Once you’ve learned the basic lace braid, you can start to be creative.
This one is a nice variation, almost like a normal french braid, but makes people look twice.
I started by lace braiding from above her left eye, going slightly to the right and picking up hair from the right. When I had caught all the difficult fine baby hair from the front, I started heading left, and picking up hair strands from the left only. Then changed direction again to the right and picked up hair from the right into the lace braid, then left and finally right again to finish.
This was very quick as it didn’t require parting the hair in any way. Took me about 3 minutes. And it lasted really well, somehow lace braids always do.
And you can zigzag the other way as well. Start from behind the ear, lace braid heading towards the middle of her forehead, picking up hair from the left, after 4 or 5 stitches , turn slightly to the right and start picking up hair from the right, then turn towards the fore head again, and pick up hair from the left again…
Zig zag until the left ear, turn and finish by lace braiding the rest of the hair by picking up hair from the right.
This one was slightly trickier, took me just over 5 minutes, but was really worth the effort. It lasted a couple of days, and survived our ultimate test: the swimming pool 🙂
And even if these don’t turn out quite right, they are a good way of practising lace braiding.
Every time I make a ”starburst” braid, I get so many people asking how to do it. Even strangers on the street stop to ask whether the hair goes to the middle or comes from there… So I finally decided to do some step-by-step pictures.
I started with a lace braid headband to keep hair out of the face.
After I braided from left ear to the right (adding hair from the right only), I put a clip on the braid and made a little ponytail in the middle of the rest of the hair, leaving some loose hair all around.
You don’t have to do the first part of the braid (the lace braid headband), you could just start by making a ponytail in the middle of the head and leaving some loose hair all around the ponytail.
Next, unclip the braid and start french braiding it. Every time you add hair strands to the braid from the left, add it from the ponytail. And when you add hair from the right, add it from the loose hair around the ponytail.
Carry on french braiding around the ponytail, picking up loose hair to add to the right side of the braid and hair from the ponytail to add to the left.
Once you’ve braided all around, finish with a normal 3 strand braid. Then tuck the braid inside the french braid, and secure with couple of bobby pins.
So, it’s not as complicated as it looks. It’s a bit tricky to make the ponytail in the beginning, and you might need some practice to find out how thick the strands of hair should be, when you add hair from the ponytail. The model here is my eldest daughter with incredibly thick hair, but I need to do quite a lot thinner strands on the other two girls. And the outcome looks quite different, but still nice.
When you master this, you can do the beautiful starburst double bun:
A few minor back-to-school disasters yesterday: had one girl there at the wrong time (luckily too early), forgot their snack boxes (saved by husband who ran back home for them), forgot quite a few items from the list to bring to school, and in the evening, tried to cover the notebooks with plastic, and got it all wrinkled. And after all that, I had another accident with not reading the label on my hair wax and makeup remover containers, this time with waxy eyes! Clearly too tired after the first day!
But the main thing was: they both enjoyed school very much AND their hair looked nice 🙂 :
The first one of these is very easy, and could even do it in the morning (but we did all the hair the night before). It’s two little dutch lace braids. That’s a lace braid, but instead of moving hair strands form the side over to the middle, you move from the side UNDER to the middle. So like an inverted braid.
The second one is more tricky, and requires some practice. I’ve made two french braids, but with 5 strands instead of 3. I did this first time about a week ago and ended up with loose braids that fell apart, but after trying a few times, I’ve mastered the 5-strand french braiding. You might want to start with making simple braids with 5 strands first (here is a link to a tutorial on a simple 5 strand braid, which I found on YouTube).
When you’ve made some lovely braids, it’s nice to keep them for a couple of days to make it worth the effort. You can often get a whole new hairdo in minutes (in case you think, having the same braid for many days is boring), by changing the hairstyle a little bit or by adding to it.
Here is what we did with yesterday’s half-up-hairdos. Two lace braids into a french braid (on the left), and lots of mini lace braids into a french braid (on the right):
See yesterday’s braids here.
All I’ve done, is to french braid the hair hanging at the back of yesterday’s half-up-dos, also adding the little lace braids into the french braid. This gave a whole new look with two minutes of braiding, and makes the hairdo last longer, as the hair at the back doesn’t tangle. It’s also an excellent trick to make any half-up hairdo into a sports-hairdo.
Less than one week now till the start of school, so here is another set of back to school hairstyles.
All ”half-up-dos” are good for school, as they keep hair out of the face. They also last for a couple of days easily. If you use them for very long hair, and want the hairdo to last over night, it’s best to make a loose braid with the rest of the hair for sleeping, to prevent it from tangling. That also gives nice waves when you open the braid in the morning.
Today, I did two lace braids in the front for my first-grader-to-be. This is an easy to make half-up-do, and OK for shorter or thinner hair as well. Took me about 5 minutes to make:
I made a ponytail at the back to hold a bit over half of her hair out of the way. Next, I used her natural parting and started with the right (longer) side braid. I lace braided by adding hair from the left side only, making a braid very near her face. Then I lace braided the shorter left side braid by adding hair from the right side only. Finally, I undid the ponytail, which was holding back the rest of the hair.
