and there.

6. Finish with a coat of Shu Uemura Sheer Lacquer Finishing Spray.

Mermaid Braid Side View

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

Mermaid Braid Back View

(Image credit: Marie Claire)
Jennifer G. Sullivan

Jennifer Goldstein is the former beauty & health director of Marie Claire and co-host of the award-winning beauty podcast Fat Mascara. In her quest to uncover the world's beauty secrets, she’s gotten tattooed in New Zealand, dug up turmeric in India, harvested shea nuts in Ghana, and squeezed enzyme-rich eggs from salmon in Norway. She can pluck eyebrows like a pro and has read the FDA monograph on sunscreen labeling and effectiveness—but she still can’t get liquid eyeliner to look the same on both eyes.