Her laoshi (Chinese teacher) is just as obsessed with her hair as I am, and so she often goes to school sporting one hairstyle and comes back with another! As I unravel her hair, I try to decode what laoshi had done. Sometimes, I'm successful, and sometimes I have to ask Xena, "How did laoshi make the twists not un-twist?" "I don't know Mama, I was sitting on laoshi's lap, listening to the English teacher read a book. I don't know what laoshi was doing on my hair." On some levels, it's kinda hilarious. Like laoshi and I are sending some kind of daily encrypted message to each other.
If you're as enamoured by braids as me, you would not have missed the viral post going around last month about the Aussie mom who makes the most intricate braids for her daughter for school every morning. The stuff she does is RIDICULOUS. INSANE. CUCKOO. Here is her FB page in case you're keen on more heart attacks. I bow down to this goddess of braids. And she has filled me with inspiration to try to rise a little higher in my efforts at braiding Xena's hair.
I'm still at a very basic level, and I wish I had more time to Youtube and learn more braid-y hairstyles. Hopefully I will get there one day, but meanwhile, here are some hairstyles I've been doing on Xena's hair. These are relatively simple compared to what I eventually want to do, so the captions should be instructions enough if any of you want to try these out.
Hairstyle 1: A basic fishtail braid. Xena calls it the 'coconut-fishtail', since it's an extension of the coconut hairstyle I'd mentioned in the previous post. (Coconut-fishtail. Sheesh. Sounds more like a curry than a hairstyle!)
Hairstyle 2: A twist braid. I finally figured out how to prevent the twist from un-twisting. The secret lies in the direction of the twist!
Hairstyle 3: A dutch braid
Hairstyle 4: My first attempt at a five-strand braid. Hopeless. I swear you need all tentacles of an octopus to do this neatly!
Hairstyle 5: Two Dutch side braids leading to a fishtail braid at the back
Hairstyle 6: Side parting with a regular braid going from the right and pinned securely on the left. I added the bunny hairclip because it was Easter celebration day at school.
Hairstyle 7: Single Dutch side braid leading to a Dutch braid at the back
Hairstyle 8: French hairband braid - I made a side parting and French braided the front section of each side...
... and then I took both the French braids and tied them together under the rest of her hair, to create the 'hairband' look.
Hairstyle 9: No mood to braid today!
Hairstyle 10: French side braid leading to a regular braid, but made at the side so it stayed put in front of her shoulder
Hairstyle 11: Centre parting with two thin regular braids on either side, loosely leading to a Dutch braid at the back.
Hairstyle 12: Criss-cross beaded ponytails
Hairstyle 13: Dutch braid with the front section of hair, and a regular braid on the side, going over and covering the parting. The next picture shows you how it looks from the side.