Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lesson 27: Christmas Tree

You'll have to take this one as food for thought.  I had a general idea of what I was going to do here, but after I had tried it, it didn't look as good as it did in my imagination!  And most people couldn't tell it was a tree until after I told them.  My husband said, "Lime green, huh?"
Start by putting the front section into a piggy.
 Divide the tail into two equal sections.  Do a hawser twist in each with a temporary clip.  Attach them each to a section of hair with a part above the ears, leaving a triangle open between the piggies.
Here is the part that was trial and error that I would change next time.  The idea is to bring the shape of the piggies into a corner like at the top of a Christmas tree.  I divided the triangle section in half, but decided I didn't like the part showing.  It was taking too long to undo and go back, so I just left it and did something different on the second section.
Twist the tails again and secure them temporarily.  Repeat as above, but this time make the piggies on the side smaller to make the tree shape become wider.
This time instead of parting down the center, I made a diagonal part parallel to one of the twists.  Then the parted sections from the center triangle will cross, one over, one under.  Secure them to make the second set of corners.
Twist again and secure with the last sections of hair on the sides.  Combine everything at the bottom into the last pony (trunk of the tree).  I added a yellow clip like a star at the top.  If I had a long green ribbon, I could trace the shape by tucking the ribbon into the hairbands, or I could wrap the whole shape like hair taping.  This would all take a lot longer, but it would outline the shape better.
I would be interested to see if anyone can take this idea and make it better.  Send me a picture if you like.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Lesson 26: Rick Rack Braid

This braid is done with the same basic technique as a regular braid, but to begin you pick three strands, two of equal thickness and one thin.  This picture doesn't show it as well as it should, but the two right strands are equal and the left strand is thin.
Braid down to the end.
Next hold the thin strand tight and slide the other two strands up along it.
Push some of the "bumps" up higher to even them out.  Slide them up as high as it will go or just as high as you want.  Then secure it all with a hair band.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lesson 25: Hawser rope (twist braid)

Hawser rope is a kind of rope used to tie up or tow boats.  Beginners look at this and think there is no way it will stay without falling out straight.  The trick is to twist the strands and then wrap them together in the opposite direction.
For today's style, I gave Belle a zigzag part in front.  A straight middle part would work well.  If I were to do a straight side part, there would be a thicker rope on one side than the other.  Since Belle has a cowlick in front, it doesn't work well to do a middle part, but the zigzag gave me an even amount of hair on both sides.  Make a straight part from ear to ear and tie the back section into a ponytail.
 Begin by dividing the hair on one front side into two equal sections.
 Twist the sections each in the same direction.  I twisted the the left.

Now twist them together in the other direction.  I twisted them to the right.
Continue twisting them together, making sure the strands are twisted as you go.  If you twist them together without twisting the individual strands, it will just fall loose at the end.
The tighter you twist the strands, the better the rope will stay together.
Continue down to the end.  Put in a hair band.  (I actually just used a temporary clip for this style.)
The twist will probably loosen up a little when you let go.
You can tighten it up again by turning it if you are going to stick them into another section of hair.  This is an idea for a hairstyle here, if you do hawser ropes on both sides and them attach them to the ponytail with another hairband.
I didn't want to do that today, though, so I let the ropes fall while I parted the back into pigtails.
Next I tightened up one rope and stuck it in with the opposite side pigtail.
And repeated on the other side.  You can see this leaves some shorter tails in the piggies.  You could curl them, braid them, or do another hawser rope on the ends.  I just left them today.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Lesson 24: Getting Organized

When you get a collection of hairdo accessories, it can start to get pretty cluttered up in your bathroom.  You could just stuff everything in a drawer in your bathroom and pull it out as you need it, but here are a few tips to make things more organized.

Use little plastic boxes or zipper baggies to keep clips and pins organized.  (My boxes came from a dollar store.)  I have used an office desk drawer organizer to separate my accessories.  That worked fine until I started doing hair in another room.
Frequently Asked Question:  How do you get her to hold still while you do all that?
Answer: I do Belle's hair while she eats breakfast, watches TV, or does art projects at the table.  She usually will hold still for a pretty long time when she's doing these things.  Sometimes I have to remind her that it's hard to do her hair when she is looking around all over the room.
Since I am doing hair while she is busy doing other things, I have to make my hair accessories portable.  I put all the things I want to use in a basket and carry it to where she is.  You could use a plastic art caddy to store everything in and just take it with you where ever you go.
Hairbands tend to go all over the place unless you have an organizer.  If you buy a new set of hairbands, they are making these great little contraptions that keep them all together.  It's just a metal ring with two overlapping ends you can slide the bands on and off very easily.  I know Goody makes them but I can't say off the top of my head who else does.
To keep clips and bows organized, I use a long piece of gross-grain ribbon, turn the edge over the doorknob, and put all my clips on it.  A couple of clips will keep the overlapped end together so it doesn't fall off the doorknob.  I've seen these with the loop sown up over a shower curtain hook or something with a big silk flower attached sell for big bucks at boutique stores.  Cute, but not really necessary.
If you have any other tips of your own, please leave a comment and share with the rest of us!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lesson 23: Braided Heart

