I thought, seeing as I am still trying to prolong holiday mode, I wanted to share a quick tutorial on that favourite holiday staple: hair braids! These are sometimes called hair wraps, but I've always known them as braids, but hey they are the same thing. My sister, Kathleen, and I, love this holiday tradition. It is even better if you can do it yourself and save a little money.
You will need:
~ various colours of embroidery thread
~ a piece of scrap paper/card
~ bobby pins
~ a hair tie
The first thing you will need to do is cut a circle out of your scrap card and cut a small hole in the centre. I fold in half one way, make a small cut in the middle, then fold the other way and do the same. This is not essential but it will defiantly help keep away those pesky flyaway hairs. Choose the section of hair you want to braid, the amount of hair is up to you. Get a friend, or the person who's hair is being braided, in my case, my younger sister, to hold this section of hair as you secure the rest of the hair away from the braid using your hairband. Thread the hair through the hole in the paper and secure with bobby pins.
Now you need to cut your thread, you can have as many colours as you want, Kathleen and I went for simple designs so chose only four colours. By having less colours means less thread to get tangled. You will need each length of thread to be four times the length of the hair. You may have a little extra but this system has always worked for us. It is better to have too much than too little. To secure the thread: attach to the hair above the braid with about 6cm of the threads in with the hair. Then simply plait the thread into the hair, make sure you start the plait as close to the head as possible. Secure the end with a small piece of thread.
Now it's time to start the braid! I always start with a block of colour. Today I will show you four different designs you can use throughout your braid, it is definitely an opportunity to get creative. I always just randomly use each design, which in the end, looks really cool altogether.
So firstly release the threads from on top of the braid and allow to hang down alongside the plait. Pick out your first colour and simply start winding around both the braid and the other threads. I've never found it necessary to tie a knot to begin but if you want to, you can. I always wind the thread underneath the braid with my right hand and hold it in place with my left index finger. I hope that makes sense.
Once you feel you have enough of a block of colour it is time to finish that section. Pull the thread around the hair loosely and feed the thread through the gap and pull tight.
Then you can move onto the next section, for Kathleen's braid, I chose to do another block of colour purely because this top section often is not seen as it is so close to the head.
The next design I chose was the same thing as before but using two colours, choose your colours and start winding them around the braid and the other threads.
It is so simple but looks really cool. Tie these threads off in the same way again. You need to tie off the thread after every section, to make sure everything is secure
Here's where it starts to get a little more complicated. This design is a block of colour with two colours criss-crossing over the top. To do this, choose the colour for the block colour and another two for on top. Secure the two colours for the top away from the braid using a bobbly pin.
Then continue as usual with the block colour just like before and tie off the thread, you should end up with this...
Wind the first colour down, then wind the second down creating this criss cross effect. (You may have noticed my sister's boyfriend is photo bombing this picture!)
If you want to do the same thing but using only one colour to create the crosses, then create your background colour as normal. Making sure again tying off the end to secure. Choose your thread to criss cross, then wind it up to the end of the block of colour...
Then wind back down and make sure you pull really tight during this step to make sure the pattern stays secure.
Continue all the way down to the end of the hair until you have gone past the hair about half a centimetre. Tie all of the threads in a knot and pull really tight, cut off the remaining thread and there is your finished braid. To make it even more hip add a bead to the end before you tie the final knot.
Hope this was useful, I'm not really sure if it's something everyone knows but just in case, I thought it might be nice. It is so much easier than it looks and is a perfect holiday activity. Also a big thank you to my beautiful sister, Kathleen, for letting me use her lovely hair!