Musings on my adventures around the world and my ties back in Texas as well as some of the the ideas I have to adapt and create to keep those places close to home.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hair braiding: Meet on the side

I feel as if I found another winner with this one. Another fake crown type braid that hung well ad stayed up through a fairly active day (although by the end of soccer practice it was starting to fall out). In fact I keep wondering if it might be a good hairstyle for flying.

Style 38: Meet on the side

To start with I divided my hair as if I was going to do a headband braid across the front. I put a little more hair towards the front than normal as I wanted my two braids to be fairly even in thickness. Starting over my left ear I braided across the forehead and then curved around to make the braid go behind my ear. I braided the hair out and put a clip at the end to hold it until I finished the other side.

Then I started another braid from just below where I had started the first one. My intention had been to to braid around the bottom hairline of my head, but instead it ended up being more across the back of my head diagonally, which in the end I was pleased with. My aim was to finish adding in hair just about where I had stopped the first braid. I braided it out a little bit just so I wouldn't loose my braid. Then I took both braid in one hand. Pulled out one piece from each braid which seemed to be the closest to each other and made them one strand. The remaining pieces from each braid became their own strands. Then a single braid down to lay in front of my shoulder. To match my very 1950s dress that day I added a small blue ribbon to cover up the rubber band at the end.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Hair braiding: Arabian princess

Several times I wondered what was going through my head this morning? I can't believe I actually went to school like this, but then the day I wore my hair like this it was the day before Spring Break, and anyone can be excused for being a little crazy that day. This all stemmed from wanting to see what would happen if I do a complete French braid from the back nape up to my forehead....

Style 37: Arabian Princess

Oh my! Crazy! (Is my face really that thin?). I started out by flipping my head over and beginning a french braid from the nape of my neck and braiding all of the way to my forehead. I really tried to keep it from getting too bumpy (which seems to be much worse when I braid this way as my hair doesn't normally fall up) and wanted it to be really tight, but I'm never that successful with that on my hair....

As you can see I didn't really manage to do a straight braid, but everyone was so entranced by the front that no one seemed to notice until we tried to take a picture.

When I reached the top, or rather when I had all of my hair added in I tied it off with an almost see through rubber band...tight. Then I took the hair that fell after the rubber band, got it wet to help prevent pieces from sticking out of the smaller braids, and divided it into two (somewhat) equal sections. Each of these I braided and tied off with a small rubber band. I then looped each braid to the side and pinned it in place. I had a fairly large tail that was super visible thanks to the ends of my hair being so much lighter than the top so I decided to try to tuck them under pieces I had pulled into the braid. I ended up pulling them through using my small topsy tail and I they managed to stay tucked away all day. It's a bit of an odd style, perhaps not the best for every day wear, but it definitely brought a smile to a lot of people's faces.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hair braiding: Fake rope crown

I'm often looking for ways to replicate a crown without having to do all of that braiding and finger switching, as I find braiding around my head to be one of the most difficult braids to do. I've also been playing with a few more idea that keep some of my hair down, although it strikes me as being the wrong time of year as Delhi is heating up now!

Style 36: Fake rope crown

This is really two ropes that I clipped together in the back. Along the front hair line I did a french rope, where I only added hair into the rope on the forehead side. I added hair in until I got all the way across the forehead and then just completed it out in a rope (it got a bit twisted as I seemed to loose track of which way to twist half way through). I put a clip at the end of that just to hold it for the time being. Then I took a section of hair from just behind where I had started that rope and did a single rope (no adding hair in) as I pulled towards the other side around the back. I attached the two ropes to each other off center in the back to give it more of a crown/circular look.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Hair braiding: Lobster tail

It's funny. I'm pretty sure I tried something like this once before and it turned out so badly I immediately took it back down (which means it was quite bad!). This time it just seemed to flow right through my fingers easily.

Style 35:  Lobster Tail

I started out by brushing all of my hair back. Then beginning over my right ear (sort of) I did a french braid on a diagonal towards my left shoulder. Once all of the hair was up I finished out the braid and then curled it up, making sure to make smaller circle inside as I curled (my hair isn't long enough to get much more than one curl). Then use hairpins to secure it in place. I got a lot of compliments on this one and was quite happy with how it turned out and how well it stayed up.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Hair Braiding: Braid around a ponytail

The hardest part of this braid was getting a good part into my hair while still being able to keep the rest of it in a smooth ponytail! This is just an easy way to dress up a ponytail if you're willing to have it hang slightly off to one side.

