Hair Braiding Hairstyles

Hair Braiding Hairstyles

Women with long hair can play with dozens of braid styles for a simple or exotic new look. When you have long hair, no style is more fun to experiment with than braids. If you think braiding is limited to the standard English style (three strands of equal size, crossed back and forth to form a simple ponytail-style braid), you just haven't explored all the possibilities.

Actually there are dozens of braid styles -- some complex, some understated, all eye-catching. Braids can be worn by women of all ages, and even those with only chin-length hair can pull them off. They keep your hair neat, off your face when it's hot or humid, are perfect for sports, and can be worn during the day or evening. Some of the most common braids perfectly accessorize both sports and evening wear.
Which hairstyle can claim greater versatility? Once you've mastered one style of braid, you'll have the skill needed to attempt others. For braiding success, follow these tips from Patricia Coen and Joe Maxwell, authors of Beautiful Braids:

Before trying a braid style, read all instructions, and imagine performing them. Braid in your mind before braiding with your hands.

Don't watch yourself in the mirror. Close your eyes and concentrate. You'll work intuitively, which will produce a better braid.

Work with damp hair, which is more manageable when you're braiding.

Don't use an office-supply-style rubber band to secure a braid, as it promotes hair breakage. Choose proper accessories designed to hold hair: coated bands, clips, barrettes and other ornaments.

Don't tense up. If you don't like the result, you can always try again.

As for braid styles, consider the following:

Create a simple English braid, and coil it around your finger. Tuck the end of the braid under the coil, and secure it to the back of your head. This is called an "English braid with chignon."

The "Dutch braid" is similar to an English braid, but the three strands of hair (equal in size) are crossed under, rather than over, one another.

The classic "French braid" is one of the most sophisticated - and popular - hairstyles ever invented. You start with a center section of hair and divide it into three strands. As you braid, you add new strands gathered from both sides of your head. The finished braid rests flat against your head and is secured at the bottom. Check out Dreamweaver Braiding, an online educational braiding site, for complete directions, or Coen's and Maxwell's illustrated guide book.

The "invisible French braid" is constructed like its classic namesake, but the hanging braid is folded upward and pinned to your scalp.

The "accent braid" - popular among teenagers - is a single, thin braid that adorns loose hair, positioned on one side of your head. Select three thin strands from one side of your hair and braid them. Secure the braid at the bottom and let it rest against your loose hair.

The "princess braid" was made famous by Carrie Fisher's Star Wars character, Princess Leia. The style actually dates back to the 14th century, when it was all the rage. You create two English braids - one on each side of your head, pigtail style - and coil them. Affix the coils to your scalp with hairpins.

Cornrows are a trendy style among African-American women, but the very Caucasian Bo Derek immortalized them for women of all ethnicities in the 1979 film 10. Cornrows tend to remain in the hair for a protracted period, due to the amount of time needed to create them. If you want this look, go to an experienced braider or stylist, as braid evenness is vital.

You can always work ribbon or yarn into any braid to add a splash of color. Adorn braids with hair jewels or fresh floral buds for special occasions.

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Hair Weaving

What are Hair Extensions?

What are Hair Extensions?

Hair extensions are a creation of several innovative techniques that may be used separately or in combination with each other to add length and fullness to your existing hair. I use methods that insure no or minimal damage to the client’s own hair. Quality and care of the hair extension and the client’s hair is a number one priority.

Quality of Hair

Quality of hair is an extremely important factor as to how “real” your hair extension will look. While many places claim to use only “100% human hair”, they fail to realize or tell you that 90% of the human hair available is from China or Korea which is very poor quality because of the processing methods. During processing the hair is heavily stripped and the cuticle layer is inverted which damages the hairs' natural protective coating. It is further processed to imitate the colors, curl, and texture of Caucasian hair since a lot of people don't have straight, black, course hair. This damages the hair so much that by the time you wear it, the hair is dull, lifeless, and will not last a long time. This hair also has a tendency to tangle and matte extensively.

The latest trend in the type of hair being used for extensions is Indian Remy hair. Remy hair is used for most bonding and interlock systems today. While this type of hair is better than the typical manufactured human hair, it still goes through an extensive process and does not meet my top quality standards.

I use only 100% European, Italian and/or Russian blended hair. This premium quality hair can be custom-blended to match texture, color, and wave pattern desired. It is virgin, healthy hair that will remain glossy and full of life for an average of 6-14 months with proper maintenance. As all hair tends to dry out, it is an absolute must that the Maintenance Care Instructions be followed, which include using the proper products and tools.

