Convey your mood with your braid: Edgy vs Soft

7U6A1647Hey babes. It dawned on me a while back that besides all the different types of braids that exist, there are many ways to style a singular braid. What I mean is this. Take your average dutch braid. It can be soft and pretty and romantic, and it can also be very edgy and tribal and sharp. It can be innocent. It can be rough. It can make your head look tiny, or big. It can look very intricate or super simple. It can make you feel like a 6 year old. Or an old lady. Or a fashionista. Or a dutch-milkmaid. Or a hand-maiden. Or a viking. Or a hippie. Or a rattlesnake hunter. Or a bride when you are not really a bride. Or a human being when you are an exhausted new mom.

I began to break down in my head what it is that distinguishes these different braid-feels. Obvies, there is the deconstructing trick to soften a braid and give it that lived-in look. But beyond that, how can we use our braids to tell our story about how we feel in the moment?

I decided to put a post together about soft braids vs edgy braids, just to get you started in thinking about manipulating your braids to fit your mood. Nikki graciously volunteered to let me style and photograph her in one of her lovely kimonos and a pair of her best-selling earrings.

Soft braids.

Think romantic, bohemian, pretty, loose, natural.softbraids

Soft braids work on all hair types. I think they look best on wavy, curly, thick hair. If you do not have these things, Master-Braider is your braid boosting bff.

Soft braids are obviously done with a loose grip and no tension. Larger sections of hair are added in from each side. They are pulled apart and deconstructed using this trick.

They always have small bits falling around the face, which can be pulled down after the braid is secured. (See Ladyparts!)

Edgy braids. edgy braids

Think tight. Geometric. Intricate. Precise.

These braids can totally work on all types, but it is easiest to achieve the edgy feel in straighter hair. If your hair is wavy or curly and you want to rock an edgy braid, start with a head-wrap to straighten things out. If you are into heat styling, apply some Shiny-Dancer to your ends and flat-iron your hair to prep it.

Edgy braids are tightly wound, with tension and precision. Small partings with tiny sections added in from each side give them their textured complexity. Generally, you don’t want little hairs falling around the face to soften the look. High, tight, and precise!

As you can see in the upper right hand edgy braid style, a soft bun paired with an edgy accent braid makes a beautiful contrast! So you can bend all these rules to combine elements and create very cool hairstyles. But I want you to understand the how’s and why’s.

Here is an example of how using different sized partings and sections in your braids can change the feel of it. The top row is a standard dutch braid with very small sections added into each side as I braided. My section partings were quite precise ( As precise as a pinkie can get!)

The bottom row is also a dutch braid but with larger sections added in, and my partings weren’t as precise. See the diffy?

The photo below is the side view of the top row edgy braid.

braid science 37U6A1475These next braids are just regular french braids. The top row braid is done with very small sections, again. Edgier, right?

In the same photo, the bottom row braid has larger sections added in. It is softer and more flowing.

braid sciencePicMonkey CollageThis last photo illustrates how to make that softer french braid even more soft and pretty by pulling the edges of the braid out, loosening small sections, and pulling down pieces of hair around the face to frame it. Free your lady parts!

Food for hair-thought. I want you all to be inspired and informed master-braiders!

xo, HTHG

Bamboo Bun

7U6A8631 7U6A4291After I did that lovely Bamboo Braid, I felt compelled to grab my favorite hair-comb, Maza by Nikki Jacoby (Available in the HTHG boutique!) an bun her up. This took the hairstyle to a new level from casual pretty to high-end fancy lady gorgeousness.  7U6A8632I think this would be an absolutely perfect bridal hairstyle for a simple, natural bride. I see a cream-colored sheath dress with a bold neckline in a japanese garden.

Bamboo Bun

bamboo bunAs usual with braids, start by prepping the hair with Masterbraider braid and wave spray. This will add lots of grip to your braid and help the bamboo ends stay put all day long.

Begin by doing a Bamboo Braid.

Begin gently wrapping the braid into a bun, slightly to one side.

Try and situate the braid so that as you wrap it, it lays flat against the head. This will show more detail in the bun.

Continue wrapping, and tuck in the end of the braid. Use your hair comb, or some large bobby pins, to secure the bun into place.

Tuck in any loose pieces and pin with additional bobbies if needed. Don’t be afraid to really get in there with the bobby pins, this bun can be a bit heavy!

Absolutely lovely.

xoxo, HTHG

Lazy Gal Buns

lazy gal bunsHey my dears. Here is a quick lazy girl hairstyle that I have been rocking lately because my hair is (Finally!) long enough to wear all braided and twisted up high. Halleluja!

This is a great mom hairstyle because it can be done super quick and it will stay in all day long while you wrestle, run around, and then lock yourself in your room for some peace and quiet.

I like Lazy Gal Buns because they give a nice amount of volume all over, and because the buns are on top, it looks super cute from all angles!

Lazy Gal Buns

As always with braided hairstyles, prep the hair with Masterbraider wave and braid spray.

Begin by parting the hair down the center. Gather hair up on one side, nice and high. Braid the entire section and secure the end with a clear elastic. Pull the braid apart to loosen it up.

