everything I've learned about growing, maintaining, styling, and loving long hair

wedding hair

wedding styles #8 (continued)

Here is a gallery of photos that show many different options for wearing flowers in your hair.  You can also look over my other posts in the series to see more.


wedding styles #8 – using flowers

This will be the last in my wedding series.  I must admit I had only planned on doing 3 or 4 posts, but once I began sorting through all my collection of photos, I had a lot  more content to contribute than I realized!  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed doing this series and I hope you all have been able to gain something from it.

I’m not going to be showing you how to make flowers to use in your hair, there are tons of tutorials already available on youtube for that.  The purpose of this is to explain how I place them in the hair.  I love using flowers in my hair!  There’s nothing like a beautiful flower to make an average day seem special, or a special occasion feel more special.  I have used fresh flowers, artificial flowers from a craft store, and flowers on clips specifically made for hair.  One of the biggest problems I’ve experienced is a stem that is too short.  Whether you use real or fake flowers, make sure to leave a long enough stem when cutting the flower!  A good length of stem is important for securing the flower in your hair!  You can always trim it if it’s too long.

Fresh flowers in an updo –   Cut the stem about 3 to 4 inches long, and make sure that the cut is smooth.  If it’s jagged, the stem will catch on the hair when you try to insert it.  You want it to slide in smoothly.  If the stem is delicate and bends when you try to slide it in, you may want to use florist wire to make it stiff.

First, decide where you want the flower.  Choose a location that has an indentation, or perhaps the updo has a flat spot that needs to be filled in.  Hold the flower in different places to see what looks best.  Wherever you choose, the flower needs a little nest to sit in.  You want the base of the flower to fit down into the updo.  The ideal look is for the petals to rest against the hair.  Next, slide the stem into the updo.  You may have to work around the pins that are holding your style in place, but try to get the stem close to your scalp.  Place a pin at some point along the stem to prevent the flower from sliding back out.  If the flower isn’t sitting well, you can try using more pins to hold it in place, or try a different location.  If the stem is thick (such as on a rose) you will need to use large pins, normal sized ones will just stretch out and probably fall out.  Smaller flowers usually stay in place more easily and don’t always require pins.  Another option, if you have time, is to attach a large flower to an alligator clip using floral wire and/or tape.

Hawaiian look (flower over the ear) – You will need to use something to hold the flower in place.  If you’re using a flower on a clip, it’s really simple.  The trick is to not place it on top of all the hair.  If you do, it will flop around.  Pull the bulk of the hair back out of the way and secure the flower close to the scalp, then let the hair fall back around it.  If you have really thick hair, you may need to work with it a little to keep it from falling over the flower.  If you need to, discreetly use a few pins to hold your hair in place the way it naturally falls, then attach the flower.  If you’re using a fresh flower, it’s a bit more challenging.  I’ve done this look on a few different people and the simplest way I found is to use bobby pins and a snap clip.  The snap clip works wonders!  As long as it’s big enough to close around the stem, it holds much better and is easier to use than pins.  Using the same technique, place the flower over the ear with the stem pointing to the back of the head.  Behind the ear, slide the snap clip into the hair and over the stem, as close to the scalp as possible. (hint: you can crisscross these the same as bobby pins for extra hold!)  Place a pin or two at the base of the flower if needed.  Make sure the hair falls over the stem and hides it.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

For artificial flowers, I like to get small ones that come in bunches.  These are the easiest flowers to use in hair.  They can be found in most craft stores.    >

The stems are usually wire wrapped with tape.  These wires are usually about 4-6 inches long and very thin.  After you separate the bundle, bend each wire in half  and twist it around itself (as in the pic below).  This will give you a sturdier stem and rounded end so it slides into the hair much easier.

You can also use silk flowers.  They usually have wire coated in plastic as the stem.  The wire is thicker and stronger than the ones above so it’s not necessary to bend it in half.  Cut the stem about 2-3 inches long.   Sometimes these types of flowers aren’t secured on the stems very well and may slide off.  If that’s the case, just use a little glue to hold them together.

Any of these small artificial flowers will usually stay in the hair without the aid of pins or clips.  You can scatter them throughout the updo, or place them in groupings.  You have a lot of options.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

If you want something more elaborate, talk to your florist about making a piece for you.  She should be able to create something (real or artificial) similar to a corsage that would be suitable for wearing in your hair.

wedding styles #7

These are some photos I’ve collected because I love them, but I can’t really give you instructions for how to recreate them.  If you show one to your stylist, she may be able to do it for you.

