Hair Weaving

7U6A1704Basic weaving, as I understand, works with a warp and a weft, the weft being the cross-fibers which run horizontally, and the warp being the fibers which run vertically.

7U6A1712Hair weaving, a recent experiment, involved me setting the warp hairs first, and then alternating my weft over under over under, all the way across, and then under over under over with the next weft. It was not very easy, required a lot of coordination and counting, and set me into a state of suspended meditation as I worked, in the cold evening air of early January on my patient model, Birch.7U6A1742

I was going with the process, no real attachment to the final look. All I knew was that I wanted to weave her hair like a cedar basket, and then decorate it with my newly made Rosehip Garland and hair pins. Check out this weaving video, as well as the Rosehip Garland DIY.

Also, I invite you to the Free Your Hair shop to check out our organic line of small batch, made with love beauty products which are 30% off for the next week.

xo, HTHG

Fierce Braids #6: The Ribcage Braid Technique

7U6A8530There are times in life when it is necessary to call upon the power of our inner warrioress. In times of uncertainty there is nothing more grounding than having our feet strongly planted on the ground, our faces tilted to the sun, and our hair swept back and boldly braided.

Welcome to the 6th edition of HTHG’s Fierce Braids feature. Today, we are going to talk about what I like to call The Ribcage Braid technique, how to do it, and how to use it to create these beautiful Warrioress braids.


This pretty hairstyle is quite easy to do, once you get the hang of the Ribcage Braid technique. Let me break that down for you, as simply as I can so that it doesn’t seem too confusing. Remember, babes……Braiding takes practice, so take it slow and easy. Once you get it, it will click, and then it is yours for life;)Ladder

To practice this braid, take a section of hair from the front of your head, on one side and begin a regular 3 strand braid.

Start it off with 3 overlaps.

Now, every time you overlap , take a very small bit of hair from the outside of your section and separate it from the braid, letting it fall out and hang down.

Continue braiding and dropping bits of hair as you go. Your braid should get thinner and thinner as you continue dropping sections.

If you are having trouble, practice this braid in the mirror a bit. Make sure that when you drop your little bits of hair, you separate them cleanly from the rest of the braid so they really fall out of your way. This will help a lot!

As you can see, you have created a braided spine with ribs radiating from it! Nice job:)

warrioress braids

Now you are ready for Warrioress Braids!

You will need a small clear elastic and 1 bobby pin for this one. And longish hair, for best results. ( This rules me out, ha! But just looking at this braid makes my hair grow faster;)

Begin by brushing all the tangles out of your hair. Now make a parting on one side of your head, from the top of the head to behind your ear. This will create your first section.

Begin a 3 strand braid with that entire section. After 3 overlaps, begin dropping  bits of hair as you braid. Here is the hitch, though……This hairstyle uses a Half-Ribcage (half rack?!) Braid meaning that you drop bits of hair every-OTHER overlap……So pieces of hair fall from only one side of the braid:)

Continue your Half-Rack Braid until it is long enough to reach the back of your head, with a couple inches to spare. Pin the end of your braid for now, to keep it from unraveling.

Repeat a Half-Rack Braid on the other side on your second section. Braid it to the same length as the first. 7U6A8508

NOW……..Un-pin your first braid, and take a braid in each hand. Join them behind your head. Combine the ends of both braids together, into one section, then split it into 3 and braid them together. Leave long ends hanging if you wish, and secure the braid with your clear elastic.7U6A8509

Grab your bow and arrow and get it, girl.

PS. Digging Birch’s vibe? Her overalls are from HTHG favorites Lykke Wullf, shot-gun blown cropped T from Totally Blown, and Moon-Power neck piece by Rainbow Kimono🙂

xo, HTHG

Half-Up Braided Halo for Long Hair.

birchy haloHi honeys. Here is a pretty little half-up braided halo that I did on Birch’s beautiful long hair.

Here is how to do it:

Make 2 braids, on on each side, towards the back of the head and pretty high up. Fljp the braids up and tie them once, so that the ends hang down the opposite side. Stick a couple pins in there, where the braids feel loose. Be sure to pin the sides, where the braid ends overlap the opposite braid.

Take the ends of the braids, pull them up and overlap them across the top of the head again. Add more pins as needed.

Now take the ends of your braids, and tuck them in and under your braid halo, so that they are hidden. Add more pins as needed. Your braids should look like a mix between a halo and a french chapeau:)

Let the rest of your hair hang wild and free.

xoxoxox, HTHG

Fierce Braids #5: The Marry Yourself Bun.

7U6A2513Years ago, I brought you the Infinity Braid Bun. Today, we improve on it for the Fierce Braids Feature #5. The hairstyle to wear when you marry yourself, If that is your path.

bigbunThis beautiful and complex looking bun is made up of 2 braids and 2 french braids, spiraled around each other and pinned into one big braid-bun. It is best done on medium long to very long hair. You will need 4 clear elastics, and 10 long straight pins.

