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Braided/plaited hairstyles


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#1 insidesoloist

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 02:51 PM

So, Pirou asked about French braiding, and I have my own question about braids.

First, Pirou's. French braids can work really nicely for contemporary ballet performances if your hair is short enough to braid and then tuck up the end so it doesn't show.

Pirou, if you can make a regular braid, you can make a French braid. The only difference is that you start higher on the head, where you want the look to begin, with just some of your hair. Then, each time you take a strand to the middle, you first grab a little bit of the hair on that side and add it to the strand you're pulling over the center strand. The main reasons people struggle with this look are that either they don't have the tension right with the strands, or they're not grabbing the right amount of hair to achieve the look they want.

Here's my question, which I was reminded of in a CrossTalk thread: Does anyone know how the Royal Ballet School students used to get their hair to stay in the braids that were pinned up and over their heads, from ear to ear? I've experimented with this, and it always falls out when I get to pirouettes. Does anyone on any side of the pond have experience with this?
-insidesoloist


#2 Pirou

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 03:33 PM

I can make a regular braid, but I cannot seem to get the hang of the french braid. I understand the concept and have kind of successfully made a floppy-mess french braid, but somehow when I think I am starting at the top of the head, when I am done, it has all slid down to start in the center of the back of my head. Also, I cannot see how it can get or remain tight without big floppy loops hanging off each section. Aargh.

As far as the ear-to-ear braid, I don't know about the Royal Ballet, but when my hair was 3 feet long, this was the best way to put it up for class and it was not hard and it looked great. For me, I would braid the whole 3-foot tail (hair band only at the end, not at the top,) then I would wrap it in a circle around my head, pinning with bobby-pins as I went. I went left to right (or, clockwise, depending on how you look at it.) I think the keys to having it not fall out would probably be a very tight braid and a larger number of pins - probably that X technique of putting in the first pin, and then crossing it with a second from a different angle would work best. I can see how a floppier braid would not stay put.

#3 ami1436

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 11:29 AM

Hi - I just posted something on the other hair thread - Pirou, the key to the french braid is just what you posted - keep pulling it tight, all the way...!

insidesoloist, I'll ask my teacher who used to be at RBS! I'm on another deadline this week, so I won't see her until Friday probably.... you might want to pm me closer to the time to remind me (my brain is full of holes....)

One thing I have done and I think looks very nice is the across the front french braid that was popular in the summer maybe two years ago. I'd start at my right ear, and french braid across to behind the left ear, but only with the front part of my hair - that is, only taking in hair from the front, if that makes sense. If I was leaving my hair down, I'd secure it tightly behind my left ear... or I could continue braiding to the end, secure, and then direct it back towards my bun, pinning along the way. For me, it was a great way to keep those whispies in the front under control, and it looks so pretty!

#4 Redbookish

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 12:12 PM

Does anyone know how the Royal Ballet School students used to get their hair to stay in the braids that were pinned up and over their heads, from ear to ear? I've experimented with this, and it always falls out when I get to pirouettes. Does anyone on any side of the pond have experience with this?


I used to wear my hair like this a lot (right through to my 30s :unsure: ) -- Heidi style! It's quite easy -- just make a centre parting, front and back of the head, and then make two ordinary plaits ("braids" to US readers), thinking about where you want the "over the head" bits to start. Secure the ends with elastics. Then pull each plait over the top of the head, behind the ears, and pin. I tuck the elastic band bit under the other plait. Then use hair grips to pin. I put most of the hair grips in going front of plait to back, and then at the end, add a couple going from back to front.

Very secure for turning and so on, and great if you're going straight from a ballet class to a contemporary class where a bun really gets in the way and distorts floor work!

#5 DesertLily

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 02:21 AM

My eldest dd has very long hair, and I couldn't imagine how to put it into a bun. Then the "coronet of braids" was suggested. She would put her hair in two braids, then I would help her pin first one braid then the other around her head.

