Braids Part 2: Old Dog, New Tricks

Around these parts, Erinn is and will always be the braid expert (see her original braid post here).  I, however, am a braid moron.  I think, like all other moral deficiencies, this stems back to childhood.  All my female peers were out learning to braid on their American Girl dolls, effectively destroying Samantha’s pristine tresses, and meanwhile my very sensible parents refused to spend $80 on a doll in spite of my many pleas.  Additionally, I think I missed the now-obvious conclusion that I probably could have just as easily braided Barbie’s hair as the historically fictitious Victorian equestrian.  Not that any of this practice mattered because I would never have the chance to put my braiding technique to use on my own hair, as my mother kept me in a bowl cut until I hit puberty.  So I never learned how to braid.  And I never cared and never knew what I was missing.

Until adulthood.  Until Pinterest.  I tell ya, Pinterest has ruined me.  I have found image after image of stunning braids, thick and gleaming with whimsy.  And I figured, how hard could it be to pick up a new talent in your thirties?  Turn out, it’s pretty hard.

summer vibes!:   The Ultimate Hair Hack to Instantly Make Your Plait Prettier:   This braid is the perfect hairstyle for the boho bride.:

No matter how many tutorials I watched or how many times I tried, I was never able to achieve anything that came close to this kind of perfection.  I reasoned that because I have super-thin hair and thick sausage fingers, I was doomed to live a braid-less existence.

Then I had a second baby and realized that I won’t ever get to wash my hair again.  I decided that I needed a small arsenal of hairstyles in my back pocket so that I can emerge in public without hair that resembles the fur of a mangy, rabid dog.  I’ve spent the last week on a braid rampage, using my newborn’s nap time to scour Youtube for the simplest braid tutorials for morons like me.  And I’m happy to report, I’ve found three braid options that work for fine-haired, sausage-fingered ladies.  Please excuse my mess of of a head.  Remember, I’m still learning.  And I just had a child, so everything is messy.

The Rope Braid:

I really like this one because, after some practice, I can do it without looking in a mirror. This tutorial from the Freckled Fox is insanely easy to follow.

The Side Dutch Braid into a Bun:

I love this braid because my hair stays put all day, so I don’t have to worry about greasifying it by constantly touching and fussing with it.  I learned the Dutch Braid by watching this tutorial by Missy Sue, which is a fantastic guide to regular, French, and Dutch braids for people like me who have literally never separated their hair into three sections before.  She has another tutorial specifically for the Dutch braid into a messy bun here, which is also fantastic.

The Top Dutch Braid into a High Ponytail:

This one took me the longest to figure out, but it’s really fun and playful.  Plus, this is great for masking super dirty hair.  I found this tutorial by Hannah Hairstyles to be really helpful.

As I’ve learned, the secret to braids that hold is dirty hair, and I’ve got that in spades. And for girls with ultra fine hair like me, the secret to dirty hair is product.  Here’s what I’ve been using to get an extra day or so out of that rare hair wash:

  1. Bumble & Bumble Hair Powder– Because the powder is tinted brown, I don’t have to rub it in as much as I would other hair powders, so this is my product for when I really don’t have much time.
  2. Big Sexy Hair Powder Play– This is a more traditional hair powder that’s super absorbent and a great price point.
  3. Not Your Mother’s Double Take Texture Spray– This spray gives my hair great volume to make it appear that I have a big chunky braid, when in reality, it’s the width of a pencil.  I put this on before the braiding bonanza begins.
  4. Kenra Professional Volume Spray 25– This is absolutely my favorite hairspray in the world.  It has excellent hold without making anything feel crusty and sets the braid nicely once I’m finished.
  5. Bumble & Bumble Thickening Full Form Mousse– On the rare occasion that I actually wash my hair, this is the product I put on before drying.  It gives my roots a little boost, and without it, my hair would look like an oil slick by the end of the day.

3 thoughts on “Braids Part 2: Old Dog, New Tricks

  1. I missed out on those childhood braiding sessions, too, and I was blessed with a daughter with a head of thick, long hair. 😬 If push comes to shove, I’ll pull a Kim Kardashian and pay someone to teach me because, thus far, my braids really suck! 😂

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one! I really hope I can get decent at this skill before my daughter has braidable hair!

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