Style 34: Braid around a ponytail

Holding your hair in a ponytail run a fine point through to separate the hair you want in a braid from the ponytail. Put a rubber band around your ponytail slightly off to one side. French braid the hair that is down, being careful not to collect hair that is in your ponytail. Braid from over one ear down and around to underneath your ponytail. Then braid out the end. Wrap the braid around your ponytail and attach it underneath. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Hair braiding: finish it with a flower

This is another braid I got from Pintrest. It looked simple enough (which was true) although I'm still not convinced it looks like a flower. It did stay up well and just added a bit more detail to a simple braid.

Style 33: Finish it with a flower

Start by collecting the hair on one side that want you to have in a braid. Braid it (no picking up or anything) pulling towards the center of the back of your head. I always braid it all the way out and attach a clip on the end to hold it. do the same thing with the other side. Collect the two braids where you want them to meet and attach them with a small rubber band. Undo the braids that are after the rubber band so that you can combine that hair into a single braid. Loosen it up by pulling on sections of hair. Attach the end with a small rubber band. Twirl the hair around, when you get close to the end tuck it underneath your circle (sorry, flower) and pin it in place. it's hard to see from the angle in the picture but it added a nice flourish to the braids. Plus it stayed in no problem all day.

Friday, March 15, 2013

hair braiding: meet in the middle 2

This is rapidly turning into my travel hairstyle. It stays up well and doesn't seem to bother me when I try to sleep on an airplane. Really anything that can survive a 24+ hour trip has to be pretty good.

Style 32: meet in the middle 2

I start by dividing my hair down the middle part. Then complete a normal french braid on one side trying to angle myself towards the middle. Typically I pick up hair about six times before I'm roughly where I want my braids to meet. Once I've added hair six times I braid what is in my hand out and stick a clip on the end to hold it. I then do the same thing on the other side. Once I have two braids done I pick them up and hold them in one hand where they (come close to) meet. I release the clips and then pull the one strand from each braid (that are the closest to each other where my hand is) to make one new strand. The other two strands on each side also combine together to form new strands. Then it is just a normal french braid with the rest of the hair.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Hair braiding: a stand out crown

I got so used to looking for new hairstyles that even though I've moved on to a new personal goal I find myself still looking for new ideas I can do with braids. I've found a few more, so thought I'd better keep track of them for future reference.

Style 31: stand our crown

Just like with a normal crown I divided my hair out from the center of my head, and then started somewhere over my right ear, braiding around the front and then completing a circuit. The only difference is that instead of adding hair on both sides of the braid I only added hair from the bottom (i.e. the outer side of my head). When I pull really tight this has the effect of making my braid kind of roll and stand out. At the end I completed the braid and laid it behind the original braid using hair pins to keep it in place. It  might be a bit easier to see from a side view.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hair braiding: a redo

When I was doing my hair challenge I was thoroughly unsatisfied with how the style turned out on day 6, but felt like there was some potential there. I decided it was worth giving it another shot. It ended up being a much better attempt that stayed up all day (this picture was taken after a full day at school). The difference? When I did the final braid on the right side I pulled the hair from the front of both sides but also picked up a small section of hair where I wanted the braid to hang so that it wouldn't fall lower. Worked like a charm!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Hair braiding day 30

The last day in my 30 day challenge. It's been surprisingly easy to find 30 different braids and twists to do with my hair. In fact I had several to choose from today. I'll admit I tried an idea I had in my head and wasn't happy with how it turned out and so ended up redoing my hair in a completely different style this morning. I couldn't have my last day be a flop!

Style 30: back braid to double braid bun

Last summer I became a big fan of the braid going up from the back. It takes care of all of those wispy fly aways that when it is hot out you don't want hanging on your neck. However buns and I are not on the best of terms. So I was really pleased when I figure out that I like this one a lot more than most. I started out by flipping my hair upside down and braiding up my head from the back. I stopped a little lower than normal not wanting a bun on the top of my head today (although it is still fairly high up otherwise the braid doesn't show). The collected all of my hair in a ponytail where I had stopped braiding and tried to get all the bumps smoothed out. Divided the ponytail into two parts and braided each part loosely tying each braid off with a rubber band. Took one braid and wrapped it around the ponytail, pinning into place and then did the same thing with the other (I think I wrapped the opposite direction but I can't really remember). It makes for a much more interesting bun, and my hair doesn't slip out of it nearly as easily as with a regular bun. That's it for my 30 braid challenge!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hair braiding day 29

Yet again, Pinterest gives me an idea. I have to admit that a lot of my ideas come from there, mostly because I am most likely to try a braid I can actually see. Although I wasn't able to exactly replicate it since when I tried it just didn't look right, perhaps my hair isn't long enough or full enough?

