Sunday, January 17, 2010

Braiding and Beading!

Here's a quick how to "Braid and Bead" with tons of pictures for you to follow! 

Braiding and beading are great for little girls (and if you pick the right beads, boys too).  My niece can keep a style like this in her hair for up to 1 and a half months.  We are currently on week 2 and going strong!

Materials Needed: Beads, Beader, Rubber bands, Time, and
Patience (an extra dose if this is your first time!)

Front Finished

Back Finished

Side View

Step 1: Parting

Directions: Part hair in the direction you want to braids and beads to lay.  I parted her hair down the middle both vertically and horizontally (towards the back of her head).  Then, I decided I wanted 8 braids going across the front (4 on the right, 4 on the left).  The rest, I pinned back until I was finished with the front.

Step 2: Braiding

Directions: Remember braiding your dolls hair or braclets?  Well, cornrowing is the same concept, EXCEPT, the object is to attach the braids to the scalp so that it sticks to the head.  First, part your row based on how big or small you want your braid.  The more hair the bigger the braid.  Then, pick up 3 strands of hair from that row (all aligned).  Begin criss crossing them over one another.  BUT, when you cross them over to the middle, PICK UP more hair from the head and
                                                       continue braiding and crossing.

She is really just faking! Getting her hair done is such
an ordeal. NOW, that she knows she has a camera
in her face, she's milking it for all it's worth.
Braiding can be painful, but you'll get to know your child's
temperment quickly (what their scalp can and can't withstand!).

  This is the braid at the very end.  See the size
  of the row?  I wanted a smaller braid so I part
 the row smaller.

Step 3: Beading:
 Directions: Once your braids are all in or one is completed or a row (however you decide) you can add the beads.  In my hand are beads (which can be mixed and match creatively!).  Today we're just using white.  With her, we usually go with pink because she LOVES PINK (as you can see by her shirt).  I'm also holding a beader (the long thing with the loop on the end).  I'll attach my beads to this. 

 PART 1: Add beads to top of loop (pointed edge).  They will just slide down.

PART 2: Place end of finished braid through the loop.

PART 3: Push the beads up toward the very top of the braid (the scalp). As you are pushing up the beads, pull back the beader, slowly. The beads will then attach themselves to the hair.  Pull beader completely back and get a rubber band.  On African American hair, black rubber bands are the best to use because they blend in with the hair.   PART 4: Take last bead on braid and put a small gap in between that bead and the rest of the beads.  Fold the remainder of the hair over the last bead. Take a rubber band and begin to warp the rubber band around the folded hair and last bead.  This will secure the beads and keep the ones on top from falling off.  When the rubber band can no longer wrap, push the tops beads down (carefully) so that they cover the rubber band and touch the last bead.
Step 4: Finishing:
Directions: Continue to braid and bead throughout, deciding on what style you want. You can use a few or as many beads as you'd like. Aim for symmetry! What you do to one side, do to the other. It'll look better in the end.

"That's All Folks!"
Time: 1.5-2 hours (longer for first timers)
Length Style Should Remain: 1.5 -2 months
Cost: Free (all materials on hand)
*If you do not have the materials, beads cost $3.00-$5.00 pack, beaders cost $2.00, and rubber bands cost $.99-$3.00

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