Repeat on the other side. Now, take your braids one at a time and wind them into a loose bun. Tuck in the ends, and pin them into place.

Pull your lady parts down from the temple area, and from right in front of the ear.

Now you can laze about in high style. And don’t feel bad about it! Everyone needs an unjustified lazy day sometimes.

xo, HTHG

 

Bamboo Braid. Why not?

bambooHi babes! In the height of my flower frenzy last month, I become obsessed with the idea o f braiding grasses into the hair. The idea originally came to me while sitting on a farm in Kansas 2 years ago, watching tall grass bend and blow over a pond, wanting nothing more than to braid it into my hair and share it on my blog. But who on earth would want to see that?I got over that, apparently.

So here we are, braiding bamboo fronds into hair. Why? because it looks so cool. An it is a bit edgier that flowers in the hair, but still with the prettiness and natural vibe. And, Bamboo grows everywhere and can be literally braided into any french or free braid on any hair length to add texture and a lovely pop of green!

To begin with, strip bamboo blades off the frond, split them in half lengthwise with your fingers, and then soak them in water for a few hours. This will make them more flexible.bamboo2bamboo braidFor best results with this braid, prep the hair with Masterbraider braid and wave spray.

Now, start your braid wherever you want it. Take a blade and lay it over one of your braid sections. Fold a section over it, and just braid it right on in! Add another bamboo blade every 3 overlaps, and continue braiding to the end. Use the longest bamboo ends to gently tie a knot at the end of your braid, then go back and tuck in all loose braid ends. Gently pull your braid apart to soften and widen it. If some Bamboo ends are poking out, just use that as inspiration to further rough up your braid!

Throw on a kimono and you are ready to go.

xoxo, HTHG

 

Daisy Braids and my dear daughters.

7U6A0380Hi babes. I was thinking the other day that it has been a while since I just wrote up a post spontaneously and shared it….I’ve been spending so much time focused on the details of production. I miss just sharing life as it happens. So I am going to make more of an effort to keep you in the personal loop as well as the hair loop of HTHG.

My daughters are Marley Mae Apple Ames, 7 years old, and Selah (Say-la) Sparrow Honey Wilder, 3. We named Marley Mae Apple because she was born when the southern Mayapples were in full bloom, and because her grandpa is an apple farmer. Selah was named after a girl I went to school with who was the daughter of ex-pat Isreali hippies and I loved her name. Sparrow because she was born a dark eyed little bird. Honey after her grandmother who affectionately went by Honey, and Wilder because her father, myself, and her sister all have different last names and it seemed only fair to give her a unique one of her very own. And Laura Ingalls Wilder is my idol, and a great universal namesake.

There you have it. I love to name things. It is one of my favorite past times. I was born Jane Eleanor Vander Stoep Hunt, but changed my name to Roxie at the age of 10 because it just felt right.

7U6A0391Marley just graduated from the 1st grade, which blows my mind wide open. She is a lean, lanky smarty-pants with insane ambition and drive, creativity and a braid for finite math.

She loves to party, is very kind and loving, and has a soft spot for all living non-human creatures. She is very much herself, and doesn’t seem to hear the beats of other peoples drums. I am very proud of her. For more on Mars and her hair, check out this post about her first DIY haircut. For more kid hairstyles, check out rag-curls, birthday braids, midnight braids, bug-catcher bun, and super cute kid bangs.

7U6A0191The night before her last day of school, Marley’s sister Selah decided to take the liberty of sneaking out of the bathtub and getting the Chlorophyll from the fridge (If you don’t know, Chlorophyll is plant blood and I add it to my water to oxygenate my blood.) The girls proceeded to wash their hair with it which resulted in dark green bath water and green-tinged hair. You can almost still see it in the photo above. They are wild little beasts a lot of the time.

The last day of 1st grade called for Daisy Braids, naturally. So I gave myself and Marley Dutch braids and decorated them with daisies. Selah got pigtails with daisies pinned in because her wild curls won’t sit still for braiding. More on Selah later, when she can sit still for 10 minutes at a time:)

Daisy Braids

7U6A0188Daisy braidsThe key to Daisy Braids is to pre-secure your daisies to pins so once your dutch braids are in, all you have to do is stick em in wherever you want ‘em!

For these braids I used large daisies and clusters of small ones. I cut the stems off the large daisies and used hair pins to pin carefully through the base behind the flower. For the clusters, I left an inch of stem and used small bobby pins to pin them directly into the braid.

Here is an easy Dutch Braid tutorial for longer hair, and here is one for shorter hair. The technique used in this tutorial is best done on shorter to medium length hair.

I suggest having 2nd day hair or using a grippy braid spray to really get your braids to stick together, and bulk up when you pull them apart to rough em up:)

Daisy braids are the perfect Summer time mother-daughter hairstyle for weddings, solstice parties, music festivals, you name it. Hair fun for the family.

What are your daughters like? I would love to know.

I am my mothers daughter, more and more. My mother is a wonderfully kooky woman. Is yours? Being a mom is pretty rad and also a constant headache and heartache.

Love you guys, thanks for being here.

xo, HTHG

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