Style 29: Braided into a roll

I started by collecting all of the hair that lay behind my ears and tied it into a low ponytail. Then with that same section of hair I put another small rubber band close to the end, with the hair loose (not pulled as close together as possible) is more about getting the ends even then a tight ponytail. I then took that piece and flipped it up, tucking the end under (one roll) and pinning it in place. The hair from in front of/above each ear got braided and tied off into the end. Then I took each braid and tucked the end into the roll and pinned it in place. Mixed emotions about this one. It looked fin this morning, was very loose by the time I got home this evening. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Hair braiding day 28

There have been tutorials all over the internet for this braid this year. In my head I think of it as the hot new braid, sort of like ropes were at one point, or the topsy tail was big when I was little. So of course I had to try the waterfall braid at some point in my 30 days. I'm not sold on this braid though. It definitely falls into the loose, wispy category, and although I guess my hair is still up as I write this it does not feel very secure. Perhaps it is a special events type of hair style rather than a day to day one.

Style 28: Waterfall braid

The idea here is that you don't keep everything in your braid that you pick up. My best attempt was when I began like a normal braid, Added hair in only on the top, but when I added in I let the piece that I would have added it to go over the middle piece and then leave my fingers. So you are continually picking up on the top a piece that becomes all that is one strand in the braid. I haven't figured out a good way to end this braid either. I'd probably choose to put a fancy clip where I finish rather than finish the braid out, but I ran out of time to go digging for the one I wanted this morning.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hair braiding day 27

So I really wanted to do this braid for Valentine's Day, but couldn't figure out how to do it on my own head. I don't think it'd be that complicated....but my fingers don't twist that way! Instead I decided to adapt this one to make my own braid bun, and yes, it brought quite a few ohhhs and ahhhs during the day today.

Style 27: Heart bun

This was a lot easier then I thought it might be. I took half of my hair and made a single braid from just to the side of the my center part and tied it off at the end with a band. Did the same thing on the other side, leaving enough space between the two braids to fit two fingers. Then taking the first braid I rolled it around itself from the inside to the outside and pinned the top part in place. Took the second braid and did the same thing, rolling it towards the outside. Then I added one more rubber band tying the two braids together. After looking a few times and walking around the house I ended up adding two more hairpins to secure the outer pieces of the heart down. 

Bonus Style 27b: Rope bang braid

That's right. I actually did two different braids today. I ran this afternoon and then remembered I had a parent meeting and after I washed my hair just wanted a little something to keep it out of my eyes. So I did a far off center part, collected two pieces and began to do a rope. I only added hair in on the forehead side, and only did that until I got across my forehead. I did a few more twists then pinned it into place. Stayed up well enough for the 3 hours I had it in, and suspect it would have lasted just fine for the whole day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hair braiding day 26

I keep thinking that I am going to run out of ideas, but with just another 4 days left I'm beginning to believe that I won't have a problem after all. I must admit, that is in a great part due to the wonders of Pinterest. Today's hair style came from a pin I saw there, admittedly modified a little to work with my slick, thinner hair.

Style 26: Hot crossed bun

This is another pretty simple hairstyle. I divided my hair into three pieces, with a larger portion in the center. That piece got curled into a bun. I have to admit that by the end of the day my bun was pretty fuzzy, but that probably could have been avoided if I had used a bit of mouse, of course that would have required actually having mouse. I didn't use a rubber band as I didn't want it to show and just pinned them bun into place. The front two pieces I did a simple braid with and attached at the end with rubber bands. The first braid I did ended up being two low to be able to wrap around the top of the bun so I had to redo it higher up. Then took one of the braids and wrapped it around the bun, crossing over the top, and pinned it in place. Did the same with the other braid, crossing over the bun the other way.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hair braiding day 25

Today was a bit of an adventure. What felt like a completely new hairstyle compared to what I normally do. I must admit that I actually tried this hairstyle a couple of days ago and took it right back out as it was super messy and uneven. I guess a trial run helped make this one successful. My inspiration came from here, although I don't think it looks much like a halo, more like a path going around a mountain. Perhaps that is because I wrapped my rubber band around the ponytail part about 4 times to make sure it wouldn't fall out, perhaps it would lay lower if the rubber band hadn't built up so high.

