Saturday, June 5, 2010

Cupcake's New Braids

WELCOME to the scary hair experiment!

Being a novice at styling my precious little Cupcake's hair, I thought I'd try a fairly complicated, huge-time-investment, but potentially long-lasting hairstyle that very well may end in disaster! I'm wild that way.

Anyway, you mamas of African babes can commiserate with me about how high maintainance our sweeties' beautiful hair can be. Cupcake's is fine and soft (versus thick and coarse), so intricate hairstyles are a little frustrating because they just don't last very long.

Enter the BRAIDS or DREADS idea.

Since I'm a closet OCD, A-type personality, I then spent hours on the internet researching as well as asking tons of detailed questions of whomever would give me the time of day. Some people were afraid of the white lady wanting to touch and inspect their beautiful cornrows, dreads, or braids and would scamper away. But I run fast and I'm not afraid of tackling.

I foolishly thought that I could complete the entire thing in one sitting, but after 3 hours on Day One and only barely half-way done, my hands begged for mercy. And Cupcake was completely over being duct taped to her toddler chair, too.

On Day Two, I braided another few inches before calling it quits. That's when I realized that I should've been taking pictures. Duh!

OK, so we're starting quite a ways in, but don't worry, you'll catch up quickly. You're a fast learner.

Remember to always start with cleany-clean hair (Über important!) that's been conditioned well and picked out.

Here's a "Before" pic from the church picnic. (Terrible photo, but she's adorable anyway.)

Cupcake is so cute. She loves her hair and will occasionally pass by a mirror, appreciate her beauty, and say to herself,

"I'm wockin' da fwo!"
Translation: "I'm rockin' the 'fro!"

So, here are pictures starting on our final day (PraiseGodAlmighty!) of braiding.

This is what I did with the unfinished part until we were done. Ponytail. Twistie curls. Easy peasy.

This is the product I used. I highly recommend that you use a really good hair product, especially when you're doing a detailed hairstyle. It'll make the finished style look way better and it'll last a lot longer. Plus, Loc Butter smells awesome!

Step 1: Part the hair down the middle front to back. Straight parts are a must. (Read: Do what I say and not what I do. I actually have Straight Part Inability Disorder, SPID for short.)

Step 2: Part a row to braid and clip back the rest. These rows are about 1/2 inch wide.

Step 3: Separate a section in your row. Again, I'd mention the importance of straight parts here, but you know the drill. Use a dab of the Loc Butter and braid away.

At the end of each braid, twist a little curlie cue just because they're sweet.

Step 4: Repeat until you want to impale yourself.

Step 5: Resist the urge to just shave the rest of your munchkin's head when your hands start to cramp up into claws. Remember the stylist who told you she would only charge $350 and pat (as well as you can) yourself on the back for choosing the Do It Yourself Method.

*Tip: Do NOT consume alcohol at any point during the hair styling process. Stay strong.

Step 6: Gather up into cutie patootie ponytails. Let your little one basque in the beauty!

New morning hair routine: Spritz heavily with leave in conditioner. Scoop up about a quarter-sized amount of coconut oil (organic, unrefined, unbleached, un-everything) and run it over every strand and her scalp. Ponytails. Done. 3 minutes tops.

Style time: 9 1/2 hours over 3 days and nary a cuss word was uttered.

I'll let you know how it fares.

Is she killer cute, or what?!


  1. I LOVE it!!! I've been wanting to do a head full of braids!!! It's bike riding season and I can't get a bike helmet on the little lady when she has her "big hair"-- as she lovingly refers to it!!!! Sometimes I almost hyperventilate at the thought of sitting down to condition and comb through Grace's THICK and LONG hair!!! But, you've given me new motivation!! :)

  2. OH MY WOW. Why oh why oh why Miss Laurie are there SO many miles between us???? Just think of the fun we'd have of doing this group style. :) I'm running out FAST of hair "stuff", so I'm thrilled for the product comments you shared throughout. SUPER-DEE-DUPER Momma!!!!!!! :) And that smile of hers? ... um ... it really doesn't get any better than that. :)

  3. Wow. Gorgeous! I love it. But there's no way I'm braiding for 9 hours! :) Your daughter is beautiful.

  4. So did you count how many braids you actually did, or did the thought of having the total number want to drive you to drinking? Those look great! For your sake (and hers!) I certainly hope they hold up for more days than what they took!

    My step 7: adopt boy children. Clippers. Done.

  5. Yeah, I just commented, but forgot to add - I have a friend who SWEARS by yarn braids with her 5 yr old - she's been doing them on her since she was about 3. Looks similar to the million braids. Just thought I'd throw that out!

  6. I saw the new DO today! And it's AWESOME! She's a gorgeous baby doll with a totally rockin' hair style! And, she does GREAT hugs! Nana

  7. she absolutel killer cute. and you are very talented! i can't even do my own hair! :) darci

  8. Your Cupcake is just too cute!

    Lovin' all the hair ideas, especially the 45-60 minute 'dos in the earlier posts.

    The 9 hour style is gorgeous, but I think that's one I'd have to leave to the pros. $350 sounds like a small fortune, but compared to 9 hours of braiding for you (and you're probably faster and more patient than me!) and sitting still for her--it might be a bargain, especially if the style lasts and your braider works quickly and pays attention to things like conditioning and hair tension. Not something I'd want to pay on a regular basis, but perhaps as an occasional change from simpler styles and the adorable fro. Maybe you could even find a skilled braider at a full-service salon and get a mani and pedi while you're there!

  9. You cracked me up...loved the part about you chasin' down people to inspect their braids/styles.

    Love the styles...I'll definitely have to steal a few myself.


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