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TreSEMME's Joh Bailey Shows Us How To Recreate a French Plait, a Fishtail Braid and a Rope Braid

How To: Australia's Next Top Model Hairdresser Joh Bailey Shares His Top Tips for Braiding

In this week's episode of Australia's Next Top Model, the tribal trend was alive and well, evident in the bright pops of eyeshadow and braided hairstyles. We turned to the show's lead hairstylist, TRESemmé's Joh Bailey, on how we can recreate three of the most popular braided 'dos — the fishtail, the French plait and the rope braid:


To form a fishtail, you ideally need quite long hair to get the proper effect. This is best created at the nape of the neck as a low pony.

  • Pull hair back and separate it into two even sections.
  • Take a long thin piece of hair from one of these sections and use it to wrap first around one section, then in a figure eight over the next section and back again. Effectively you are creating a figure eight along the whole ponytail.
  • You should keep the figure eight joins quite tight, which means using extra hair. Once the first piece runs out, take another piece from the other side and keep going. Finish by tying off with an elastic. For a messier look, ease out the hair when you are done.

Read more for how to recreate a French plait and a rope braid!


This is the trickiest plait, as it can take a little practice. This can be done all over the head, either the whole head, or just a smaller piece across the front of the head.

  • Start by taking a small section of hair and separating into three pieces. You don’t need to take the whole amount for the plait, as you are going to keep adding to it, so the rough width is fine, and just take a small section from where you want it to start.
  • Start by plaiting the three pieces once each and then start to add an extra small section of hair to each outside piece as you continue to plait. This “secures” the plait to the head rather than a typical plait which is loose.
  • Keep adding until you run out of hair and the plait the final bit, or twist round into a bun.


A rope braid consists of two twisted pieces of hair, wrapped together to form one long twist.

  • Split hair in two sections down the middle. You can either start off by using a ponytail holder to create a ponytail or just work directly from the base of the neck.
  • Twist the first section all the way to the bottom. Try not to overtwist so it wraps around itself too much. Pin to the head, or have someone hold for you.
  • Do the same to the other side. When done, take both pieces and start to wrap around each other, maintaining the original twist as you do.
  • The hair may come a bit loose at the ends as you focus on the start of the twist, don’t worry, as you can just re-twist as you go.
  • Secure at the end with an elastic.
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