Style 25: Around the mountain

While I really think you'd be best off watching the video that was my inspiration, here is what I did briefly. First collect 1/3 to 1/2 of your hair in a ponytail at whatever point you want your braid to go around. You should be pulling up the middle of your head, nothing that lays around the hairline. Then, like with a crown braid you start braiding. I start somewhere over my right ear. When you add in hair on the outside you will pick up from the hair that is down. When you add in hair on the inside you add a small section from the ponytail. It is a bit tricky to have both sections run out at the same time in the same place, but I was able to finagle it. You need to pay attention when you get down to maybe 2 or 3 sections to add in. Go all around your head. At the end, finish the braid out and attach it with a rubber band. Then tuck the end of your braid under the pieces that you had pulled from the ponytail. One advantage to this braid is that it looks almost like it is a continuous braid and you can't really see the beginning or the end. Rather more difficult to do on you own hair then on someone else, but clearly it is possible. I just had a hard time circling evenly around my ponytail. I will say I got lots of compliments on this one today. I guess it was just different enough to be intriguing!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hair braiding day 24

Today was another variation of the fish bone. I haven't found a whole lot of different styles I can do with this, partly because I find it so hard to hang onto and make tight, but I figured that if I could do one I could probably do two. In some ways I think this one turned out a lot nicer than the single one I did a few days back.

Style 24: fish bone pigtails

The idea here is pretty simple. Divide your hair into two equal parts. Do a french fish bone braid on each side. When you add hair in make sure to take a small piece from what you already have in your hand as well so that it doesn't just fall right out. I did a better job today of taking small pieces once I got down to the tail and it looks a lot more like a fish bone!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Hair braiding day 23

Some days you just want something easy. Today was one of those days. What can I say? Its Friday. So I decided to do the second most simple braid I know. Second, only because I typically braid over instead of under so my fingers take a bit more thought this way.

Style 23: Inverted French Braid

So this one it almost exactly like what I consider a "normal" French braid. The only difference is that instead of pulling the outside strands over the middle one you pull under. I have a bit more difficulty making this tight at the top, I just can't pull it quite as tight, it still seems to stay in pretty well. As with most braids, the smaller sections that you pull up (meaning the more times you add to your braid) the tighter the braid will be. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Hair braiding day 22

Today was a really easy and fast hair style. It took my maybe 2 minutes to do, and that is enough for me to say it is probably one of those styles that will stay in my repertoire, at least while my hair is this long.

Style 22: double braid wide bun

I started out by gathering my hair into two ponytails that sat about four fingers away from each other, one on either side of my part. I then braided each ponytail and secured with rubber band. Taking one of the braids I wrapped it around the other ponytail, going around the top and securing it where it landed on the bottom with bobby pins. Then I took the second braid and wrapped it around the other one, going from the bottom to the top, tucked the tail under the earlier braid and secured it. When I looked in the mirror I had to add another bobby pin so that the braids were fully covering up the original pony tail holders. Simple, pretty and worth a few remarks from my students today.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hair braiding day 21

Whenever I decide to do a fish bone braid I always realize two things. One: that this seems to be the one type of braid I have not gotten any faster at despite doing it for several years. Two: that I'm not really sure I have the patience to do it well because it really only looks great if you take small pieces to move and are consistent in the size you pick up; neither of which I'm good at. Besides my arms start to get really tired whenever I do this! I thought to do an abbreviated version today, although I'm not sure it was any less work than any other fish bone.

Style 21: Half up half down with fish bone

Fairly simple hairstyle today in theory. At leat until my arms got tired. I collected a section of hair from the front, and did a fish bone until it reached the middle of my head. Clipped that in place to keep it from falling out. Then did the same thing on the other side. Collected both pieces and banded them together. If I was going to dot his again I would probably try to keep my fish bone going a bit longer so that it would (1) go all the way to the band and (2) could hang a bit looser. But hey, there's limited time when you hit the snooze button. You can see the fish bone a bit better in this one:


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Hair braiding day 20

This one comes after an image that my sister pinned onto my Pinterest board. I'm not sure that it turned out exactly like the picture, but was apparently interesting enough that at least one girl in each of my classes today commented on it. In fact, I'm not really sure how to explain what I did as I didn't really look in a mirror and I just kind of tried something to see if it would work. I might even say that it looked better at the end of the day when it was a bit looser than it did as I left in the morning.

