Saturday, May 28, 2011

Request for Sponsorship

Belle and I have been providing this blog as a free service for almost a year now.  It is a fun hobby, and I love having the creative outlet.  Belle likes looking like a princess every day, and enjoys getting attention from people about how her hair is done.  Now when people ask her how her mom did that, she says, "I have a blog!"  How fun.

Times are tight for us right now, and I have been brainstorming ways we might be able to get some more income.  I spend a lot of time and energy on this blog, and I am hoping that I can use it to help out our family.  Rather than annoy my viewers with ads for vacuum cleaners and car insurance, I want to try an experiment to see if I can get some sponsors PBS style.  For my many international viewers, the Public Broadcasting Service is an American TV station that shows educational programs without commercial interruptions.  They have a yearly pledge drive to generate the funding they need to run the service.

So here is my request:  If you have enjoyed learning hairstyles from Hairdo How-to, and you would like to help support me and Belle and our family, would you please offer to donate a dollar or two or more?  Please send an email to and I will respond with more details about how to do it.

I'll tell you how I got the idea.  Belle received an invitation in the mail to attend an open call to National American Miss.  We went to see what it was about.  We filled out an application, and they gave Belle a short interview (and a fun photo opp below).  We listened to their presentation where we discovered that the entrance fee to be in the pageant is about $450.  They suggested we ask other people or businesses to give the money to us.  They mailed us a certificate to say that Belle has been selected as a State Finalist to compete in the Miss Utah pageant for NAM.  Since there is no make-up allowed, no swimsuit contest, no talent required, I gave it some sincere thought.  It would be good for her to get over some fears and learn some new skills, but frankly, I can't see myself going out and asking for money for something I don't wholeheartedly believe in.  She already knows she is a princess (daughter of Heavenly Father), already has a tiara and beautiful dresses.  She isn't interested in modeling or acting (she wants to be a paleontologist when she grows up--thanks PBS!).  She can learn confidence and stage presence by speaking in church and perhaps music recitals and such.  She doesn't need interviewing skills when she is only six.  I don't want her to feel like she has to be in competition to be better than other little girls at this age.
So I thought I would ask for sponsorship for things I really do believe in.  Any donations I receive from this blog will be used for the improvement of our family, including things like music or athletic lessons for Belle and Sweetheart, and family outings or vacations to make memories and strengthen our family, for hairstyling equipment and accessories to make the blog more interesting, or perhaps to update some of the old technology I am using for this blog.

Check out the new gadget at the bottom of the right hand column.  I'll put your name here if you choose to be a sponsor, or list you as "anonymous" if you prefer.

I've got some great ideas for the future, including dutch braiding and cornrows, herringbone braids, and hairstyles from Barbie and Disney movies, and will still continue blogging even if I don't get any sponsorship.

Thank you!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Lesson 53: How to French Braid with Wet Hair

To see the first parts of my french braiding tutorial, click on the links:
Basic concept
Two French Braids with Dry Hair
Variations on a French Braid

French braiding with wet hair is a little more difficult than dry hair because the hair wants to stay going in the direction it has been combed.  When you gather up sections of hair to add in the braid, you want them to go sideways, but they want to stay going down, so it causes bumps.  You have to comb every section smooth--an unnecessary step with dry hair.  Also fingers get stuck on the hair so you need to use a comb to part each section.  You can divide the hair with your fingers when it is dry.

Here's a video (with most of Sweetheart's crazy background antics cut out!):

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lesson 52: Disney's "Tangled" Rapunzel Braid

After some trial and error on this style, I have finally found some success today!  Hooray!
To start, make a part on one side at the top of the head.  Take a large section from one side above the ear and divide it into three equal parts as if to start a french braid.  For ease of directions, I will say to start on the left side, but it doesn't matter really.  Cross the left side over middle, and then right side over middle.  Now to add hair, you will only be adding from below the braid.  The hair that is above the braid will fall down behind the place where you are braiding and will be gathered in with the hair below.  So add hair to the left side and cross it over middle.  Cross the right side over the middle without adding hair. 
Repeat until you have reached the neck at the middle of the head. Braid a little way down and add a temporary elastic.  Repeat on the other side (adding hair only to the right side sections).  Join the braids together at the back of the head.

One of the problems I came across when trying this out was that the braid had a tendency to roll down  and show the inside like this:
I tried at first to compensate by adding bobby pins.  That was only somewhat successful.  If you want to go all out with a zillion flowers, hot gluing the flowers to the ends of the bobby pins and pinning up the braid would be a great solution.  That won't do for a regular school day, though.  I tried pulling one side tighter than the other, but that seemed to make it worse.  So finally today I just made everything sort of loose and I didn't have that problem.

Another problem I ran into was that the hair at the back of the head kept getting bumps in it.  I wanted it to lay smooth, but it wouldn't.  It would fall flat until I got to the next plait.  When I cinched the next part of the braid, the place I had already braided would stick up.  It looked like this:
I solved the problem by spraying that section of hair with water before braiding.  That made some more friction and wouldn't let the braid slide up and raise bumps.  Also keeping the braid loose helped to keep it from shifting up.  A much neater look:
After joining the braids,  there are two ways to do the rest.  I'll show both.  First way is like my braided braids post.  Start by making three small braids like this:

Then divide the whole tail into three, each with a tiny braid.  Braid it all up, adjusting the little braids to show with each cross.

