Friday, January 27, 2012

Lesson 91: Ribbon Accented Braid Wreath

It isn't exactly a wreath, but what would you call this?  Check out the french braid with ribbon post before trying this one if you need extra help.
Start by parting out the top section of the hair and brushing the back half into a ponytail.  Then make a center or side part on the top half.  Use a clip to hold the center of a long fat ribbon onto the part. Here's a detail of the top:
Braid each side down using the half-dutch technique and adding the ribbon into one of the strands.  Make sure you keep the ribbon on top so you can see it.  When you run out of hair at the ears, keep braiding without adding more hair, still careful with the ribbon.  Hold it with a clip when you have braided enough to get just past the ponytail.  Repeat on the other side, and let the clip at the top out.  Add both braids to the ponytail by putting another band around the whole thing.  Next, I wrapped the ribbons around to hide the hairband.  Then do a simple braid for the rest of the hair, adding a ribbon in each of two strands.  Add another hairband, and tie a bow.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lesson 90: Half Dutch Braided Heart

The first step is for bangs.  If you have cut bangs, skip this step.  You can do Barbie bangs if you want.  What I did here was to pull the bangs down to the side (sprayed with water) temporarily with a spring hinge clip or bobby pin, and then added the hair into the braid at the side (after removing the pin) once I got down to that section.  Add the bangs into the braid a little at a time, in about two or three plaits.

Part the hair across the middle at the top of the head. Make curved parts to form the top half shape of a heart, and then straight down to the ears.  Pull the rest of the hair into a temporary ponytail to keep it out of the way.  Beginning on one side of the part, do a half dutch braid around the curve.  When there is no hair left to add in, continue braiding down to the end.  Secure temporarily.  Repeat on the other side, and then band the two braids together forming the bottom shape of the heart.  Release the temporary hairbands.

This hairstyle should be sprayed with hairspray to help prevent the loose hair hanging behind the heart from getting pulled into messy arches over the braids.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lesson 89: Basic Twisted Heart

This is really very simple and easy, but it is striking.  The twisted heart is very similar to the braided heart, but it is a rolled twist instead of a braid.  You will need two piggies, one above the other.  Do an upside-down pull-through with a Topsy Tail tool or with your fingers on the top piggy.
Split the tail and roll each piece in opposite directions, rolling down towards the forehead.  If you twist the right way, it will lay flat.  If you twist the wrong way, it will stick up.  Try again.  Roll them down a ways and then pinch them together at the bottom piggy forming a heart shape.  Carefully put on another hairband.  If you tighten the heart too much when putting on the band, gently pull at the loops to adjust it.  It helps to spray the twists with water before you band them.

You can put one in the bangs like this picture, or you can do a front half pony, a whole head pony, two pigtails, two or three across the front or along a side part.  If you do pigtails, you can actually just do it with one hairband on each side instead of the double because gravity will hold them down.  This is one of my all time favorite hairstyles.  It's really cute.

Here I've made a twisted heart with Barbie bangs and a headband.  This would also be cute with a wide ribbon and three heart across the top.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lesson 88: Waterfall Braid/ Fairytale Braid/ Fountain Braid

I've been seeing this style become more and more popular.  I have to say, though, that I think it may work better in some hair types than in others.  Belle's hair is slick and straight, and whenever I put this style in her hair, it barely lasts a half hour.  She is young, though, and likes to play rough.  A teen or adult or someone whose hair isn't so slippery may not have the same trouble.  I've seen this style on someone with very curly hair.  I thought it was striking.  I really liked it.  So here's how:

