his sounds like a scary topic to even contemplate without years of training and a positive arsenal of tools, ranging from hair extensions to very expensive curling devices, but sometimes it is easier than you think to create stunning hairstyles which your daughter’s (or even son’s) friends will be envious of.
The first tip is important and it sounds counter-intuitive. In all but a few examples, the results will be better if the hair is not too clean. Washing and conditioning has the effect of making hair slippy and if hair is very straight and fine it can slip out. So if your offspring is heading for a wedding or a prom, ban hair washing for two days before and leave it!
The second tip is to work with the type of hair rather than try to make it what it is not. Wavy hair can be made straight and straight hair can be made curly, but going against nature sometimes courts trouble, especially on damp days. So, if your daughter has straight hair, look for a style that accentuates long lines. If she has curls, flaunt them and work with them. If hair is short, use colour, shape and sculpt. Backcombing can add volume to fine hair, but doing this at home should be avoided as repeated unskilled use of this technique strips the cuticle of the hair, makes it brittle and at the very least causes split ends.
Third tip, sometimes expensive products count and sometimes they don’t! A good quality hairspray is never an economy. It is less inclined to form solid “glops” on hair and the best (hint) disappears when you brush the hair.
So here goes:
Putting hair in rags
In the days before electric styling wands became fashionable this was the trick that many an exasperated mum used to use, and generally speaking it is kinder to the hair than heat. Preferably the evening before the style is needed, take an old cotton pillowcase and cut it into strips of at least 60 cm long and about 3-4 cm wide. Now wash or dampen the hair so that it is damp but not dripping.
If your child’s hair doesn’t hold curl well use a styling lotion or product and apply evenly to the lengths of the hair and comb through. Using clips or grips divide the hair into 6-10 or more strands of equal amounts. Taking the first strip of material and the first strand of hair, tie the rag around the hair tightly about 1/3rd of the way along the strip.
Holding the shorter end straight down, begin to wind the hair around the taught cloth. When finished, hold between finger and thumb of one hand at the bottom. Using the other hand, take the other end of the cloth and securely wind it around over the top of the hair, sandwiching the hair between the two layers of cloth. Tie off firmly at the bottom end so that it won’t come out easily. Repeat the process with the other strands until all the hair is used up.
After several hours, preferably the following morning, making sure the hair is dry, untie or cut the cloth and unwind the hair. In all but the stubbornest of straight hair there will be a curl which can then be brushed and clipped back or pinned back using fancy slides. Note, if the hair is of the kind inclined to be straight, then don’t brush out too much, it will fall under its own weight.
This type of style suits straight and quite thick but fine textured hair. The basic art of braiding involves three strands of hair where the strand on the right is crossed over the centre strand and becomes the centre, followed by the left being folded over the new centre strand and repeated until the end of the hair is reached and a plait is formed. To jazz it up a little there are a number of ways in which a braid can be modified:
- Start at the top of the head – Take a small portion of the hair near the front of the head and as the plait grows take in a little hair from either side so that the hair is taken up. At the nape of the neck all hair should be incorporated.
- Start at the sides – At the temple on one side of the head create a small plait, using the feeding in technique lift in the hair until about 3cm behind the ears, using a grip hold the plait and repeat on the other side. Use the three sections of hair, one from each side and that from the back to make a low medieval style plait.
- The Princess Leia – Needs no explanation.
A very popular style. Take a fine white sock and cut off the toes so you are left with a tube. Secure the hair on the top of the head in a ponytail. If the hair is fine and flyaway use hair gel or another styling product. Get the person to sit on a low chair and hold the ponytail vertically up. Roll the sock up as if it were to become a wristband. Push it over the end of the hair and gently roll the hair and the sock over and over until the hair covers the sock, and then secure the bun and sock using hair grips of a colour as close to the natural hair colour as possible. Spray the hair and, if wanted, add feature crystals, rosebuds or other decorative items around the bun to add a splash of colour.
If you would like to find out more about doing your child’s hair then take a look at our comprehensive online Hair for Parents course