Monday, September 27, 2010

Lesson 13: Simple Braid (also called plait)

To make a simple braid, basically you divide a section of hair into three strands.  Cross one of the outside strands over the middle strand to bring it to the middle.  Then bring the strand from the other side to the middle. Alternate crossing sides over to the middle until you come near the end of the hair and tie it off with a hairband.
video

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lesson 12: French pony

I don't know if this what it is actually called, if it even has a real name, but anyway...  Follow the directions for a front half pony.  Then use your comb to make another part parallel to the one you've already got just a little way under it.  Gather it up, brush it smooth, and put in another hairband.  Leave it how it is...
...or repeat.  You can go all the way to the bottom.  Leave the bottom pony free, or put some more hairbands around it at even intervals.

Lesson 11: Front half pony

Draw a temporary part across the top of the head front to back.
Begin at the top of the head and draw a line down to one ear.  Repeat for the other side.
Gather the top section of hair in one hand and separate it from the bottom.  Smooth and straighten the top section of the hair and prepare for it to be banded.
If the hair is long, use a clip or hairband to keep the bottom section from being dragged up into the hairband when you are securing the top. If you want to skip that part, just keep an eye out for stray hair trying to come up into the band as you wrap it, or it will make a little rats nest and will be hard to pull out of the band.  Spraying a little water on the section of hair just under where the hairband is going to go (and then brushing it down) may help to prevent the friction from pulling up extra hair.
Gather the hair any place you want on the front section of the head, brush it smooth, and secure it with a hairband.  If you want to hide the part, gather the hair together at the part or just over it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lesson 10: Front Piggies

Part the hair from the front to the middle of the top of the head.  Part the hair again from the center where you stopped down to the top of one ear.  This will make a square corner at the top.  Gather the hair from the box and secure it with a hairband.  Repeat on the other side.  You can leave it as is or decorate it with bows.  To add a bow, Tie a ribbon around the hairband and tie it up like a shoelace.  Spread the ribbons out flat to make it look nice.
You can also do the part towards the side rather than directly in the center.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lesson 9: Taking out hairbands

To take a hairband out of the hair, work backwards the same way you wrapped it up. Undo one wrap at a time so you do not break or pull out the hair. If you are using large hairbands and it is wrapped loosely, you can just slide it down, but if you are using poly bands, sliding it down can roll the hair into it and damage the hair. If you are using the cheap poly elastics, you can cut them out using a seam ripper or a pair of small scissors. Lift a section of the band away from the hair and cut it very carefully so you don't snip any hair with it. A seam ripper is a sewing tool used for cutting threads and taking seams apart. You can get it at any sewing store or in the sewing section of a super store. Here's what it looks like:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lesson 8: Pigtails


Part hair from front to back. To part hair straight down the middle of the head, begin at the top of the forehead. Use the nose and ears as a guide to find the middle and draw the line back across the top of the head. Separate the hair when you get to the back of the crown. Comb it on each side away from the part. Place the comb again at the place where you left off and continue drawing down to the bottom. Belle has a cowlick on one side in the front, so any time I try to make a part in the middle, her hair wants to fight with me.  So I just start the front of the part a little to the side, angle it back to the center on top, and continue straight down the middle of the back.  Separate the hair and comb it away from the part. Secure one side of the hair with a hairband to keep it separated. It can be loose and sloppy because it is only temporary.
Work with the other side to smooth and straighten hair into your hand just as for a ponytail. You can make it high or low.
Wrap it up with a hairband.
Undo the temporary side and smooth and straighten it. This side will be harder than the first because you have to try to match the placement of the first pigtail. Gather the hair together in your hand and compare to the other side before you band it.  You might have to take it out and try it again if you get it in completely the wrong spot.
You can see this one is a little bit crooked, but not way off.  To fix it, I will split it the way I did in the ponytail video to tighten it up, but I will only pull on the top section to make the piggy slide up a little.  I can do the same on the other side but only pull the bottom to make it slide down.  Easy does it, though, or a bunch of bumps will show up and you'll have to take it out and try again.

Lesson 7: How to make a part

To make a part, use the front two teeth of a comb to draw a line across the scalp. Divide hair at the top of the comb and separate. If you draw a straight line, the part will be straight. If you draw a curved line, the part will be curved. Draw a zigzag for a zigzag part, though you may find it easier to do small zigzags with the tail end of a rat tail comb. For large zigzags, do a zig, separate the hair, then do a zag and separate. If you try to turn a corner with one stroke, you may get to much hair in the comb to manage.
video

Lesson 6: Ponytail

This is the most basic up-do there is. To make a ponytail, brush all the hair together into one spot and secure it with a hairband. You can do a high, middle, low, or side ponytail. Choose where you want it to be on the head, then gather all the hair together into one hand with your thumb and pointer finger. Use the other hand to brush the hair smooth into your hand. You'll have to open your holding hand and close it to let in the hair you are brushing. Once you have smoothed out the hair all the way around, wrap it with a hairband. For thick hair, use a thick band; thin for thin. The tighter you wrap it, the longer it will stay put. If you don't wrap the band tight enough, it will slide down and make a loose ponytail and eventually fall out. You can put a ponytail into wet or dry hair. Depending on the growth pattern of the hair, you may see bumps or ridges. It may be easier to smooth them out with wet hair. If you are putting up dry hair and there are small strands of wispy hair that don't lay down, try spraying them with a water bottle and brushing them in. They will probably fall out again eventually if you don't spray them with hairspray.
video

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lesson 5: How to Brush Hair

Brush out those tangle monsters in the morning and before bed. Start on one side and work your way around, or start in the middle and work through one side at a time--it doesn't matter. But if there are lots of snags, it will be easier to smooth out the ends and work your way up rather than trying to push a rats nest down from the top. Try to be gentle; you don't want to make her cry. Little heads are tender and sensitive especially above the ears. When you are working out a big tangle, pinch the hair with one hand and brush it out with the other to take some of the pressure off her scalp. Or if her hair is long enough, you can wrap the hair around your finger and pinch it. As I said in lesson 2, the right brush is important. Don't yank out any tangles with the brush because it will break the hair at the knot (and hurt). If the brush isn't working on a particular spot, try to locate the knot and work it out with your fingers.
video

Hair is harder to brush when it is wet. A wide comb or pick will work better on wet hair.

Little girls are really good at getting sticky stuff in their hair. Don't try brushing out sticky spots because you will probably just break the hair. Wash it out first. You don't need to wash the whole head for one little spot of lollipop; just lean her head over the sink and wash out the end of the sticky strand. If the sticky stuff happens to be gum (oh dear), massage some peanut butter into the gum. It will soften it up so you can get it out. It may take a few shampoos to get it all out. (I speak from experience here.) Keep trying. It will take a lot longer to grow the hair out if you cut out the gum than it will for you to wash it out.