Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lesson 37: Milkmaid braids (Heidi braids)

Have you all seen the movie Heidi?  Okay, not the one with Shirley Temple...  I watched the one with Noley Thornton in it recently, so I had to try out the hairdo.  That darling little girl in the movie had curly hair that went down to her waist.  I couldn't do it exactly like that, so I did a cover-up with the ribbon.

To begin, part the hair down the middle front to back, then braid it like Indian braids, only keep the braids close together, very close to the part.  This hides the part and gives the braids more length to get around the head.  Don't make the braids super tight or it will be hard to turn them.  Braid as far down as you possibly can, even if a little bit of hair starts popping out.  Make the tails on the ends as short as you can, then secure them with a clear elastic.  The little girl in the movie has hair that tapers out at the long lengths so her braid gets skinnier and skinner and you don't notice any big chunks of hair sticking out.  Belle's hair isn't quite like that.  It is very thick and straight, so when the end comes, it is obvious.

Cross the braids over each other in the back (so the right braid goes left, left goes right).  Bring the braids up around the side of the head.  Stick a couple bobby pins into the braids at the sides.  You can hold the ends together up top with a temporary clip if you need to.  If your braids are long enough to cross over on the top, tuck the ends under the opposite braid to hid the tails and stick some bobby pins in to keep its hold.  If you can't do that, then get a long piece of ribbon.  Mine was about 1/2 in wide, and I'm guessing about 4 feet long.  Find the middle of it by folding it in half.  Thread one side through your craft needle.  Clip the center of the ribbon to the center of the part where the braids cross.  Wrap the ribbon around the tails of the braid (on both sides), catching up some hair of the scalp with each pass.  Make sure the ribbon doesn't twist up--keep it flat.  When you get as far down as you want to go to cover up the unbraided tails, bring the ends of the ribbon through the wrapped section so the ends meet in the middle.  Tie a bow.  Add an extra few bobby pins to the wrapped section to keep it in place.

For a different look, you could use thinner ribbon and tape around the entire circle of hair to look something like this heart hairstyle.

For medium length hair, make the braids over the ears rather than at the nape of the neck.  Do not cross them over each other at the back, just over the top of the head.  This won't be a wreath shape, but it's generally the same style.  Skip the taping, but try hard to hide the tails underneath the opposite braids. 

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