Style 20: side braid to a bun

So I didn't really part my hair or anything. I just started braiding somewhere above/in front of my right ear. I only added hair in from the bottom, for no particular reason except I didn't feel like trying to get the braid to curl while adding hair in on both sides. I braided until just past the middle of my head, hoping it would look something like a swirl into the bun. Collected all of my hair in one hand and twisted it around into a bun before securing with about 6 bobby pins (I told you I didn't really know what I was doing, I just kept adding until it didn't feel like it would fall out). I didn't braid the tail, I didn't use any rubber bands. I just tried to make sure that the bun curled above, almost sitting on, the french braid so that it didn't cover it up.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Hair braiding day 19

Today as a remarkably simple style to do, which I hadn't considered until I stumbled across this video. I might try what she recommended  but thought I'd start out with just attempting one. I'll say it stayed in all day, but not quite as well as many of my other styles (perhaps the hairspray is a necessary element but as I don't own any I wasn't going to use any).

Style 19: waterfall twist

Really, the video would give you the best idea of how to do this, but it is rather simple. Starting over my left ear I took up a small section of hair and divided it in two. Bring the bottom over the top and hold on to it dropping the other piece. Pick up a new piece from just underneath where you want the twist to lay, bring it over the top and drop the other piece. Repeat until you reach the other side of your head. I attached it with a fancy bobby pin somewhere behind my right ear , having pulled back a small piece of hair from the front of my right side as I don't like hair in my face during the day. Less than 3 minutes from start to finish.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Hair braiding day 18

Time for an old standby. Some days you just have to go with a braid you know will work, that you've done so much you hardly have to think about while your fingers get to work...

Style 18: pigtails

As with almost any style that has more than one braid the trick to doing these will is to part your hair and then tightly tie up the half that you are not going to work on to start out with. Otherwise this is just a normal french braid only using half of your hair. I'm particularly fond of this style when I know I'm going to have an active day, and often wear it this way when I play soccer. It stays up well and keeps my hair out of the way without feeling too heavy.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hair braiding day 17

Okay, so today wasn't really about a braid. More about a twist, or two. I was going back through pictures from when I had been experimenting with my hair at the beginning of the year and came across one that I thought I should include in my count to 30. A simple twist from each side which comes out looking quite a bit more elegant than my normal hairdo.

Style 17: double sided twist

So the idea here is pretty simple. I divide my hair in half. Starting around my ear I twist towards my hair, adding hair in until I've twisted all of the hair on the left side up. This twist usually end somewhere between the center of my ear and my right ear. Sliding a bobby pin back along the twist (okay, two today) I secured that half in place. I then do the same thing the right hand side, making sure to include the tail of the earlier twist as I go so that it does not stick out. Pin that one in place the same way, and then add a few clips - mostly so that I manage to make sure it is well anchored and to take care of getting the tail of that twist hidden away. Of course it makes it look a bit more elegant too. I have to say though, that I think this might be one style that actually looked better when my hair was shorter as you can see below.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hair braiding day 16

I keep thinking that this is going to get harder, but so far I seem to be going well. I just wonder at what point will it seem like I'm making minor changes to a previous hairstyle and calling it something new! Nothing too complicated to do today...

Style 16: braid in a braid in a braid

I started out by dividing my hair into three. I put bands around two of the three sections to hold them and the worked on the left side, which I was going to have my braid coming towards. I took the remaining third of hair and split it into three pieces as well. The section closest to the face I braided in a single braid, mainly to keep some of my fly-aways contained. With a clip on the end to hold that section, I then braided another braid, where the previous braid was one strand, starting just behind my ear and continuing until I couldn't hold it anymore. This got tied tight with a rubber band. I then took the section of my hair that started from the right, pulled it toward the left and braided it until I had to tie it off. I now had three sections, two which were braided and one that wasn't. I combined these three into a single braid and tied if off. Done.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hair braiding day 15

I thought today deserved something simple, but not too simple. After all it would hardly be worth looking at if it was a run of the mill hair style. Although I do have to wonder if a "normal" French braid can still count as one of my 30 hair styles....

