Braiding Hair - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 04-01-2008, 04:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello! I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on how i can learn to braid hair (cornrows, individuals, etc). i know there are dvd's out there, for instance... but i think most of them are geared towards learning how to do it *better*, whereas i have no experience braiding at all. also, my daughter (who is biracial) doesn't have a common type of african american hair... so that adds another element to the mix. I am caucasian, and i used to have my hair braided often... but it took some amount of skill to be able to do tight braids on my texture hair! people would comment on how it was hard to "grip" while braiding it. my daughter's hair is somewhere in between. also, is there something i could practice on? my daughter is too young to "practice" on... but i'd like to get an early start on knowing how to braid; i've always enjoyed my hair being in braids, and my mother in law has already mentioned how beautiful DD's hair will be when/if braided. and i know some people do it for YEARS before they become especially proficient, so i don't think it's ever too early for me to learn it!

ok, i'm sooo sleepy, so this post isn't as articulate as i'd like it to be... but please reply, nonetheless!
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#2 of 5 Old 04-03-2008, 01:09 AM
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How old is your daughter? I started young with mine, and I would put a few little puffs in the front, with a braid on each side in the back, and then graduated to a couple of cornrow - style braids (not tight). She is four now, and she has four cornrow braids down the back and a ponytail on each side with six little twists coming out of each one. I highly recommend doing little twists on little girls - they are easier to pull out and re-do, and don't take as long to put in.

Books have helped more than videos - I like It's All Good Hair by Michele N-K Collison, and Kids Talk Hair by Pamela Ferrell

Unless you have a friend who will volunteer to let you practice on their hair, you will just need to practice on your daughter, I think.

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#3 of 5 Old 04-03-2008, 03:27 PM
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I agree with the PP on everything she said, but I hope I can guide you to where you may be able to get a "practice head". I learned when I was in college student teaching at a largely hispanic and black high school. They had a vo-tech type program for like a pre-beauty school, I guess. But one of the girls told me about how you can purchase dummy heads through the teachers of that department just for that reason - practice. So, try the local high school's around you, or separate county vo tech programs...They should sell or know where you can buy a head. Then I got a small booklet from them as well on beginning braiding...hope that helps.

Already!?!?! cold.gif  ~ Lori, doula, childbirth educator, wife to Jermaine 6/04, and mom to two happy and energetic boys - Tatum 6/06 and Keegan 3/09

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#4 of 5 Old 04-04-2008, 12:48 AM
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Excellent web site with instructions on how to braid:

Click on "Braiding Instructions".

For practice, I made a "head" out of posterboard. I took a smallish (7 inches by 10 inches or so) rectangle of posterboard and rounded off two of the corners so it made a sort up upside down 'U'. Then I took a hole punch and punched holes all around the edge of the U (but not along the straight bottom edge). Then I took some old yarn and tied lengths of yarn to each of the holes around the edge.

This "head" was light and moved too easily, so I would hold it with a foot against our coffee table while I sat on the couch and practiced braiding. And sometimes, I'd have dh hold it while I practiced.

Something to keep in mind is that your skills and your daughter's patience will both grow. You can start off doing a couple of simple braids. As you get more confident, and as your daughter is more able to sit still, you can try French braids, Dutch braids, lots and lots of little braids, cornrows, etc.

Something that really helped convince my daughter to sit still and be patient while I braided was pointing out that if her hair was braided well, it would have fewer tangles (easier comb-out the next time), and often we didn't have to do ANYTHING to her hair for several days (even up to a week, depending on the style). She soon became quite willing to make that deal - sitting still until I got it done, then not having to mess with it for days.

ETA: DD is not biracial, but I thought I'd give input to this thread, since I taught myself to braid dd's hair using that website and the "head" I made. I hope my post comes in handy.

Ann-Marita. I deleted my usual signature due to, oh, wait, if I say why, that might give too much away. 

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#5 of 5 Old 04-28-2008, 05:40 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks everyone for the input!!!

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