The first step is a temporary pony at the bottom of the head.  This makes the braiding easier.  Part out the section at the top to use for braiding, and pull the rest out of the way.
Let the top hair fall down.  Part the hair at the top of the head or on one side.  Pull up a section near the forehead on one side and split it into three to begin braiding.  Cross the front over the middle.
Now cross the back over the middle.
Now bring the front over middle again adding a little hair from the bottom just as in a regular french braid.  This is the only time you'll do this: it is just to get the hair back away from the forehead so the first "fall" doesn't drop over the face.
Add hair from the top like in a regular french braid
Here is where the change comes from a regular french braid.  Instead of crossing the front over the middle again, you will exchange this strand for a new one.  Draw up a new section of hair as if to add it in to a french braid, but do not add it to the strand.  Just bring it under the bottom strand, cross it over the middle, and let the section you would have added it to fall loose.
Continue at the top by adding hair to the top strand and crossing it over the middle.
Repeat on the bottom by drawing a new section from below...
...and crossing it over the middle.  Then add hair from the top and cross over to the middle.
Repeat until you get to the center of the head.  Add a temporary clip to hold it together onto the ponytail.
Repeat on the other side.
Undo the temporary clip and bring the braids together.  Tighten up the "falls" by pulling on them gently.  You can add a hair band right here, or you can combine the strands and continue a regular braid.
Undo the temporary ponytail.
Like I said before, Belle is too rough on this hairstyle, so to make sure she doesn't end up looking like a mess in a half hour, I brush all the ends into a ponytail and add a bow.
For a variation, you could end the braid at the corner of the head.  Here I use a mini clip to keep it in place.  Notice the slight variation of the look: it comes from the amount of hair you pull up from the bottom.  The pictures at the top have only a little hair brought up, and it looks a little bit like a hawser twist, but the one below has thicker/wider pieces brought up.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Lesson 87: French Braid with Ribbon Accent

Adding a bright ribbon makes an ordinary french braid look unique.  This special ribbon is from Gimme Clips from their "Gimme Braids" collection.  It has a loop sewn at the top and comes with a mini bobby pin to attach the end.
To begin, lift a section of hair at the front of the head.  Insert the bobby pin into the loop, and then into the hair at the part line.
Divide the top hair into three sections and begin braiding to cover the bobby pin.
Bring the ribbon out of hiding as you add it to one of the strands while you french braid.  Be careful to adjust the ribbon to lay on top so it will be visible each time you make a new plait.  When you run out of hair, continue braiding to the end.  Add an elastic around the hair and ribbon.
On the Gimme Clips website, they suggest cutting the ribbon the length of the hair.  I just can't do that since the ribbon won't grow the hair, and I don't want to be limited to this single style with the ribbon.  Instead, I tie it in a bow.  Wrap the ribbon around the tail and tuck it into itself.  Pull taut.
Loop the end to the side, pinching with your fingers, and bring the end around to the other side.
Continue tying a bow as you would shoelaces.  There will only be one end hanging rather than two.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Lesson 86: Braided Butterfly

This hairstyle is challenging, and only works with really long hair.

Follow the directions for making a braided heart, but don't add the second pigtail at the back.  Just do the pull-through with a front half piggy, and then make two braids.  Curl the braids around to make a C shape on each side of the pull-through, and then tuck the ends up into the pull through again, behind the rubber band.  Squeeze the C shapes together, and add another hairband to form the smaller lower "wings" of the butterfly. Stick a few bobby pins in to keep the braids from falling out of the pull-through.  Use water and gel or hairspray to form antennae from the ends of the braids.  Add bows or decorations to cover the hairbands if you like.

Sorry for the lack of step by step photos.  I was experimenting and only did the style once before the big haircut!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Lesson 85: Using Headbands

 This is my sweet little Belle about two years ago.  This headband is a stretchy fabric loop.  To get it in, you have to pull the whole thing over the head around the neck like a necklace, pull the hair out and over the band at the back, and then scoot it back over the forehead.  For a hard headband, put the ends over the ears as if you were putting on glasses, and then push it back over the forehead.

Honestly, I am not a big fan of headbands right now because they fall out so frequently, and also because the space above Belle's ears is already taken up by her glasses.  I was the headband queen when I was in grade school, and wore headbands all the time, but they are frustrating unless you can find one that really fits your head.  If they curve of the headband is different from your head, it can fall out or give you spot headaches.  I know they have been making new ones lately that are rubbery and stretchy so they should stay in place better and mold to the shape of your head better.  We haven't bought any of those.  Have you?  What's your opinion?
Lots of people are using the headbands like the white one in the middle of this picture on babies with ginormous flowers almost bigger than the baby's head.  (Belle wouldn't let me put anything on her head until she was almost two, though I never tried anything when she was a newborn.)  I used to tie the back side with a rubber band (fold it in half, then tie the ends around) to scrunch it up.  That way it didn't lift up the hair at the back of her neck to make an arch poking through the other hair that's laying over it.

There are several tricks you can do to keep headbands in involving braids, tiny pigtails and pull-throughs, etc. My favorite headband is the kind from Gimme Clips that has the loop on it so you can clip in a flower.  You can also use the loop to slide in a bobby pin to hold it down.