This is one of our favorite hairstyles.  Belle wears it year round, not just at Valentine's Day.  I learned the basic idea for how to do this at Princess Hairstyles, one of my favorite hair blogs.  To begin, gather a front piggy with a section of hair beginning at the ears or a couple inches above the ears on both sides.  Secure with a hairband.  Insert the topsy tailer from underneath and push it up through to the top.  Put the end of the piggy through the loop.
Pull the topsy tailer up to make an inverted turn.  Gather another piggy a little ways down from the first and secure it.
Divide the hair from the top piggy into two equal sections.  Braid them and secure them with a temporary band or clip.  The braid shouldn't be too tight or it will be hard for it to curve around.  Also when you begin braiding, start with the side section that is near the center of the head rather than the one nearer to the ears.  This will help with the curve and will prevent the braid from rolling out of shape.
Curve the ends of the braids around in the heart shape and stick them together with the other piggy.  Put another hairband around all of it.  Undo the temporary bands or clips.
Add a ribbon if you like.  Here is a side view:
For a variation, you can lower it on the head a bit and add all the hair in at the bottom.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lesson 22: Princess Braids

For this simple princess hairstyle, begin with a part in front (middle or side).  Part out a section on either side and braid it.  Secure it with a temporary band or clip. 
Repeat on the other side.  Connect them together with another hairband.
Remove the temporary bands or clips.  Add a flower or bow if you want.  This hairdo will have the tendency to get messed up rather easily if your daughter lays against a chair or rolls on the floor or whatever things little girls do.  The hair on the top of the head will come up over the braids in great arches sometimes.  If this is a problem for you, it helps to connect the braids higher up and the head leaving a smaller place for the hair to get roughed up.  Since I was in a hurry on a school morning and didn't realize the trouble I was causing myself, I solved the problem by putting it all together in a ponytail on the bottom.  No so princessy, but still a nice looking do. (In this last picture she is running off to catch the bus.)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lesson 21: Whale Spouts

Last Sunday we had the Primary program in church where all the kids had talks and sang the songs they have been learning this year.  Belle's talk was about Jonah.  She wrote it herself, memorized it, and got up in front of everybody to say it.  I am really proud of her!  For the special occasion, she wore her sailor dress to remind her to be brave and sail to Nineveh (not Tarshish).  We made whale spouts in her hair to go along with the theme.  Here's how:
First put the hair into pigtails and braid down.  I could have done a hawser rope to really go along with the theme, but I didn't want to go overboard. (lol)
Next, bring the end of one braid up through a twist or two of the hairband.  I used my topsy tailer to make it easier, but you could just shove it through with your fingers.
Belle's hair was dry so the ends stuck up straight like this.
I sprayed them down with my trusty water bottle and combed through them to make sure every piece was damp.  The weight of the water pulls the hair down, and it stays down once it has dried.
Repeat on the other side.  Cover up the hairbands with ribbons, if you want.  (Ours are mismatched, but it's all we had.)  Isn't she "like a star shining brightly?"

Here is one of the songs Belle loves to sing.  Click here to hear it.
I am like a star shining brightly,
Smiling for the whole world to see.
I can do and say happy things each day,
For I know Heavenly Father loves me.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Belle wants to be a mermaid for Halloween.  We did this practice run over the weekend.  The shells and pearls are just laid on top for effect to show what I wish I could do, if my hot glue gun weren't packed in moving boxes.  I would have glued them onto the ends of the bobby pins.  I'm not actually giving a tutorial for this one here, unless there are any requests, but it is basically a bunch of rosette buns made from twisting up pieces of hair, wrapping them into circles, and pinning them in place.  I didn't take step by step pictures because I was just playing.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Lesson 20: Topsy on top

Today Belle's hair was wavy from some dutch braids we left in overnight.  I wanted to take advantage of it by leaving her hair mostly down.  Begin this one with a side part.
Make two more parts to divide the hair on top into a box.  Secure the underneath hair into a temporary ponytail.  Spraying a little water on it will help to keep the flyaways down and out of the way.  Next, divide the box into three or four sections and secure each one with a tiny hairband.
Now get your topsy tailer ready.  Instead of just sticking it through above the hairband like the Topsy Tail and Tiny Topsy posts, use the pointy side to split the hair section in half, just as if you were going to divide each section into another part, and then tuck the end through under the hairband.  This little step may not be completely necessary, but it will ensure that your finished look is symmetrical.
Pull the tails through the loop and pull the whole thing down and through.  When I did this, the little tails didn't like to turn around inside out on their own, so I had to pull the tails down until they turned.  Then just tighten them up by splitting the tail and gently pulling the ends away from each other so the band slides up a little.  If the twisties don't go even, try pulling down on little sections of hair in the tail to flatten out the bumps.

This technique would also look really cute if you turned the rows the other direction going toward the back of the head rather than toward the ear.  Then you could add extra rows and go from ear to ear.