For my older daughter, I made a bit more complicated variation, with little lace braids :
The hardest part here is to divide the hair before braiding, but after that, it isn’t too difficult to make 4 little lace braids on the right and 3 on the left.
This one is great for thick hair. I haven’t made this before, but from similar hairdos, I predict it will last really well for several days, as long as we keep brushing the hair at the back, and tying it back for sleeping.
Here is a tutorial for a basic lace braid. You can do a million variations of the lace braid, but this is how to do the very basic one.
BASIC LACE BRAID
We did the video with my middle daughter, who has very long hair, but here is a picture of my smallest one when she was only 20 months old, and had very little hair.
Once you’ve practised the basic lace braid, you can easily do a lace braid headband by taking hair from around the face, or a headband by taking hair from the middle of the head and braiding around the face.
You can use the lace braid for a flower bun or two, a zig zag braid or a spiral. Or do a ponytail starting with a lace braid.
And once you are confident doing the lace braid, you can move onto the ladder braid…
The possibilities are endless!
I did another tutorial on the basic lace braid, but this time, instead of going from front to back, I did two little braids around the face. You could do the same with just one braid from one ear to the other to get a lace braid headband.
You want this look? Make a tight braid, jump into a swimming pool, go down a water slide, sleep couple of nights and add a bit of sun screen.
Sometimes the hairdos get a nice look after a couple of days. This one looks like I’ve intentionally made loose curves under the braid and managed to get them symmetrical!
For this next one, my cousin was practising to do lace braids. At first it looked exactly like that: someone practised doing lace braids. But again a combination of swimming, playing, wind and sun screen, and a couple of nights sleep transformed the hairstyle into a nice loose braid at the back:
And finally, I braided my sisters hair before a camping trip. Pool water, river water, wind and sleeping in a sleeping bag for a weekend, and it ended up like this:
I keep on finding pictures of lovely hairdos, that I know are not going to be any good on children. And I love coming up with my own child-friendly versions…
A while ago I saw a picture of two beautiful lace braids around the face, which ended up in a bun. But my girls don’t like buns, as often they sleep with their hairdos, and buns are not very comfortable for sleeping. And I don’t like buns, as I’m not very good at making them, and they always require bobby pins, which are not very practical on kids. So I started using similar lace braids as a start for lots of different hairdos.
Then I found another picture of a hairdo I liked. It was a ”chinese ladder braid”, which would work well on kids apart from the loose top part of the hairdo. So I combined the two hairdos and came up with this:
For this one, instead of making a lace braid headband that adds hair form the side of the face, I made the lace braids by adding hair from the side of the top of the head (here left). After making two lace braid headbands or crowns, I tied them together with the rest of the hair and made a chinese ladder braid, which is much easier to make than it looks. Here is a link to a tutorial on the last part of the hairdo: Chinese staircase braid tutorial.
This one lasted quite well. The after-photo is taken after one night’s sleep and a day at the swimming pool:
The pictures are of my daughter, who has a lot of hair for an average 2-year-old, but this hairdo is perfect for everyone with a lot less hair than her.
Last week, I was trying on some french braids and lace braids on my cousin’s daughter, who has very fine hair and little of it. I always ran out of hair before the braid got anywhere, so I invented a little trick to make a braided headband (or other braids) work:
I started braiding with three strands of hair. Then, instead of adding hair at every ”stitch” of the braid, I added a bit of hair to one stitch, then did three stitches without adding any, then added a bit of hair, followed by three normal stitches again, then added some hair to the next stitch and so on. This made the braid long enough to stretch across the head, but I managed to keep it tight and didn’t run out of hair.
Here are some step-by-step pictures of how I did it on my daughter (I’m half way through the braid, but you can see the trick):
She has a lot of hair, but also funny bits of very thin and short baby hair at the sides of her forehead, so this trick worked well on her as well.
My criteria for a good beach hairstyle:
– there are no partings, so the scalp doesn’t burn (the girls are not very good at keeping sun hats on)
– the hairdo keeps most hair out of the face (and out of the ice cream)
– it is easy to tie back for diving, jumping and water slides
– it looks pretty
So, I’ve come up with a lot of different hairdos. This one is a lace braid made from one side to another and back. I’ve lace braided the hair from left ear towards the right, picking up thin strands of hair only from the right/top side. When I got as far as picking up hair from near her right ear, I turned and lace braided back towards the left ear, trying to keep as near to the first part of the braid as possible, and only picking up hair from the left/top side (from underneath the first part of the braid).
I made a slightly different version for her little sister:
Here I left a little gap between the first and second part of the braid, simply by not pulling the second part so tightly next to the first part. The picture on the right shows how it looked after a lot of swimming and playing at the beach.