Childbirth, and Expecting Mama Braids

7U6A7489 (1)There is not a more sacred time in a woman’s life than right before her first baby is born. This beautiful time, the last month, is filled with unknowns, emotions, and the insanity of your body growing past what feels like it’s own limitations. The anticipation and excitement of an upcoming birth and then life as a parent is an almost unreal, dreamlike place.

7U6A7316I spent last weekend with my 36 week pregnant sister friend Nikki Jacoby and her partner Gabe enjoying the woods, cooking food, playing music, reading up on birth, and relaxing. Both Gabe and I happened to be reading a book called The Birth Partner by Penny Simkins, which was perfect because we get tag-team her  support when the time comes, which is such a incredibly cool honor.

7U6A7296 (1)While in our little cabin in the woods, I shot some photos of Nikki, to document her body at it’s most pregnant extreme so she will never forget how radiant she is.

I gave her special braids, Expecting Mama Braids, because it seemed like the perfect time for her to wear her own golden crown. I thought a lot about how our hair is our crown, and that there are times in life when we need to own our power and wear crown proudly, and to be brave……and this was one of those times.


With that said, this braid is for all of you Expecting Mamas.

What makes these braids different is that we began with a deep, diagonal side part.

7U6A7408I did two dutch braids, the first started along the front hairline, the second started at the apex of the diagonal part, sweeping around in an arc to meet the first one in the back.

Both braids were secured at the ends, deconstructed, and then each end was wrapped around and pinned under the opposite braid to complete the circle.

7U6A7419Does that make sense? I hope so.

Here is a quote from legendary American Midwife Ina May Gaskins

“Remember this, for it is as true and true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.”

If you are in the Seattle Area and are pregnant and about to give birth, and you want braids to crown you and help you channel your power, please email me at

May your births be smooth, powerful, mighty, and peaceful, and your hair be shining and royal.7U6A7201

P.S. I got all my Nikki Jacoby Jewelry re-tumbled, and I can’t stop looking at it.

xo, HTHG

Peace Braids

7U6A0530Hi babes! A little fresh hair today, this sweet floral number which combines the beauty of fall foliage, in this case Hydrangea, with the sweetness of the double braids and the detail of the fishtail braid.

Peace Braids are joined in the back like hands, a lovely homage to the importance of intention in our beauty rituals…….Symbolism that we can draw from to reflect our greater intentions AND our sense of style. In this case, it is sweetness, nature, and peace.

Peace Braids


We begin by making a center part. On one side of the part, take a little section of hair from the front hairline, either where bangs would be or behind your bangs.

Make a fishtail braid all the way to the ends of this small section.

Now, proceed to take all the rest of the hair on one side and beginning a larger fishtail braid. Simply add the ends of your small braid into one side of your larger braid, and braid it on in! (If your front layers are short-ish and don’t leave much length to braid into the second braid, you can certainly add a discreet bobby pin to secure it!)

Braid all the way to the ends of your larger braid. Secure with a clear elastic.

Repeat on the other side. Then, take a minute to gently deconstruct your braids by gently pulling them apart from either edge, starting at the ends and working your way up the braid.

Now remove your elastics from the ends, and join the braids together by their ends. Use another clear elastic to secure them together.

floralNow, use hearty flowers of your choice to decorate your braid.

You will need small bobby pins of hair pins, and a mirror.

Trim your flowers leaving an inch long stem. Poke the stem into your hairstyle wherever you want it to be, and use a pin to secure the stem to your braid or head, hiding the pin within the hair and out of the way.

Add your last flower to the ends of your braids for good measure, poking the stem under the elastic. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask a friend to help flower you.

Have a sweet and peaceful day!

xo, HTHG

Woven Braids

7U6A0387Sometimes I get tired of trying to fit my braidspiriments into the Pinterest game. This braided hairstyle, this slice of woven braidsanity, is a breakout braid that I just had to try out, and share (of course!) without heed to the fact that it is strange and impractical and not like the other ones.

IMG_7353I had a week of total boredom tinged with total creative drive a while back, a week that brought to life this woven braid, as well as this other woven hairstyle with grass.

Today, I will take you through the ins and outs of the woven braids.

Woven Braids

crazlesThe gist of this hairstyle is 3 braids going across, from one side to the other, then, 3 braids woven into them going from the front to the back.

To begin with, you will make a parting at the front hairline that goes from one temple to the other, in a curved arch, basically sectioning out what would be the bangs. (if you have bangs, make your parting behind them.)

Now split this front section into 3, from one side to the other. Braid each of the 3 sub-sections, from roots to ends, securing the ends with clear elastics.

Now, you will be saving these aside till the end, so clip them out of your way.

To create your 3 horizontal braids, begin on one side, with a section of hair just beneath the side of your bang section. This section should be roughly the same amount of hair as one of your first 3 braids.

Braid the section until it is long enough to stretch tightly across the back of your head, to the same spot on the other side. Now take about half the same amount of hair from this section and braid it right into the braid, pulling it tightly. Now, your braid will continue, attached to this side, and you will double it back. Pull it back across to the other side, braiding as you go so.

