Inept Brunette
June 8, 2009 10:31 AM   Subscribe

I'm a girl with very fine, very straight, waist-length hair and for the past few weeks I've been abiding by a self-imposed rule where I do not wear it the same way two days in a row. I'm looking for ideas for hair-styles and, preferably, links to videos that explain how to do them.

I was never one of those girls who does her best friend's hair during recess. I'm trying to catch up, now, and I'm surprised by how easy some interesting looking styles are. I'd like this to be a resource I can use whenever I get bored with my hair.

Hair Styles I'm Not Interested In: Anything that relies on mousse, a curling iron, hair spray, back combing, and/or volume. My hair is slippery and straight as a ruler and the only way I can get it to do anything complicated involves elastic bands and copious bobby pins. No bouffants, afros, pompadours, or beehives, as awesome as they are.

Hair Styles I Am Currently Getting Sick Of:
Pigtails/bunches, plaids/braids, single braid, fishtail braids, looped braids, buns, and Princess Leia cinnamon buns. I need way more practice on the Lady-Gaga-Inspired Hair Bow

Hair Styles I Want To Try and Need More Instruction in How To Do:
french braids (Seriously, I'm still confused; any super-clear instructional videos?)
that fairy-tale-lookin' hairstyle all the hipster girls are rocking where you use a little braid as a headband
the Frida Kahlo
braids circling the head (my hair is too long for this)

Alright, Girlzone! How the heck do I do these hairstyles? What are some other ideas? What are your favorite You Tube channels for hair instruction videos? Are any of those MAGIC HAIR STICK DONUT RAT SCRUNCH WIZARD things actually worth it?
posted by Juliet Banana to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
i've long wanted to try this, but it would take me about 4 years to grow my hair that long. this blogger seems to have very long straight hair like you....
posted by genmonster at 11:08 AM on June 8, 2009

Great idea. :)

eHow has a decent instructional video for french braids. (Their "long hairstyles" playlist focuses on cutting, not styling. I couldn't find a playlist there with specific styles for long hair.)

It's hard to find a decent similar video or playlist on YouTube. ExpertVillage has instructional videos (like this one) from a freelance hairstylist (who is also on eHow, btw.) Her verbal instructions are okay, but her execution isn't great. As far as I can tell, everything she does comes out looking lopsided.

Wish I could be more helpful. Good luck. :)
posted by zarq at 11:18 AM on June 8, 2009

I really love this lady's page, and here's a little Regency hairstyle demo. Another one! This one's Edwardian. So's this. These demos are good because they explain how one would do their own hair, rather than having a stylist.
But the best advice I can give (that worked well for me when my hair was long and fine like yours) is pincurls! I frequently skipped the step where you take the pins out to achieve curly hair... I just left it up, and got lots of compliments. If you can arrange them comfortably, you can sleep in them and then have curly hair the next morning. But, as you are probably like me, this won't last long, and you're better off leaving the pins in.

I just like the look (and feel) of rocking a retro hairstyle. Now that my hair is short, I kinda miss doing things like this.
posted by purpletangerine at 12:56 PM on June 8, 2009 [3 favorites]

Well, I never thought this bookmark of mine would actually come in handy except as a conversation piece, but here it is: FLDS Crafts. They sell instructional DVDs for styling long hair into the distinctive, complex braided styles that are typical of FLDS followers. Most of them seem to be based on the french braid, but once you get the basic technique, these seem ideal for you.
posted by telegraph at 12:57 PM on June 8, 2009

Check out long hair forums (this one on LiveJournal is one I frequent. One of the posters there does video tutorials of various styles, which you can find here).
posted by Aleen at 1:44 PM on June 8, 2009

A crimper is 80s retro fabulousness if you don't mind being a little silly. My hair is lank and fine and will not hold anything resembling volume for more than 30 seconds no matter how much hairspray I use, but even when my hair was waistlength crimping it would last all day.

Do you have someone whose hair you could borrow to practice French braiding? It's a lot easier to learn using someone else's head so you can actually see what you're doing.
posted by little e at 6:46 PM on June 8, 2009

Once you get the French braid down, a nice variation on it is to do a French braid about halfway down your head, then switch to a regular braid incorporating the rest of your hair and then pull that regular braid up into a bun. If you're like me, your fine hair breaks off and is consequently all different lengths, and thus braids start looking kind of wispy and pathetic a few hours in. But if you pull the braid up into a bun and bobby pin it together copiously, it can last all day. I did this for my wedding and got a lot of compliments (and a lot of "I cannot beLIEVE you did your own hair for your wedding!!" Believe it).

Can't help you with the French braid though...I'm one of those freaks who was born knowing how to French braid her own hair.
posted by crinklebat at 10:01 PM on June 8, 2009

I used to wear mine in knots all the time. It's amazing how much hair you can put away. Just tightly twist sections of damp hair then fix then with a couple of bobby pins. An alternative was just two big twists high on my head.
posted by freya_lamb at 2:42 AM on June 9, 2009

I love your hair colour!

Watching other people do french braids never made sense, but after night of insomnia plus these self french braiding instructions, I managed a pull together a floppy but passable french braid the next morning. Not a video, sorry, but a detailed (though seemingly complicated) step by step. The ones on the right column were easier to follow for me. I've found though that because my hair is so slippery, hairspray becomes inevitable, otherwise it ends up drooping too quickly.

The Japanese girl you linked for the Lady Gaga bow has a tute on the braid as a hairband style that looks easy enough to do. Or did you mean some other headband braid style? Any photos of what you're after?

I've also been looking around long hair forums recently, to pull myself out of my ponytail/messy bun rut. I hope you post photos of how your personal challenge goes! Good luck!
posted by pimli at 4:51 PM on June 27, 2009

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