Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Styling Longer Hair Without Causing Damage

When I decided that I wanted to grow my hair long, I knew that I had to stop using blowdriers, curling irons and hot rollers, if I expected my fine hair to be able to grow without damage.

This was a real challenge for me, as I am all thumbs, and not the least bit good with my hands.  I started trying to learn how to create styles that would not only look interesting, but also protect my hair and not require heat appliances.

The first style I learned was the French Twist.  I had often seen this style, but I didn't think I'd ever be able to do it myself.  But after reading a few tutorials, I was able to do it using just one little pic or comb to hold it up.  I then learned some other styles that worked with my length, such as the Gibson Tuck and a Tucked 3-Strand Braid.  All of these hairstyles can be found in the Updo Gallery of my website.

I had a book that taught me some elementary braids and updos.  I recommend it to anyone, no matter how much you think you may lack talent in styling hair.  It is Hair: A Book of Braiding and Styles by Anne Akers Johnson.  The styles you can learn in this book are the foundations for most more difficult styles that you may want to learn down the line.

As I said in an earlier post, until I was 45, I didn't even know how to use a hair stick.  I always thought that a bun held by a single hair stick was just a trick in the movies before I learned how to do one myself.  How happy was I to discover that it actually could be done!

As I became more and more interested in just what I could do with my hair, I began trying to learn more difficult braids.  I was able to do a French braid, but not much more.  My next project was to learn how to do a Four Strand Box Braid.  It took days for me to get the fingering down and to develop the muscle memory to successfully make this braid.

It took me even longer to learn a Five Strand Braid, but with patience and practice, I did learn how to do it, even a French Five Strand braid.  I think my happiest achievement was learning how to do a Crown Braid.  Again, all of these and more can be found on the Braids Gallery on my website.  All of the photos there can be clicked for larger images.

I've learned a lot since developing a knack for styling my own hair, including what hair accessories work best with each style, and that patience pays off.

In the coming days and weeks, I plan to give some tutorials on how to do some of the various styles I've learned, as well as discussing my favourite hair accessories, and what makes them superior to others.

I'm not the best stylist in the world, but I've been able to do things with my hair that I never thought I'd be able to do.

If I, who am not a dexterous person, can do it, so can you!  I'll leave you with a photo of the first style I learned, the French Twist. It is held in place with only a France Luxe Chignon Pic in the colour "South Sea".

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