The other way, you still make the three tiny braids, but you wrap them around the larger strands before braiding.

I wrapped them all clockwise, but I would do one counter clockwise next time.
Wrap the tail by taking a thin strand at the back, wrapping it all around the elastic twice, and then tucking it back down into the elastic at the back.  It helps to pull out the elastic to get the hole ready before wrapping the hair around.  A topsy tailer could also help to get it tucked back down.  
For the finishing touch, a flower can cover up the top hairband.  In the movie, Rapunzel had a big blue flower covering up this spot.  You could technically join the braids without a hair band by combining each three strands with the three strands from the other braid and braiding it from there, but that is more difficult.
Also, if this braiding technique boggles your mind, just do a simple dutch braid instead.

As a footnote, if you have seen the movie:  Do you remember those four little girls sitting by the fountain doing each other's hair?  And how their jaws all dropped when they saw Rapunzel's hair?  That was my favorite part of the whole movie.  I could totally relate to those little girls! lol

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lesson 51: Variations on a French Braid

After you get the basic technique of a french braid, you can change the look in a lot of different ways.  Here are a couple examples.
This is just simple french braids with a part in the middle, but see how it changes the look when you make the sections of "add in" hair narrow:
You could also make the sections very wide.  That will make the braiding go quicker and give it more of a casual look, but I don't have a picture of that.  Here is a single diagonal french braid:
The tail is over her shoulder in this picture, even though it looks like it is gone.  If the hair is not too long, you can do a sort of loose french braid and tuck the end up inside.  The underside of the braid makes a tunnel the tail can fit into, and it looks just like this above.  Bobby pins might be needed to keep it from falling out.  To form a diagonal going to the right, whenever you add hair from the right side, gather hair up to the edge of the braid, and do not collect hair underneath the braid.  When collecting hair from the left, gather it all the way across the side and under the braid.  You could also have your "subject" tilt her head to the side so you can just braid it as if it were straight.  Here is a diagram of how the pieces were collected in this braid.  Hope this helps.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lesson 50: Braided Braids

This is a simple technique that gives a complicated look.  Belle wanted an Easter egg, so I started with a zigzag sort of shape, though the finished style looks very little like an Easter egg.  To start, comb out a triangular section at the forehead and braid it out as far as you can.  Add a clear elastic.  Repeat with triangle sections at the side of the head.  Put everything into a ponytail.  Divide the tail into three sections, making sure there is a braid in each.  Braid the tail.  You will need to adjust the small braids with each turn to be sure they are visible.  Add a hairband at the end.  Remove the elastics if they are visible.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Lesson 49: Barbie Bangs

(Belle doesn't want me to take her video to french braid with wet hair, so I will post other stuff until she changes her mind.)
When you buy a new Barbie doll, often the hair is done something like this in the front.  I use Barbie bangs for the beginning step to several other styles, but it looks fine just how it is if you only want to leave the rest of the hair as is.

To begin, make a side part on the top of the head.  Then part the hair across the top from ear to ear.
Pull the remaining hair back and secure it temporarily into a twist or bun, whatever will keep the hair out of the way and off the neck.
Brush the front sections of hair smooth flat against the head.  I put it behind the ears, but you could cover the ears if you prefer (and if she/you can stand it on top of the ears).  Bring both sides together at the back of the neck and tie them together with an elastic.  Be careful not to get any of those tiny baby hairs or it will be painful.  It helps to spray the hair above the neck with water to plaster down all the baby hairs before you bring the top sections back.

Let down the rest of the hair and brush it smooth.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Help Joy, Hope, and Everything in Between

I followed this link today from Beads, Braids, and Beyond and love the idea of sending hairdodads to little girls in Ethiopia!
Click this link to find out more.
If you don't want to spend extra on postage, consider donating to a local shelter house.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Lesson 48: Easter Up-do

(When the timing is right, I'll post some more about french braiding...)
Here is the "do" Belle wore for Easter.  This is my absolute favorite style on her!  She looked like a princess.
I put in some rag curls the night before to get the curls at the end, but a curling iron would be fine.  I didn't have time to take step by step pictures, but I got several angles when it was done.
Part the hair on the side in front.  French braid the front sections to the top of the head, then quit adding hair in.  Braid them down to the ends and put in a clear elastic.  Put the remaining hair in a pony tail, high up and just an inch or two away from the end of the french braids.  For short hair, do an upside down topsy tail to make "cascading curls."  Since Belle's hair is too heavy for that,  I braided the tail of the pony very loosely, folded it in half upwards and added another hairband around the first so the curly tail ends stuck up.  The braid from the front I let hang down a bit beneath the pony and wrap around to the other side.  I crossed them together at the top and clipped them together with a mini clip and stuck in a bobby pin to keep them from falling down.  I hid the clip by looping a curl around and making a circle.  I held the circle in place with a flower bobby pin.  These gorgeous flower accents are easy to make: just clip a fake flower up to the little green nub, put a dab of hot glue on the top of a bobby pin, and stick the flower on.  The big yellow flower I actually just left the stem on and stuck it through one of the elastics.  Stick the flowers in a random.