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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cornrows into Pigtails - Inspired by Rachelle Yakubu

Over the weekend, JJ and I were looking through hairstyle photos on the Rachelle Yakubu Photography website. This amazingly talented photographer has a feature that we both adore - called Hairstyle Thursdays.

JJ put in a request for this hairstyle by Rachelle Yakubu, and I tried my best! (side note: we left out the beads - for now anyway)

We started with clean hair that has been loose and free in a 'fro for the day.

Her hair was well-hydrated thanks to a home-made shea butter/coconut oil/shea oil mix.

Just another reminder of JJ's non-shrunken length:

I started with some corn-rows into single braids, 'cuz JJ loves "bangs".


Then - it was bedtime! The next day, JJ wore her hair free in the back with the braided bangs.

At bed time, I banded the back of her hair for the night, to stretch it out. I typically use JJ's old tights (cut into strips)  to band JJ's hair as they are really gentle and are very quick to put in.

I wanted to make a curved part for the ponytails, because I loved the "freestyle" look of Rachelle's original style.

curved part for ponytails
I also decided not to put the lower back hair into the ponytails. Instead I chose to braid these downwards. JJ likes to keep some length in the back. I've also found in the past that the skin at the nape of her neck is sensitive. Downward braids do not seem to irritate her skin like upward braids have in the past.  

ready for bed!
The next day I cornrowed both sides into two side ponytails.

In the back I did one layer of cornrows into single braids, and added some single braids at the nape of her neck.

Yes, the phone again - favorite hair time distraction!

I pulled the back braids into a ponytail.

See, phone is put away - she's reading a book! Yay!

JJ loves her hair!!

Be sure to check out Rachelle Yakubu's Hairstyle Thursdays for some other beautiful styles and breathtaking photos!


  1. Super cute and love the bangs up front!

  2. This is do cute! The top braids kind of look like hearts from the top! Those Elmo pjs are too cute!!

  3. Her braids look amazing! Great mimic of the original!

  4. SOO cute! I love the pattern! and WOW (again) I love her shrinkage! So much variety there!! <3

  5. Thank you BraidwithMe Aisha, Precious and Karli!! @Aisha, I was thinking they turned out a little heart-like too. I'm getting my practice in for valentine's day!!

  6. This looks great! And JJ is adorable. How long do you think this style will last in her hair?

  7. JJ is so stinking adorable! I love this style and had never even heard of that site. I'll be checking it out from now on! Thanks!

  8. Thanks UHM, Elizabeth and Nikki!!

    @Elizabeth - the full disclosure is that this is a "retrospective" post so I know the answer to that question! After one week, the cornrows on top were getting fuzzy from sleep, car seat, and lots of active play. I took them out and put them into plain ponytails. The braids in the back and the bangs were still looking great after 2 weeks, and I have incorporated them into her right-this-second style. I'm always a week (or on this case, 2) behind on posting, but I do plan to put out another post soon, with pictures of how this style lasted and evolved.

    @ Nikki - Rachelle's site is bee-you-tee-ful. Enjoy!

  9. Wow, the shrinkage! I've always wanted to try cornrows that go towards the front too... Hmmm hair-spiration alert!

  10. Wow I'm elated I was an inspiration. Thank you. You did a great job!

    Can I feature this on my site?

  11. @Goldilocks*n*Me - go for it!!! JJ loved them and GDL will too!

    @ Rachelle - your photographs literally make me gasp, they are beautiful, and you have such a great eye! And yes, I'd love for this inspired style to be featured on your site!