Pull the braid snug against the head as you work towards the first side. When the braid is long enough to reach, take a bit of hair from below the base of that first braid, braid it in tightly so that it attaches at the scalp, and double it back again, braiding back across the head in the other direction. Does this make sense?

Do this once more, to the other side. Add in hair to attach the braid, and then braid about halfway down the free end of the braid. Now take the braid, and pull it across the back one last time to make a total of 4 times. Take a small bit of hair from beneath the base of the last braid, add your braid to it nice and tight, and attach in right to the scalp with a small clear elastic. Let the ends of that braid hang free and join the rest of your hair.

Basically, you are creating one continuous braid which overlaps across the back of the head, re-attaching on each side as it doubles back. If you are having trouble understanding, this tutorial might help.

Now comes the fun part!!!! It is time to weave! Take one of your 3 braids from that front braid section. Channel your inner pie crust lattice skills, or pot-holder loom weaving skills, or any weaving you have ever done……..The key is over, under, over, under. The next braid is the opposite…..Under, over, under, over. Last braid is the same as the first over, under, over, under.

Now, with the ends of the 3 braids coming out the bottom of your horizontal braids, braid them together to finish the style.

WHEW! Jeebus. My brain hurts.

xoxo, HTHG




The Braidfull Braid

7U6A0306Have you ever longed for a hairstyle that is bursting with braids? A mother braid filled with baby braids? A braid so full of braids that it can only be described as braidfull?

We have just the thing for that. And it is this……….The Braidfull Braid.

The inspiration for this braid was our late-summer Tank Babes Real Bodies shoot, where my fellow stylist TT demonstrated some incredible cornrow braids on Belinda using a technique where she braided tiny braids into a larger braid, and it blew my braiding mind.

So with TT’s braids as our inspiration, we created this Braidfull Braid. Here is how to do it.

The Braidfull Braid

braided braidsBegin by sectioning out a mohawk section with the hair down the center of the head. The section should be basically 4 inches wide, centered, with parallel partings starting at the front hairline, roughly above the arch of each brow, straight back to the nape of the neck. Clip off this section, you will be working with it at the ends.

With the hair that hangs on either side, you will be creating 4  free braids, or relatively equal sizes.

Starting at the temple in the front, create a small section that starts at the front hairline, and ends an inch or so back, above the front of the ear. Make a small braid from the root to the ends, securing the very ends with a clear elastic.

Make another section behind this first braid, about the same size, making another parting well behind the ear. Make a braid, secure the ends.

Do this with the rest of the hair on that side, creating 2 more braids.

Now repeat on the 2nd side. You will have 4 braids on each side, with the mohawk section still free.

Now, in the front of the mohawk section, begin a french braid. As you french braid down the length of your mohawk, add your little braids in, one at a time.

Your add-in sections will include hair from within the mohawk as well as a small braid, creating the Braidfull Braid look.

As you overlap your sections, try and manipulate the ends of your small braids so that they stay nicely tucked in underneath the mama braid.

Secure the ends of your Braidfull Braid.

Hope you enjoy this one!

xo, HTHG




Braid Mask Tutorial

braid mask Hello my dears!

Looking forward to Halloween costuming and styling, we have a Braid Mask Tutorial here, as promised……Thanks to Zana Mala for Inspiration and the fierce concept of going beyond the braid to the Braided Mask.

The Braided Mask would be a great addition to a bird costume, owl costume, mosquito costume,  Mad Max inspired costume, or a generally cool empress costume.7U6A9576

To do this hairstyle, I had to do a bit of planning……I wanted a strategic smattering of interwoven braids that would leave her eyes showing, and I kind of, weirdly, wanted her to have a bird-like look with a sharp beak.

So, I planned on a french braid down each side, dropping out some pieces which would connect across her forehead like webbing, and then join together across her nose to form a beak.

I started by making a center part from the front of her head to the back. I sectioned out her bang section and clipped it aside, knowing that this would be the french braid which would join the 2 side braids, creating the spine and connecting the webbing of the braids.

I began with a braid on one side of her bang section, french braiding from the top, down the side of her head. When I reached her hairline around the temple area, I began to drop braid sections on the lower side of her braid, as seen in the ribcage braid technique.

I dropped 4 sections in a row from the lower side of her braid, then continued braiding down the free end, securing the very end with a small elastic.

I did the same thing on the other side.

Then, in the bang section, I started a french braid at the very top of it, and continued french braiding that small section.

Once I worked my way through that section, adding in all the hair, I continued braiding the free ends. After 3 overlaps of hair in the free ends, I began adding in my dropped sections from my side braids, one at a time in order, alternating. This created the webbed look as the sections were pulled across her forehead and included into her center braid. I continued that braid down the center of her face, to the ends. I secured the ends with a small elastic.

Now, with all the rest of the hair, I made 2 basic braids, one on each side of her head.

Then, I gathered the ends of all 5 braids at the tip of her nose, and ponytailed them together with a clear elastic. I removed the individual braid elastics, and combed the tail into a little beak.

Kind of awesomely strange, right?

Try a Braid Mask for Halloween this year, I double dare you.

xo, HTHG


Next Page »