While a messy mermaid braid like this one looks complicated, it's actually one of the easiest braids to create at home. You don't even need to know how to French-braid! You do, however, need long, relatively thick hair; so, feel free to add some clip-in extensions to add length and volume if you need to.
Before getting started, make sure you have a curling iron, texture spray, a comb, texture powder, two small elastics, medium-hold hairspray, and some bobby pins just in case some pieces come loose.
1. To truly master the mermaid braid, start with plenty of texture. Curl your hair if necessary, and spray it with texture spray. This is a perfect style to try on second-day hair.
2. Part out a circular section at the crown, as if you were tracing a tiara on your head. Tease at the crown with texture powder for maximum lift.
3. Three-strand-braid the parted crown section, and secure it with a small elastic that matches your hair color.
4. Grab a 1- to 2-inch width of hair on one side at the front of your face. Twist it back loosely toward the braid, and finger-tease it to add texture. Push that piece through the first section of the braid, and pull it through. Repeat on the opposite side.
5. Continue twisting, finger-teasing, and weaving down the braid, alternating sides, until all the loose pieces are woven into the braid.
6. Secure your hair with a second elastic at the base of the braid. Pull gently on both sides for that messy, voluminous look. Pin any pieces that have come loose using bobby pins. And finish with a medium-hold hairspray.
That's really all it takes. Once you get the hang of the pattern, the mermaid braid will be one of your go-to hairstyles for a day, whether at a farmer's market or a summer wedding.