I recommend starting off with nice dirty 3rd day hair, and a spray-down with a sea-salt texture spray like Masterbraider for extra control and grip.

To begin with, section off the front half of the head, by making a parting that goes from behind one ear across the top of the head and behind the other ear. Split the section in two with an deep side part.

Now starting on one side of the part at the front hairline, do a french braid back towards the top of the ear. Once you have added in all the hair from that section, braid the free end all the way down to the ends of your hair, and secure with a small clear elastic:)

Repeat this on the other side of the part, so you have a french braid on either side.

Now, you will move to the back of the head. Split the entire rest of the hair into 2 sections horizontally, from the top of each ear straight across the back. Braid each section tightly and secure with a clear elastic.

Beginning with the upper braid in the back section, wind it gently into a bun against the head. Tuck the end under the braid. Use as many pins as you need to secure the bun to the head. Check out this post if you need help:)

Take the lower braid from the back section and wind it around the bun in the same direction. Pin it securely into place.

Now take the smaller of the two french braids and wind it back around the bun, pinning it into place and hiding the ends  under the bun.

Take your last braid and wind it around the bun in the OPPOSITE direction. Hide the tail, and pin the braid into place.

Add more pins as needed.

Now, go get married or something with your super fancy pretty braid bun:) Did you know that you can marry yourself? Here is how.

Fierce Braids #4: And what PMS feels like.

7U6A2382Black Cloak BraidsDo you ever have days where you feel 100% off your game and you can’t focus and your mind appears to be slipping between layers and dimensions of time and space without your control? I am having one of those days today. Technically you can call it PMS but I prefer to think of it as a mystical state of womanhood that goes way beyond my monthly cycle.

I am supposed to be writing an article for Huffington Post about ‘Taking Back Your Beauty!” which I am actually really excited about…….but…….today is just not the day. It’s a self-imposed deadline anyway.

I feel incredibly nostalgic all of a sudden, missing my slowed-down country life. Maybe I will pick up a copy of Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks, a great book by one of my all-time favorite authors, Donald Harrington. Check him out if you want a mystically sordid and juicy look at rural Ozark life.

But first, I will tell a little story.

In Arkansas, outside of the little Ozark town that I lived in for 7 years, there was an old road called Black Oak Road.

To me, this road was shrouded in mystery. It may have been because it had such a powerful cool name. It also could have been the haunted folklore that went along with the area, or maybe just the stark rural-ness of it.

Black Oak Road was a 10 minute bike ride from my house, and it shocked me to see how quickly the townie landscape turned to deep country. Where the pavement turned to gravel on Black Oak Road, time slowed way down, and all the sudden I found myself in a past century altogether.

I tell this story because I picture a girl with these featured fierce braids living in an old stone house on Black Oak Road.

Here is how to do the Black Oak Braids.

Remember lace braids? Where you french braid the hair, but you only add hair in on one side instead of both sides? This hairstyle is just essentially 2 lace braids. Super-duper easy. That has been the theme with the Fierce Braids Series……Hairstyles that look complicated but are actually quite simple to do:)

The Black Oak Braids are best done on medium to long hair, and I always recommend using a sea-salt texture spray before embarking on a braid. Masterbraider is my favorite, and you can get it here:)

Begin by parting the hair down the center.

Starting one one side of the front hairline, begin a braid as if you were going to french braid the side. When you begin adding in hair, only add it from above the braid, not from the hairline side. So you are adding in hair every other overlap.

As you add hair in, guide your braid straight downward. The braid itself should fall against the face, unattached on the hairline side.

Your last add-in section should be a vertical parting that lays roughly behind your ear. Then, stop adding hair in and braid your way down the free end of your section. Stop a couple inches from the ends, and secure with a clear elastic.

Now repeat these instructions on the other side.

Once you have completed both braids, overlap them across the back of your head.

From underneath, stick a large bobby pin through the braids and secure them to the head. Let the ends hang free.

Channel a mystical woman from a forgotten time. And be easy on yourself. Take time when you need it. Eat a cookie or somethin’ if you want.

BTW, in trying to explain what ‘PMS’ is like to my Jonny, here is as far as I got.

Imagine that you haven’t slept well in days, and you accidently lock yourself inside an old phone booth. You are sweating and on the verge of panic. From inside the phone booth, everything sounds grating and harsh. The smell offends your senses. You can see out, but it is blurry because the window-ed walls are scratched up and all scuffed so nothing is very clear. You know that people can see you in there, but they can’t hear what you are saying, so they assume that you are

A. a crazy person


B. Just fine and don’t need their help.

You rationally know that you will get out of there in one piece but you can’t logically form a plan of escape. So you just breathe and wait for it to end and try not to make any sudden movements.

Anyone out there have a more positive way of framing PMS? Please share.

If you don’t experience PMS symptoms consider yourself either lucky or out of touch with your body……….But just WAIT till you have children. If you plan on not having children, that is great, you will miss out on an insane rollercoaster ride of hormones. Power to ya, either way 😉 Fist bump.

xoxoxox, HTHG

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