Style 15: French braid with ribbon

I was trying to decide if I could actually do this without putting in a rubber band at the top of my hair to hold the ribbon up. I decided it wasn't worth having to redo the whole thing if it didn't work so I started by collecting a small section of hair at the top of my head, wrapping a rubber band around it and then slipping a ribbon through it. My ribbon was long enough that when I doubled it over it went past the end of my hair, so I pulled it through even. I then separated my hair for a normal French braid, making sure that one piece of the ribbon was in two different strands. French braid away and attach it all at the end with another rubber band. I had enough ribbon left over that I was able to tie it over the rubber band and add a small bow. Simple, with a touch of the unexpected.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Hair braiding day 14

I was going for something simple today, with just a few accents. Looking at it once I was done I think it might have been better if I had done less. Just add the rope around the ponytail and it would have looked more sleek and elegant...

Style 14: Ponytail with rope accents

I started out by securing my hair in a loose ponytail. I then pulled four sections out of my ponytail, two on each side, and twirled them into a thin rope one at a time. I just put a clip at the end of each because I knew I only wanted the ropes to reach to the ponytail, and not extend into it. Once I had those four done, I regathered all of my hair into a tighter ponytail. I then selected a small amount of my ponytail from the top (mostly because that was the longest piece of hair I could find), slip my topsy tail from the top of my ponytail down through the rubber band, twirled that piece of hair into a rope, attached it with a small rubber band at the end, wrapped it around my ponytail twice, then pulled it through with the topsy tail effectively hiding the end. I was actually quite pleased with how the ponytail wrap worked, and how well it stayed in all day, not so sure about the other accents.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Hair braiding day 13

After chatting with my sister last night, she was encouraging me to try out a few more styles that including the sock bun. So I decided to give it a whirl this morning. Although I have to say, sometimes I think the sock bun is a little too big for my hair/head. It almost felt as if it was going to fall off today (I know, I know, impossible...but still).

Style 13: Double braids to a sock bun

So this is a fairly decent side view of what I did. I braided about 2/3 of my hair into french braids, half on either side, trying to lead to the center of my head a bit lower down then where I usually wear a bun (the last time I put the sock bun in my bun hit the ceiling of the taxi on the way to school so I thought maybe I shouldn't go quite so high this time). Collected it all in a ponytail, slid the sock bun doughnut thingy over the ponytail then covered it up. I had a much harder time getting the doughnut covered this time, perhaps I used up too much hair in my braid? Reserving judgement on this one until I try it a few more times. It may just need some fine tuning.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hair braiding day 12

Today was definitely a loose style. A different look from what I usually attempt, mainly because if I don't pull tight my hair tends to fall out of whatever I do to it. I did end up putting a few clips in my hair 10 minutes after I put it up because I was not at all sure that it would last the day without them.

Style 12: French fish bone

Merge the idea of a french braid and fish bone and you have my style today. As with a french braid  you pick up hair on each side as you bring it in. I also joined the new piece with a small section from what was already in my hand in the hopes that it would last the day (which it did). The basic idea of fish bone is that you have two strands, take a small piece of hair from the outside of one strand and bring it to the inside of the other strand pulling over, repeat on the other side and so on. In some ways it is easier then a french braid because you don't have to keep track of as many pieces of hair. If I was to do this again I might consider collecting my starting pieces of hair with a barrette or rubber band so that it would not fall out as much, although in some ways the loose style was nice.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hair braiding day 11

Today was a bit of an experimental day. I'm not sure I really like how my hairstyle turned out, which is not to say it didn't turn out how I expected. I think I came pretty close to what I was picturing, I'm just not sure I would repeat it as a hairstyle. What do you think?

Style 11: Half head double dutch braid to ponytail

The key today, again, was to get a good part in my hair and tie the rest of it tightly away. I pulled about 3/4 of my hair over to one side, then cut a part that curved slightly and ended approximately where I wanted my ponytail to hang. A french braid on the hair that was loose, tied at the end. The second braid was a bit harder. I was trying to pull approximately the same amount of hair over again, with the hope that total I would have less than half my hair braided. I don't think that bit worked. This probably would be easier if you had someone else who could part your hair while they could actually see the whole thing. Again tie of the hair you don't want to use tightly and french braid the piece that is down. This was a bit more difficult as I couldn't pick up hair my normal way otherwise I got caught in the other braid. Then collect all of your hair off center and make a low ponytail. After one try I decided this looked much better if I made sure the braids were laying on top when I tied up my ponytail. Whether I like it or not it was definitely a new hairstyle for me!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hair braiding day 10

I thought I'd go back to a hairstyle that I used a ton when my hair was just around chin length. I have to admit I'm not sure it turned out quite as well, but that is partly because when it was short I was forced to pay more attention to where my braid was actually laying. Now that my hair is longer it is not quite so important to getting it to stay up.