Methods of Attachment

Hair weaving is a traditional method of attaching hair extensions. I prefer to use my own version of this method because there is virtually no damage to the client’s own hair when done properly. The hair comes in a “weft” form and can be made into as many pieces as necessary. Each piece is blended as thick or thin as needed to match the client’s existing hair. A “track” is formed by weaving a bond of small sections of your natural hair inter-twining with numerical combinations of thread to form a locked base system at the roots of your hair. The hair wefts are attached to the track. My technique is flat, not bulky, and not easily detectable like traditional weaves. It also has enough support so your own hair is not weakened. Most clients require only 1 or 2 tracks to achieve their desired result. The weaving process is usually completed in 2-4 hours depending on the amount of hair attached. Hair weaving generally lasts 4-8 weeks before a retightening is needed.

For clients who prefer not to have wefted hair, I use a pre-bonded protein-keratin bonding system. With this system, small pieces of hair are individually bonded onto the client’s own hair at the root. The bonding system lasts up to 3 months. This system is great for adding streaks, funky colors, or color blocks or in "certain" situations. Generally, I dissuade clients from using this to add volume and length or grow their own hair out. In my 17+ years of experience with hair extensions, I have seen too many clients come from other places with substantial breakage and damage from this method. I have thoroughly researched 99% of the systems out there and find the quality of hair is just not up to the standard I demand. Along with the high incidence of damage to the clients' own hair, I feel that this is not the answer in most cases.

I also make removable hair extensions using wefted hair with clips or an invisible wire. This is also visually undetectable and is great for client’s who travel extensively, live out-of-town, or just don’t want to be bothered with maintenance. Wefted hair extensions can be alternated between weaving and a removable system at any time.


Pricing depends on what I need to do, how much hair is needed, method of attachment, etc. Every hair extension is custom designed and blended for your specific situation. It's very difficult to determine price when I haven't seen you and your hair. This is why I offer free consultations with no obligation.

Shopping for extensions by price alone can end up causing a lot of frustration and disappointment. It may end up costing more money in the long run too. You should also consider quality of the hair, the person's experience, and several other factors which are listed in my article posted under the Articles button on my website. Cheapest is not the best and usually gives an unrealistic look and feel - and at worst, damages your hair. I'm not saying the most expensive hair extensions are the best. There are also people who charge a lot of money that don't deliver high quality. My point is, if you're going to shop around, it is in your best interest to see for yourself what is being offered and to consider and compare all the factors along with the price.

Hair Weaving
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Braiding the Back of Your Own Hair

Braiding the Back of Your Own Hair

Step 1:

Style the front of your hair, including bangs, wisps and tendrils, before you begin your hair braid. Divide tangle-free hair into three even sections.

Step 2:

Lift your left elbow to shoulder height and make a thumbs-down fist around the left portion of hair. Do the same on the right side, letting the middle portion lie against your spine.

Step 3:

Extend your left index finger and hook the right section of hair. Pull it in front of the middle section, letting it slip completely out of the right hand. Grab the middle section of hair with your right hand, pull it to the right side, then resume the thumbs-down fist position with both hands.

Step 4:

Extend your right index finger, hook the far left portion of hair and let it slip completely out of the left hand. Shift the portion of hair in your left hand into a thumbs-down fist, then free up the left index finger. Make a thumbs-down fist with your right hand, and then use your left index finger to hook the far right portion. Try and keep the tension on each section of your hair braid as even as possible for best results.

Step 5:

Continue the process until the braid is complete. To braid very long hair, you may have to free a hand to pull the portions through. Secure the developing braid by pressing your knuckles into it as you shift your hands for the next cross.

Hair Weaving

Steps for Braiding Hair

Steps for Braiding Someone Else's Hair or the Front Section of Your Own Hair

Step 1:

Begin by applying a styling gel, mousse or pomade to clean, damp hair and blow drying it as smooth as possible. Braiding hair that hasn’t been washed that day and already has hair products in it also works well.

Step 2:

Divide tangle-free hair into three even sections. Place the left section between your left index finger and thumb, let the middle section hang free and place the right section between your right index finger and thumb. This will begin to create the hair braids.

Step 3:

Grab the middle section with your right middle finger and pull it so it passes behind the right section. Extend your right thumb and index finger so the portion of hair therein becomes the middle section.

Step 4:

Use the left middle finger to pull the middle section behind the left section. Extend or straighten the left index finger and thumb to make the left section become the middle section. Pay careful attention to the smoothness and tension of your hair braid sections.

Step 5:

Shift the portion of hair hooked in the right middle finger so it sits between the right index finger and thumb. Repeat the process, then shift the portion of the hair hooked in the left middle finger so it sits between the left index finger and thumb.

Step 6:

Continue until you achieve the desired length of the hair braid. Make a tighter, more compact braid by pulling the middle section into a horizontal line as you pull it to the right or left. For a loose, elongated braid, simply shift the middle section to the right or left, letting it remain in a vertical line.

Step 7:

Tie off the ends of the hair braid with a covered rubber band. Add a bow or barrette when appropriate.

Hair Weaving

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