Friday, April 4, 2014

Tutorial: Pippi Longstocking Hairdo

Y'all know I'm a big nerd, right?

The whole lot of us recently went to a children's theater performance of Pippi Longstocking, and I could not pass up the opportunity to do a little cosplay with the kids. Here's how:

  1. You need to score some bendable floral or jewelry wire. The 18-gauge jewelry wire that I had on hand was perfect for Syd's light, straight hair, but didn't hold Will's thick, curly mop quite as well.
  2. Measure out a length of the bendable wire that's long enough to go over the top of the kid's head and down each side the length of their hair. Cut it from the spool with a pair of wire cutters.
  3. Comb and divide the kid's hair in two down a center part. 
  4. This is the big trick: center the wire at the top of the kid's head, and get another person or the kid to hold it there. Having both braids made from a single piece of wire anchors it, so that you can bend each of the braids into more drastic contortions.
  5. Comb and divide the hair on one side into three sections above the ear; include the bendable wire with the center section.
  6. Braid the hair as usual, braiding the wire with it as part of the kid's hair. Tie off the braid at the bottom, then use the wire cutters to cut off any excess wire below the tie (you may want to bend it back onto itself first, so that it won't have a sharp end that sticks out).
  7. Adjust the wire as needed so that it's snug and lays flat over the top of the kid's head without biting into it, then braid the kid's hair on the other side the exact same way.
  8. Use a couple of bobby pins or sturdy clips to anchor the wire on each side of the kid's head above the braids, so that it doesn't inch down the back of the kid's head.
Now you should be able to bend each braid into whatever silly contortions you desire. 

After I did this, basically none of us ever stopped laughing at how hilarious the kids looked with braids sticking out all crazy--Will's long, thick hair made every pose look especially improbable. 

At the play, many of the kids were invited to sit on cushions right in front of the stage, and as soon as mine had settled themselves far enough away from me and Matt that I could no longer intervene, I noticed that Pippi hair does NOT keep to itself! Fortunately, the kids on either side of mine were buddies of theirs, buddies good enough that their parents would probably inform me if they got head lice. I'd rather have bent the kids' braids up and over their heads before they walked away, though--I can go the rest of my life without dealing with head lice ever again.

Will liked her braids okay, especially at first, but by the time we were home from the play, she was ready to take them out and move on with her afternoon. Syd, however, was ready to move on to...

a photo shoot:

She's currently making noise about wanting lots and LOTS of bendy braids for her runway walk at the Trashion/Refashion Show later this month. 

Pro: I think we could get away with using pipe cleaners instead of wire in each braid. 

Con: There's no way I'd ask a Hair Arts Academy student volunteering his/her services to put a million pipe cleaner braids into my child's hair, so there goes my pre-show morning!

This post was shared with Teach beside Me.


Tina said...

That looks awesome! We might have to give that a try then listen to some Pippi on audio :0)

julie said...

Listen in front of a mirror so you can play with your hair!


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