Unfortunately for me, I’ve never been good at styling my own hair. My mother never did anything beyond hot rollers in her hair, and she never styled mine. I didn’t have relatives (other than my grandmother, who has short hair- only about 2 inches long) who were big into styling their hair, so I didn’t grow up interested in that.
As I’ve grown up, I’ve struggled with my hair. Most of the time, I grow my hair out. Visiting a salon once… maybe twice a year, I cut anywhere from 4-10 inches off. I just don’t do anything to my hair beyond shampoo + condition… occasionally blow-dry it, and sometimes straighten it. My hair is already mostly straight.
As far as styling is concerned… when it comes to curling… adding volume and waves… braiding it… teasing it… doing ANYTHING beyond brushing it… I pretty much suck.
However, my birthday was last month (woop woop, June birthday’s!), and I finally decided that I’m not going to continue on this way when it comes to my hair.
Two months ago I cut off 5-6 inches of hair because I wanted a “new look”- but I didn’t really get one. Sure, my hair was shorter… but it was still just straight and boring.
Exactly one week ago, I did my very first French braid (on myself) and I was pleasantly surprised and how well it came together on the first try…
^ That’s the very first French braid I attempted.
Since the French braid is one of the most basic, and the foundation for a few other braids, I chose to learn this one first. Each day since I learned how, I’ve given myself a French braid at least once. Some days I will do it twice, or I’ll give myself pigtail French braids. My arms hardly even get tired anymore! (The first two days were surprisingly brutal, and took me a good 25 minutes from start to finish). Now I can do a braid in less than 10 minutes. Pigtail French braids in 15 or less. =)
The name of the book that is teaching me to braid is called “The New Braiding Handbook” by Abby Smith. It contains 60 modern twists on classic hairstyles.
^ That’s what the book cover looks like.
Already, I feel more confident in my abilities to actually style my hair. This is a major relief considering I did take a stab at teaching myself some hair skills by watching YouTube tutorials… and it just wasn’t clicking for me. =(
Typically, YouTube teaches me a lot, but I was unable to learn any real hair skills from any of the videos I watched. Maybe that’s because everything the person does is the opposite of what you would be doing to yourself for practice… but whatever it is… made me think that being able to do my own hair was just out of my reach.
I suppose I cannot learn EVERYTHING from YouTube!
This book works for me because you are instructed not to attempt any of the styles or braids in front of a mirror, because it will throw you off- and I can confirm this. That first French braid I did, was done just sitting at my desk with no mirror or idea of how it was coming along. The next day I tried to start off French braiding in the mirror, and I kept failing. The mirror does throw you off!
I highly recommend checking out this book if you’re interested in learning how to braid… even if I cannot for some reason learn ANY other braid from this book- I am thrilled to have learned to French braid. There are SO many books at the library, you can find books for just about anything you can imagine.
All I had to do was type into the search bar (of my local library’s website) “braids” and it displayed this book, I requested a hold on it (since it wasn’t available at my library), the library it was at mailed it to my selected library, and BOOM, it was mine!
Another exciting reason to check out your library- it helps you style your hair!