Style 10: (fake) half crown to bun

I feel as if this picture isn't a great representation of what this actually looked like...sigh. For those of you who have a hard time trying to figure out how to get your hands to form a crown braid this works almost as well for me although it does not have the braid across the front of your head. This is really just two braids which meant and then twist together to form a bun(ish). When doing these braids I only add hair in from the bottom. If I do a tight braid this causes me braid to almost roll, and it will look like you braided under without you having to figure out how to get your hands to braid a different way. Divide your hair into two parts. Complete a "normal" french braid keeping your braid along the hair line, only adding hair in to your braid when you pull over from the bottom. Braid all the way out and attach with small band. Do the same thing on the other side. Twist the braids around each other and form a bun which your will attach with bobby pins. All I was really trying to do here was make sure the tails of my braids didn't stick out.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Hair braiding day 9

One of my Christmas presents from my sister this year was a topsy tail, a plastic tool that helps you to turn your hair through yourself. I remember having a fake one of these when I was younger that was made out of a wire hanger (perhaps?) and I had no idea that they were still producing these. It's put me on the task of trying to find ways to add this element to some of my braided hairstyles. Today's is probably the easiest idea I could come up with on how to incorporate the two into one hairstyle.

Style 9: twin braids into a topsy tail
I started out by pulling a section of my front hair back and braiding it (no adding in, just a simple braid) and attaching a clip at the end to hold it in place. I then did the same on the other side. I pulled all of my hair together and tied a rubber band around it, releasing the clips on the end of the braids. A topsy tail on the ponytail, pulling it through the top, and I was done. A simple hairstyle that was quick but looks a lot more complicated then just braiding the front pieces.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Hair braiding day 8

It was interesting today to realize that I received no compliments on my hair from the teenagers that I teach but several from other teachers. Although a while back one of my students came in excited to share that she had figured out how to do this one after seeing my hair up. I suppose this is either a little girl hair style or a more elegant up do.

Style 8: braided crown
This is another variation of a normal french braid. I comb my hair so that it is cascading all around my head from a center point. Then starting over my left ear (I find it simpler to braid towards my right) I start braiding around. The hard part to this braid is that I always  have to change my hand hold at some point. The first few times I tried this I ended up with a twist in my braid, which while it looked cool was not what I had been aiming for. The best thing I can recommend is when you reach that point to collect all three strands in one hand and then move the hand that is currently from the far side around before you really think about which strand is supposed to be going over next. I promise it does get easier. This time I actually had to change my hands twice. Once as I got just past my left ear, the second time after I had all the hair but needed to finish out my braid. When you are finishing out the braid it is important that you pull your hair and braid as if you are still going around in a circle so that it will lay well. Tie of the end with the smallest band you can (often the end of your braid will end up somewhere towards the front of you head so a big hair band is really obvious) and then use a couple of bobby pins to attach the tail of your braid behind the braid at the front of you head. I suppose there is no reason you couldn't start this braid at the back of your head so that you'd have a smoother front but I've never been able to sort that out in my own braids. If your hair is long enough the end of you tail will end up over your ear or past it and so it can still have a smooth look in the front with a double braid. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Hair braiding day 7

This morning I went with one of my standbys. This is a hair style that I use a lot, especially when my hair is shorter (as short as ear length works). I was happy it turned out as well as always and allowed me to leave the house feeling like my hair had a clean and simple style. I will admit though, that when I first tried to do this it took me a while to be able to make my hands braid across instead of back. It still feels rather unnatural, but I've learned as long as I go by feel and don't try to look at what I'm doing (or where I should be pulling from) it turns out better.

