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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Small Braids and Many Beads

Not long ago, we had an Unhappy Hair Day. JJ had worn her hair in small box braids for a few weeks, and the lengthy take-down time made us both grumpy. I swore I'd never do small braids again.

But - a couple of months have gone by, and I wanted to take the time to give JJ a style that would hold for a couple of weeks. Braids tend to last longer than twists for JJ, and I found a couple of ways to cut down on the total number of braids for easier take-down of the style. First of all, I made the braids a little bigger than last time. Secondly, instead of putting box braids over her whole head, I added some cornrows on one side. In total, there were 53 small braids, which seems like a much more manageable number.

JJ and I were browsing facebook photos and saw a picture of the beautiful Baby O from Intermittent Babbling - she had braids with lovely pink and purple beads and we totally copied the colour scheme. Our end result:


I am **hoping** that neither one of us has a temper tantrum when these braids come out. Besides the fact that there are fewer braids,  I recently picked up a comb that promised to cut braid take-down time in HALF. 

That is a big promise, and I am a skeptic, but the comb was only $1.99 so I took a risk. I'll let you know.....!


Often I add snaps at the ends of JJ's braids to secure beads. But I find that snaps and daycare do not mix well. There's always a little pile of snaps and beads waiting for me at the end of the day when I pick her up. I've decided snaps are for weekends only. This time around I used the tried and true method of wrapping hair around the bottom bead and securing with an elastic.

See how the black bead has a slightly larger diameter hole than the purple bead? I used this to my advantage to camouflage the elastics I used to secure the beads.

I used 3-4 beads per braid, making sure to use a smaller purple (or pink) bead at the bottom, and a black bead next in line.

After stringing the beads onto the braid, I wrapped JJ's hair around the bottom bead, and secured with a matching pink or purple elastic (pre-soaked in coconut oil). I then pulled the wider black bead over top of the elastic. The elastic is just barely visible, and it looks relatively neat.

I am happy with way the beads look, and NOT A SINGLE ONE has fallen out in 4 very active days at kindergarten, daycare, home, and  sleep. JJ has been wearing a satin scarf at night:

JJ just started Kindergarten and loves to "read" while swinging her braids around!


  1. Great post, that's good to know because I really wanted to try snaps but if the come off I won't bother. Do you ever wrap the snaps on with a rubber band? And I love the pink/purple color scheme!

  2. Very pretty style!! Love how you go into detail as well!!

    She's such a pretty baby girl!! :)


  3. Thanks ladies!!

    I should clarify - I actually really love to use snaps. But I think the issue is that JJ can take them out herself, and does so when she's at daycare- just for something to do. Maybe wrapping them up with elastics would work - never thought of it to be honest! Of course, I should probably get myself some Sidewinders right??

  4. JJ is so cute swinging her beads back and forth. Love the colors of the beads and how you explained the use of bead instead of snaps.

  5. Oh, this style is so cute! Love the beads...she is adorable :)

  6. Aww JJ is so cute! I love the styles! And i feel ur pain....braid take down is not fun at all! My girls are actually wearing beads this week but tomorrow is the last day of beads I don't wanna damage their ends

  7. Thanks everyone!! @ Tracey - JJ's beads are coming out tomorrow too - she'll miss their clickity-clacking but I wanna keep those ends as healthy as possible too!

  8. This is so cute! I had the same issues with Baby O and snaps-I'd go to pick her up from daycare and there would be a pile of snaps for me to take home! Then I started worrying about the choking hazard of the younger kids, so we stopped using them during the week. I really like how you explained how to use a larger barreled pony bead for hiding rubber bands. Great post!

  9. Beautiful style. I have been meaning to try the snaps also. The Princess loves beads but her hair is very thin and breaks easily, so I dont like banding the ends. I am going to lok for those wide holed beads tomorrow. :)