Here’s a tip:  If you’re taking a photo to a stylist for her to copy for you, try to get different angles if you can.  It gives more of an over-all sense of the style.  It also can help when recreating a style because you may be able to see a detail from the left that you can’t see clearly from the back, etc.


wedding styles #6

I don’t have videos or tutorials for these, but I can give you general idea of how I would recreate them.

In this post I refer to lace braids, waterfall braids, and fishtail braids.  Tutorials for creating these types of braids can be easily found all over youtube right now.

barrel curls & braids – Follow my instructions for making barrel curls.  Before you get started on the rolls, make a few small braids in random places throughout the ponytail (the shorter your hair is, the more braids you will need).  If your hair is thin, you may wish to attach purchased braids.  Incorporate the braids by looping and pinning as you create the style.  Make the rolls large and very smooth to get this polished effect.

curly french twist – This style works best on naturally curly or permed hair that is around shoulder length.  Section off the center back by parting from behind each ear to the crown area.  (These do not have to be perfectly straight parts because they will be covered up!  It’s best to avoid pulling apart the curls because that creates frizz.  Just gently section it off with your fingers.)  Gently twist this section as if you were creating a french twist, leaving the ends loose and falling over the top of the head.  Secure with pins.  Divide the remaining hair in half by creating a rough side or center part (whichever you prefer).  Gather the left half  behind the ear and gently, loosely twist it towards the back, securing it near the top of the back section so that the curls point upward.  Repeat on the right side.  Arrange the curls.

half up lace braids – Divide the hair in half  horizontally from ear to ear.  Divide the top half by making a side part in the front.  Make a loose lace braid beginning at the top of the ear and braid straight back, taking large sections.  Stop when you reach the crown area and tie off the braid.  Repeat on the other side.  The braids should end at the same point, meeting in the middle.  You can hide the hair bands by arranging and pinning the hair to cover them, or use a decorative hair accessory.

imitating a french braid – This is an extremely simple style!  Make a side or center part (whichever you prefer) and comb the hair down nice and smooth.  You may wish to use hairspray or a little gel at this point to tame any flyaways.  Grab a small piece from the hairline on each side near the temples and join them in the back with a tiny hair band.  Smooth it down into the rest of the hair.  Repeat until you’ve reached the neck.  Make sure all your hair bands line up in the back.  Secure a small decorative hair accessory on each band.

half up diagonal braid – Divide the hair in half from the top of the left ear to the bottom of the right ear.  Begin a french braid near the left ear, braiding loosely and taking large sections.  You can do a lace braid or a waterfall braid.  (This appears to be a sort of combination of the two, not dropping as much hair as a waterfall braid.)  Tie off the braid when you reach the hairline behind the right ear.  Arrange the hair so that it hides the hair band or cover it with a decorative hair accessory.  Optional variation: Braid to the end and coil it into a small bun behind your right ear.

front pouf – Make sure your hair is nice and full, it will need a good amount of volume.  Section off the hair on the top of the head, from the temples to an inch or two in front of the crown.  Backcomb and then smooth the top layer.  Gather the section and push it forward a little to make it puff up more.  Pin it in place by crisscrossing 2 or 3 bobby pins.  This is a messy look, so don’t try too hard to get the pouf perfectly smooth and even.

zigzag fishtail –  Beginning at the front hairline near the temple, make a fishtail french braid in a zigzag pattern.  This takes practice!  It may be easier to make a part by drawing the line you want to follow and taking hair from either side of the part as you add it in.  Braid all the way to the end and tie it off.  Pull at the sections of the braid to loosen it up.  Following the flow of the zigzag, coil the tail of the braid into a side bun and secure with pins.

fishtail bun – This style could probably be created in the same way as the one above.  Rather than zigzaging the braid, begin it around the crown area and go straight down.

wedding styles #5

Here are a few simple photo tutorials.  They are pretty self-explanatory. (I’m seriously jealous of that fiery red hair!)

click for larger view

^ from RockMyWedding

^ from This Is Glamorous     from Grosgrain >

from Pinterest (no link to original) v

wedding styles #4

Here are some of my favorite tutorials from youtube.  Sadly, youtube videos are not permanent and some that I had saved have been removed.  I wish I could download them so I won’t lose them!

Click on the pic to see the video.

