Two of the most frequent questions I get asked are:
1. “do you braid your hair yourself?” and
2. “What are your hair care secrets?” as a result I am dedicating this blog post to trying to answer them 🙂
Firstly, the answer to number one is yes, I always braid and style my hair myself, but trying to figure out how to explain the process in words is far trickier than I anticipated, simply down to the fact that I have never thought about it before! It’s always been something I’ve been able to do. I think I could have probably braided my hair before I could walk, but here goes…..
1. How to braid your own hair:
My favourite hair styles are definitely fishtail and french plaits, they may look super complicated and fancy but they are far easier to do yourself than you may think!! It just takes a bit of practice, and perhaps a little patience (well definitely in my case especially when I realise that I haven’t brushed my hair, making the process a lot more tricky, oops!). But once you have got the swing of it, practised a few times, they are the easiest and most convenient hair style and will only take you 5 minutes in the morning and last you throughout the day 🙂
The Fishtail plait:
Despite being so intricate looking, if you break it down, its just a braid and all you need are your hands and a hair tie 🙂 no fancy electronics, hair clips or grips! So its actually extremely simple (although I must confess you may get sore arms!) I will try and write it out into 5 simple steps:
1. Gather all of your hair together and put it all behind your shoulders
2. Next divide all of your hair evenly into two sections, unlike the conventional plait, a fishtail is only split into two sections! So in theory is even easier 🙂
3. Then use your fore finger to separate a small section of hair from the outer edge of one of the two previously divided sides of hair, and then cross it over to the other side (and join the small separated section over with the other of the two previously divided hair sections). Still holding the two divided sections, repeat the process again but with a small section of hair from the other side this time.
4. So keep overlapping small pieces from both sides of your divided ponytail, all the way down to the end of your hair. Do make sure though that you are only separating small sections from underneath to cross over, and try to grab the same size sections from each divided side so that you get a nice even plait 🙂
5. Then all thats left to do once you have travelled down the length of your hair, is to secure it with a hair tie. Also what I often do is to just slightly loosen the plait with my fingers to create a bit more of a casual effortless look 🙂
The French plait:
-For a single plait:
1. To start of you need to gather a big chunk (for my hair I gather about 3-4 inches) of hair from the centre of the top of your head. Separate this chunk of hair into three equally sized pieces and begin to braid as if you would with a conventional plait (i.e cross the right strand over to the center strand, then, cross the left strand over to the center etc). However, stop after one overlap as this is where the french plait differs.
2. Next step is to work in new hair. Keep going with this traditional braid process, but start bringing in other pieces of hair. So before crossing a section over to the center, grab some more hair from that side of your head and include it in with the cross-over.
3. Repeat this process every time you cross over, work in another small piece of hair. (the smaller the amount of hair you work in the more intricate and tighter the plait will look, if you work in larger chunks of hair the plait will be wider).
4. As you repeat the process and work down your head incorporating all of your hair, you’ll start running out of free hair to bring into the braid. And by the time your braid has reached the nape of your neck, you will have incorporated all of your hair into the plait.
5. So when all of your hair has been incorporated and there is no more hair to bring into the braid, finish it of as a conventional plait (no more working in new hair). Until you reach the end of your hair, in which you can then secure with a hair tie.
-You can also divide your hair into two, creating two smaller french plaits shown bellow:
My Hair care routine… if you can call it that?!
Haircare routine?! I think this can be questioned, as i’m very low maintenance when it comes to hair and makeup, so to imply I have a set daily routine is wrong, and you’ll see why.
I’m afraid I don’t hold the miracle answer as to how to grow your hair long, and keep it healthy… well not in a straight forward conventional way anyway! However, what I do have is a great set of extremely easy and SIMPLE tips which work well for me 🙂
When I say simple, well… I literally mean simple! Because my number one tip is.. to do absolutely nothing to your hair at all! In my opinion the best way to achieve a healthy mane is to leave it natural, and by this I mean you are going to have to completely ditch the hair straighteners (the biggest sin you could commit to your beautiful hair!!), the blow dryers, the faddy hair treatments and chemicals and the hair dye and bleach!! You are going to have to go cold turkey when it comes to hair electronics!! Just leave your hair to be natural! I have never really used straighteners or hair dryers, I apply no chemicals, and buy no fancy hair shampoos and conditioners, so when I get asked what my hair secrets are, the only answer I can attribute it to is the fact that I have limited any damage upon it by just leaving it be!! I get my hair trimmed once a month, this being the longest interval I will leave it between trims, just to make sure you cut of any damaged hair, and promote healthy growth!
My second tip, is to limit the amount that you brush your hair, this may go against every hair care rule out there, but I believe that brushing your hair too often just causes damage and the harsh ripping out of delicate hair if done too often!! I know that we can not completely neglect our hair and it may need the occasional brush to prevent us looking like we’ve been dragged through a bush backwards (I should probably take note of this, I won’t admit how long it’s been since I have brushed my hair!), but I suggest perhaps just brushing your hair through with conditioner when in the shower, hence limiting the amount of damage.
Thirdly, there is a such thing as over washing your hair! Don’t get confused though, i’m not asking you to stop showering every day. Just try to avoid washing your hair every time you have a shower! Our bodies are clever regulators, and so provide natural oils which are designed to keep our hair healthy and vibrant, however by washing your hair every day or even every other day you are stripping your hair of such vital oils! So try to limit using shampoo and conditioner to twice or even once a week if you can! 🙂 and you will actually notice that your hair will look cleaner and more shiny the longer the period of time you resist washing it!! If you struggle with greasy hair, well I can guarantee this is because you wash your hair too often!! If you leave it for a few days, yes you will get greasy hair, but the longer you keep doing this you will notice that your hair is able to sustain a longer period of time before it becomes greasy, honestly it works I could easily leave my hair a week before it shows signs of grease 🙂
So overall my tips for a healthy head of hair… is well.. nothing?! 🙂