Style 7: french braid headband
There are two things that are necessary for me to be able to do this style on myself. The first is to make a clear part across my head, brushing all the hair forward that I want to include in the braid and tying back the rest of it tightly. Since I rely on the feel so much with this braid (after two or three years of doing this braid I still have to think about it each time) I have to have the hair I don't want included completely out of the way. The second thing is to make sure that what I am braiding is wet. I don't know why, but I can't seem to do this on myself when my hair is dry. It turns out looking rough, bits pop out, ends are all over the place and it looks too messy for my preferences. When it is wet it comes out looking smoother and staying in better. In fact I've often left his braid in overnight and it still looks fine in the morning if I've braided it wet. Once you have your hair separated you simply have to do a regular french braid working from over one ear towards the other. I prefer my braid to lay behind my ear so I try to add in a bit of hair just behind the ear to make it stay in the back (although my mother prefers the look when the braid hangs in front and is more visible). The idea is pretty simple if you can already do a french braid, the real trouble is just getting your hands to move in a different direction then normal.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hair braiding day 6

Do you know what it is like when you have this idea in your head and despite your best efforts things don't turn out anything like what you were picturing? It is kind of like all those silly posts on Pinterest which are all "What I think I look like while _____ .... what I really look like." Sadly that is kind of how I feel like my hair style today turned out. Problem is, when you only give yourself half an hour to get ready in the morning it doesn't leave with you a whole lot of time to redo hair styles that don't live up to your expectations. On the opposite side I got a couple of compliments on my hair today, so maybe it's not quite as a bad as I felt, just not what I was aiming for.

Style 6: triple braid pull back
While this was really easy to do it didn't turn out anything like I had hoped for. But then my hair isn't anything like the person I saw it on. First braid just from pulling back the top center section of my hair. Pull hair from underneath towards the right to complete a second braid. Pull a piece of hair across from right to join a section from the left side to try braid a third piece. I purposely took uneven divisions in my braids to try to make them look more interesting. I think I would have been happy with this one if the last braid, the one that pulled across had started much higher on my head. I'm not entirely sure why it fell down so low, but perhaps if I had added in a small section of hair from underneath on the top it might have stayed up there a bit better and then you would have been able to see the three braids all flowing down.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hair braiding day 5

Style 5: Triple braided bun
This was a new hair style for me, but surprisingly simple with what turned out to be a fairly elegant end product. All you have to do is gather the top third of your hair on your center line and make a single braid. Gather the next third (pulling in from both sides) under that and make another braid. Then collect your remaining hair under that and make a third braid. Then simple twirl your braids into buns and pin into place. I started with the top one so that I could make sure the others lined up fairly close to that. I put two bobby pins in each bun and it was secure enough to last all day at work, although didn't quite make it through soccer practice in the evening. Thanks to my sister for the idea which came from here.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hair braiding day 4

Style 4: meet in the middle
I have found that with my face shape I really like having my hair pulled back on two sides. Sometimes I do just two french braids but as I get older it seems that maybe this is a bit childish (although I'm sure that will appear here at some point). My concession to what looks good on me while not being two young is to start with two french braids then have them meet and combine into a single braid. As you can tell I'm not always super even when I do this. I have found that it looks much more striking if you braid under instead of over (the middle strand goes  on top) as it makes the braids stick out. Usually I pick up hair six times total before making the braids meet. As I don't look in the mirror to sort out the back it always by feel. When I finish the picking up hair on one side I braid it out and stick a barrette on the end to hold the braid. Do the same thing on the other side, then hold the two braids together until it feels like they are meeting in the center. At that point I do my best to figure out which two strands are inside on each braid and pull those out of my braids to become one strand in the new braid while the remaining two in each side combine themselves. Then it is a single french braid, still braiding under, until I use the rest of my hair.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Hair braiding day 3

My sister gave me all sorts of fun new hair toys for Christmas, so I decided to play around a bit with the bun donut that she gave me.

Style 3: Back braid to a top bun

It's hard to see from this angle (it's all about what my downstairs neighbors think will make the best photo each morning on our way out the door) but I started out by flipping my hair over and doing a french braid from the bottom or my hair line up to wear the bun sits, using roughly the bottom half of my hair. I've since decided the braid part of this is much more visible if I do it wet (or am doing it on someone else's hair where I can actually see what I am doing and make it clean...on myself this is more of a messy hair style). Then I collected all of my hair in a ponytal, slid the bun donut over the ponytail, waterfalled my hair all around to cover the donut, slipped a hair band over it to hold it in place and then wrapped the leftover pieces around tucking them in with some bobby pins. I'd say the bun part turned out well, not so happy with the braided bit this time around.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hair braiding day 2

Style 2: Double pulled back
I've been doing this braids for a while now. They provide a good way to get the hair out of my face, while still letting me control what hangs down. Almost like pulling my hair back in two clips. These are two simple french braids, but you only add in hair by pulling from the top. The trick is to not pull to hard so that they lay in a bit of an arch down your head. This particular style seems to be pretty popular with my students. I think I originally saw this one here.