“butterfly braid” – This one would be good for a more relaxed setting, maybe an outdoor summer wedding.  I think it’s very pretty and unique.  It would be great for someone who has very straight hair that doesn’t hold curl well.  You could also add a flower to dress it up.

curly side bun – If you really want this to look like Taylor Swift, I suggest curling your hair a lot more than he did in this video.  Or, if you have natural curly hair, it would work well.  I did this style on a friend who has very thick heavy hair.  The trick is to form your basic bun shape with the back and then pin the front loosely back into it.  I don’t exactly like the way this girl’s hair turned out, but the technique is good.

loose double bun

leave it down but add lift – This video and the one below are using extensions, but that wouldn’t be necessary if you have long enough and thick enough hair.  They also show how they curled it with rollers.  I think their method of smoothing gel on each piece of hair as they remove the rollers is a great idea.  Just don’t use too much or you’ll straighten the curl.

all to one side

down the back – I’ve been wanting to try this on someone, but haven’t had a chance yet.

“cascading roses” triple bun   – If you want the buns to be angled across, it worked better for me to place the first one directly in the center.  Also, my hair is long enough and heavy enough that it started to slide out of the style after an hour or two.  I tried it again by making loose ponytails before creating buns.  It held way better, but didn’t have quite the same look.  I may try it again the original way but use a lot more pins.  I really loved the look though!

“romantic vintage”

wedding styles #3

Here are some adorable styles for flower girls or junior bridesmaids.  These are not photos of my own work, but they would be pretty simple to do.  I will give brief instructions on how I would recreate each one.

tiara braid (I just LOVE this one!) – I can’t wait to try this one on my nieces!  Part the hair down the center and make a dutch braid from the nape of the neck up towards the the top of the head.  When you get to the crown area, begin curving the braid towards the other side (it helps to take pie-shaped sections of hair when you reach this point).  Stop gathering hair when you reach the center part and continue to braid to the end.  Tie it off as close to the tips as possible with a tiny clear elastic band.  Repeat on the other side.  Bring the braid tail across the top and, beginning at the end of the braid, coil it into a bun so that the ends are at the center.  Pin the bun in place to the side of the crown.  Repeat with the other side.  The braid should begin at the nape, go up the side, across the top, and be pinned in a coil on the other side.  (I included the second pic so you can see more clearly the path the braids follow.)  Decorate with small flowers or jeweled pins.

wrapped dutch braids – This one is so simple!  Part hair down the center and make 2 dutch braids from the front to the back, braiding hair all the way to the ends.  Pin the ends into a bun or however you would like to arrange them.  Use a large plastic craft needle to “sew” the ribbon through the hair, wrapping in a criss-cross pattern around the braids.  Tuck the ends of the ribbon under the bun, or tie them in a bow.  Decorate with a large bow (such as in this pic) or flowers.

braids and curls (for a little girl with very long hair) – Pull the hair into a high ponytail.  Make 5 or 6 braids and tie them off a few inches from the end and curl the ends.  You could use a curling iron or sponge rollers.  Loop the braids and attach them at the base of the ponytail by tucking them under the hair band or placing another band around the ponytail and braid ends.  Arrange the curls, pinning if necessary.  Decorate with ribbons and flowers.  I think it would be pretty to weave ribbon into the braids.

coiled braids – (You may recognize this from The Game of Thrones.)  Make a part from one ear to the crown and then to the other ear, dividing the hair in half horizontally.  Put the lower half in a ponytail or bun to keep it out of the way.  Make a center part in the top half.  Comb one side down towards the ear, dampen the hair and use a little gel so it will lay smooth and flat.  Begin the braid at the top of the ear near the horizontal part, aim it towards the back of the head so it will lay flat when you coil it.  (Try to divide the sections as equal as possible because this braid needs to go to the very tips of the hair.)  Braid to the very end using gel and a spray bottle as you go to prevent stray ends from poking out of the braid.  Tie it off as close to the tips as possible with a tiny clear elastic band.  Release the lower half of the hair.  Beginning at the end of the braid, coil it into a bun so that the ends are at the center.  Pin the coil in place.  Repeat on the other side.  This pic has no decorations because she’s wearing it as an every-day style, but you could dress it up with jeweled pins or small flowers.

stacked ponytails – This one was created by doing 3 ponytails stacked vertically and then creating inverted “topsy tails” with each one.  By that, I mean to flip the hair under the band and through so it’s pointing up and falling over the hair band.  Then curl and arrange the ends.  If the little girl’s hair is long, you may need to pin the curls in place.  This one is decorated with a bow, but I think it would look fabulous with a mini tiara.

flowers – If the little girl doesn’t have much hair, compensate by adding lots of flowers!  You can use fresh or fake, whichever you prefer.  Sometimes on a little girl it’s better to use fake, especially if she’s bouncy.  I will talk more about using flowers in a future post.

For some unique little girls’ styles that are extremely easy to create and a little less formal-looking, check out She Does Hair.