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

Something Borrowed: Mayan Inspired Headwrap Technique

7U6A4116Today, I will share a trick that I learned from my friend Jules, who has traveled the world and learned many cool things from many different cultures. She recently came over to my house and demonstrated this great headdress, using a Free Your Hair Ceremonial Headwrap and a wrapping technique that she witnessed while spending time in Guatamala.

Traditionally, this technique would be done with a scarf like this one, called an Aquateca Headwrap.7U6A4004

‘The headdress is an important article of women’s clothing in many Highland Maya towns. One of the most beautiful is that worn by Aguatecas, who, although they have largely given up weaving their own huipiles and skirt material, still take great pride in making their headwraps. The Aguateca headwrap consists of a 2-3 inch wide cinta richly decorated with brocaded designs, and terminated at each end with large tassels. It is worn wrapped around and around the long hair, which is pulled across the forehead, with the full width of the cinta exposed across the top of the head, and the tassels dangling at each side.’

Description of the highland Maya cultural tradition of headdress, from the Traje

Today, I am excited to share with you this wonderful way to wear a long headwrap, like the Ceremonial Head Wrap featured in this tutorial, honoring a tradition from the Aguatecas peoples. This tutorial should be done on long hair, using a long scarf, wrap or ribbon (At least 4 feet long.)

Jules demonstrates:jules guatamala

Begin by finding the middle point of your scarf or ribbon. Lay it against the top of the head.

Now wrap the ends around your head, and tie them once in the back, underneath your hairline.

Take one long end, and gather your hair into a ponytail…..Begin wrapping the scarf around the base of the ponytail.

Continue wrapping down the length of the ponytail, tightly and evenly.

Once you reach the ends, grab the ends of the ponytail and the scarf tightly, and bring it up around the front of your head.

Tuck in any ends of hair that stick out, as you continue to wrap the end of the scarf around our head, wrapping the other end the other way around.

Continue wrapping both ends until they can’t wrap anymore, then tie the ends together and tuck them under the headdress.

Isn’t this trick so awesome??? I can’t wait until my hair is long enough to rock this.

xo, HTHG


Bearded Lady Rope Twists

7U6A0600Hey babes. Here is a twist on one of my favorite hairstyles of all time, The Bearded Lady, a true party-from-all-angles hairstyle which features one of my rope-twisted Ceremonial Headwraps!

Here is a little run-through of how to get this look.

Bearded Lady Rope Twists

Bearded LAdy



Begin by sectioning off all the hair on top of your head, twisting it and winding it into a large bun. Secure the bun with large bobby pins, or an NJ hair comb;)!


Now, with the hair below, split it down the center into 2 sections for your rope twists.


Take the hair on one side, pull it forward in front of your shoulder, split it in half, and make a rope twist using this technique.


Twist all the way to the ends, and then secure with a clear elastic.


Repeat on the other side, making a rope twist and securing the ends with a clear elastic.



Now wrap a Free Your Hair Ceremonial Head Wrap around your head, or just a scarf if you have one, admire your ‘do from every angle and call it a great hair day.




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




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