We used curved bobby pins; they followed the line of the head nicely. Sometimes I would criss-cross two pins to anchor them. I found that the old pins that were a little relaxed stayed in better. The new tight ones would spring back out.

Her hair is thick, so anchoring the braids to the hair on the head was not too difficult. I just used plenty of pins!

I'm going to try ami's across-the-front French braid idea.

I usually French braid my hair down the back. When it's time for ballet, I just pin it up in a bun. Somehow the French braid structure gives a good foundation for the hair pins. I tried pinning up a regular braid and the pins were coming loose during class.

DesertLily

#6 Tiffany

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Posted 27 May 2007 - 09:34 PM

Ami, Braids and Bows by Anne Akers Johnson and Robin Stoneking has instructions for a "heidi braid" which sounds like what you are talking about; hair is in pigtails, then braided, then secured across the top of the head.

You might also be interested in Hair: A book of Braiding and Styles by Anne Akers Johnson. This has more 'adult' hair styles than Braids and Bows. Both books come with scrunchies and Braids comes with materials to make some hair bows, which are fun to make even if you don't wear them anymore! I have both of these books so PM me if you have more questions. :)
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#7 ami1436

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 04:02 AM

Tiffany - thanks for those suggestions: I think insidesoloist might find them to be exactly what she needs, but I might have a glance someday as well.... As for the Heidi hairstyle; I find that I look so young anyways, that I don't want to add to it! Maybe once I start to look more my age....

#8 California Dancer

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 12:22 PM

Does anyone know how to do a french twist? I can kind of do it but it always falls out during...yep..pirrouttes! How do you get it stay in? My hair is down to my breasts is that too long? too short? Do you do it with wet or dry hair? Please help!

#9 dwcgirl

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 12:30 PM

YES I need help with french twists too!!! For my show I have to wear one and i can never get mine to look right!!!

#10 ami1436

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 12:39 PM

Girls, do a search - there is lots of advice here....

But, you are onthe Adult Students Buddy Board! :wink:

I actually find french twists one of the easiest ways to do my hair, with the added bonus that my cycle helmet fits over it!

I'll see if I can dig up a thread or two for you - and then if you have any questions perhaps you can add on there?

Here's one, but it's also in the Adult Students section:
Long Hair

But here! A specific on in cross talk:
French Twist

Searching can be tricky - I tried a few different terms before I found that last thread.... it's worth it to search though - this board has a wealthy history of information!

:thumbsup:

#11 dancer5

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 10:36 PM

When I spent a summer in Copenhagen, I noticed all the female dancers from Sweden wore their hair in the same braided style. It's very pretty and tidy. I've started putting my hair up this way for class, and it works really well.

The hair is center parted all the way down the back of the head. Then pull the hair into two low ponytails, just below the ears. Braid each and fasten. Then pull the left braid across the head and wrap the end around the base of the right braid. Pin securely. Repeat with the right braid, placing it just above the left braid as it crosses. I like to add a hair net wrapped over the whole thing. It should make a tidy crescent shape at the back of the head, fairly low.

#12 rshevin

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 11:45 PM

And the whispies aren't all over everywhere? I suppose it's once again with the gel and aqua net? I actually used to wear my hair in low pigtail braids like that, minus the pinning across, and it was always falling in my face in front.

#13 insidesoloist

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 12:13 PM

It's the pinning securely part that I don't get at all. My hair is very heavy and although I can French braid and do French twists and buns with no problem at all, I can't figure out for the life of me how to pin braids (on top of the head, or behind) securely. dancer5, do you use bobby pins? Or hair pins? and do you pin all along the length of the braids?
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#14 dancer5

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 05:15 PM

I use thick hair pins to secure this style. For me it helps to anchor the ends--where each braid begins--first, and then to pin all along the center section. As always, part of the trick is to catch both the hair from the braid and the hair on the head into each pin.

I avoid wispies by pinning my hair up when it's damp in the morning. And a hairnet over the braids keeps them tidy too.