Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Creative Process

V's got a NEW hairstyle again!  Today I thought I would talk a little about the creative process involved in deciding what styles I am going to do.  Like a little peek into my brain.  Are you scared?

Inspiration #1 - Free Hair

I have mentioned before that the mother in the Happy Girl Hair blog had been inspiring me to try more "free hair" styles on V.  Not only are these styles adorable, but I really like how she talks about wanting her daughters to get familiar and comfortable with their natural hair.  I have always been a bit afraid of "free hair" styles.  Once V's hair was long enough to be in braids and cornrows I started doing less and less puffs and afros.  The longer her hair got, the more difficult managing little puffs of free hair became, and I didn't dare let her go with a complete head of free hair!  Afros are easy to detangle when short, but the longer the hair is...well, you get the idea!

As it turns out, maybe I was just approaching "free hair" wrong.  I assumed that puffs or afros should be completely detangled every day, because every day that you don't detangle them, they get more and more and more tangled.  Thus leading to a huge headache when you finally go to wash and do a new style.  What I didn't realize was that I have gotten much more adept at working with V's curls as the years have gone by.  I know how to finger detangle, how to easily separate hairs that look hopelessly tangled.  And after watching some videos on Happy Girl Hair about how she cares for her girls afros it dawned on me that maybe it wasn't as difficult as I thought!  I might talk more about how to care for "free hair" in the future, but Happy Girl Hair has lots of great info too!

Free Hair = Awesome!

Inspiration #2 - Cute Simple Cornrow Pattern

I get my inspiration from many places; television, styles I see out and about, photos from the yahoo group, and more recently other blogs and youtube videos!  I have really enjoyed following the Princess Hair Style blog.  I think it is fun to take hairstyles she has done on her straight haired daughter and adjust them for use on my girls!  So my next bit of inspiration came from the Triple French Braids and Piggies style on her blog.  These three braids on top are an exact copy of the braids from that style - except mine are cornrows instead of french braids.
Cute, Simple, Fast!

I Changed it up a bit by adding 2 more braids.  I have one on either side, above the ears for a total of 5 cornrows.  

And of course I also added the three little bangs in the front.  Which I LOVE by the way!  In the last video tutorial I had of V with twisty bangs I got a lot of comments from people who didn't like them.  And I actually kind of agreed.  The bangs were designed a long time ago as a way for us to protect her fragile hair line (I will do a whole separate post about that in the future) but even though they serve a good purpose, I don't always like the way they look.  This time, instead of doing 6 or so bangs all the way across the front, we just did three off to the side, and I think they look super cute!

Inspiration #3 - Pigtail Puffs!

So the Princess Hairstyle did had these simple cornrows going into pigtails, in the past I probably would have twisted or braided up those pigtails instead of leaving them puffs.  But I stumbled upon another mom on youtube, who has 4 curly girls to style, that also likes to do free hair styles!  She has many videos but also a blog called Cherish My Daughter.  One of her Mocha Girls (as she calls them!) is around V's age.  She has a video where she talks about her daughter, Mocha Girl 3, being a little young for afros.  This is where I felt a bit of relief!  I really want to do free hair on V, but my girl is WILD!  She is rough and tumble and no matter how many times I ask, she doesn't usually give a thought to what her crazy playing is doing to her hair!  We also have 3 shedding pets in our house which adds to my stress level!  Anyway, Mocha Mom concedes that at this age, a few free puffs are a little easier to manage than an all out afro!  In one video where she shows how she styles all four of her girls in one day.  She puts Mocha Girl 3's hair into pigtail puffs.  Not only is this adorable, but fits perfectly with the style I was already adapting from Princess Hairstyles!  YEAH!

So that is an example of how my mind works.  I just roam around the internet and find bits and pieces of styles that I like and I mesh them together or put my on spin on them.  Most of the time this is very successful, but I have to say that this style was MORE than successful.  Look at the smile on that girls face!  She was SO excited about these big, beautiful puffs, and that makes my heart SO happy!

See her hands over her heart - that means she really loves it!
In case you need a little bit more instruction on how to do this style, I have a few more pics.

First:  Do an ear to ear part to separate the front of the head from the back.
Second:  Part off a small section at the forehead and put in three two-strand twisty bangs.

Third:  Put in the 5 cornrows on the top as previously discussed.  I did not braid these cornrows all the way to the ends of the hair like I normally would.  Instead, I put little rubber bands at the point where the cornrow finished
Fourth:  Part the back of the hair straight down the middle.
Fifth:  Combine the 3 cornrows from the right with half of the hair from the back and make a puff.  Take the 2 cornrows from the left and combine with the other half of the hair in back for second puff.  I used big soft terry cloth holders for this.

While styling her hair I was using my watered down TW spray for moisture and then adding a bit of my Coconut Oil/Shea Butter mixture to seal in the moisture.  When I was working on the puffs I made sure to get the butter worked into her ends very well.  I also used a bit of Tate's gel around the hairline and base of the braids to see if that would keep them looking tidy.

I think that these "free hair" styles max out at about a week.  I put this in yesterday (friday) and plan to put in a different style on Thursday before we leave town for the weekend.  For daily maintenance I will spray her whole head with our TW spray and then spray the puffs and kind of finger comb them and shape them a bit, but I won't worry about detangling.  If the area around her neck in the back starts looking rough I might spray it, add a bit more gel and comb the hair up toward the puff gently.  (looks like I need a boar bristle brush - another future post topic!)

Before I go....just one more pic of my happy girl!  Little E wanted in on the fun as always!



  1. I love that you give a shout-out to other bloggers! I follow Cherish My Daughter, Happy Hair Girl, and of course Keep Me Curly and as I soak up the collective knowledge offered by these loving Mommies I have better confidence now that my baby girl's hair is in good hands.. Mine. You all Rock!

  2. Wow, what a beautiful hairstyle on a beautiful girl. Those pics made me smile and gave me another great style for future reference. Thanks for sharing. Your cornrows look sooo awesome!! One day ... one day... :-)

  3. Oh, how I love this hairstyle! Thank you for the step by step. I'm so doing it on hair day tomorrow!

  4. Thank you for the linky love! I love seeing how different hairstyles look in other types and textures of hair. I'm loving those bangs you added too. Super cute!!

  5. Super cute!! One thing that I do to protect my daughters hairline is that I braid "down"/"along" the hairline - so it's two small cornrows going down the side... since I started doing this, my girls hairline started filling in ver nicely...this keeps the the style fresh and also keeps the stress off of the hairline.

  6. OMG! you are doing such a great job preserving their natural hair. You need to get in touch with Angelina Jolie and give her some serious tips.

  7. I love this hairstyle and the angles of the cornrows. This gives me hope because I have a difficult time doing skinny cornrows on my daughter but I think I could do something like this with the larger parts. Anyway, as i ramble, lol... Thanks for posting!


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