PDA

View Full Version : Cosmetic head for braid practice?



LutraLutra
March 12th, 2009, 03:51 AM
I love the look of braids, but I've never had long hair so I'm a total braiding novice. My hair is now almost long enough to try out some braiding techniques (except for those pesky too short layers!).

I've bought a fabulous book (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hair-Braiding-Styles-Scrunchies-Accessory/dp/1570540187/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1236850531&sr=1-6)and I'd love to get some practise in while my hair grows those last few inches, but I don't have access to a docile longhaired child/friend/significant other.

What I think I'm looking for is some kind of cosmetic head. A nice, inanimate long haired, human head sized thing. I'd use a longhaired doll, but that would be too tiny to see what I was doing.

Problem is, because I don't know what it's called, I don't know what to search for online.

Do such things exist? Are they expensive? Is there anything else I could use?

TIA.

Hatsumomo
March 12th, 2009, 04:07 AM
Google comes up with some for "salon mannequin", I'd guess Ebay might too:)

akka naeda
March 12th, 2009, 04:10 AM
I don't know if they exist, but I don't think they'd be much help. Looking at what you are plaiting with your hands in front of you is not the same as plaiting with your hands behind your head.

I'd suggest you just practise, practise, practise on your hair now, while it is short, and it will be so much easier once it is longer. It may well look dreadful to begin with (not for wearing out of the house!), but after a bit you'll find it easy and the finished result will look better.

Finoriel
March 12th, 2009, 04:35 AM
Yup, seconding akka naeda.
Maybe braiding other hair can help when you have problems to understand a special braid pattern, but practicing braids (or other updos) on another head of hair will not just "transfer" 1:1 to your own head later. Then you can start practicing again, because it simply is a whole other thing to braid/bun ones own hair.
I braid my own hair since Im 5 and can do an awful lot of different fancy braids on my own hair without any problems. :shrug: Still did not help me at all when trying to braid simple dutch 3 strand double braids on my niece.

Those cosmetic heads with long enough hair to do braids are awful expensive. If you really want to start practicing on other hair than your own I would suggest buying a cheap Halloween wig with long hair.

Monchhichi
March 12th, 2009, 04:46 AM
I second akka naeda and Finoriel, too.

It is a big difference whether you braid your own hair or you do the braid on someone else. If you always practise on someone else's hair, you get used to seeing what you braid, but that won't be the case when you braid your own hair. So I can only recommend you: Practise, practise, practise!

ElenTikvah
March 12th, 2009, 05:18 AM
I definitely agree...braiding another's hair and braiding your own hair are two different tasks! As a child, I accidently taught my myself to dutch braid my own hair, and then learned to french braid others, which I did for years at chuch camps, etc. When I finally decided to learn to french braid my own hair...HAHA! Took awhile...just the difference in braiding dutch to french made me all thumbs!

The wig might be a good idea tho...

~Tik

pdy2kn6
March 12th, 2009, 06:49 AM
yeah they definatly do exist in places , im sure ive seen them around and about. I think they are often used for hairdressing purposes. I dont think it would help you in helping to braid your own hair as like the others said it is a totally diferent technique, but it may be useful for you if you wanted just to mess about with hair and try different styles on it so you could see how it turns out from all angles and then try recreating it on your own hair...

atlantaz3
March 12th, 2009, 08:56 AM
I agree with the other posters. What I can do on my own head I usually can't duplicate for others.
My suggestion would be to get a skein of yarn (maybe multiple colors) cut a handful of similiar lenght pieces and practice on that. The mutilple colors might help with strand A (red) over strand B (blue).
Much cheaper than doll or wig. Which if someone else didn't post what about a long hair wig off ebay attached to a mannequin head with pins?

Delila
March 12th, 2009, 09:29 AM
Karen Ribble's (http://www.braidedimage.com/Braided_Image_Hair_Braiding/Instructions.html) 'Braid Your Own Hair' booklet and dvd taught me quite a lot that I might never have figured out for myself about working on my own head.

susiemw
March 12th, 2009, 10:20 AM
I agree that it's very different to braid someone else's hair and braiding your own but I did find using a dolls head very helpful in getting the idea of what i was suppose to be doing with my hands.
I picked up a couple of doll heals with long hair at garage sales.
They are the kind designed for children to do hair styles on.
They were a good 50 cent investment.

you might want to try looking for them at thrift shops.

RetroKitten
March 12th, 2009, 10:50 AM
Karen Ribble's (http://www.braidedimage.com/Braided_Image_Hair_Braiding/Instructions.html) 'Braid Your Own Hair' booklet and dvd taught me quite a lot that I might never have figured out for myself about working on my own head.

I am not a fan on braiding, but I want to learn how to style my own hair, would you still recommend that book?

Gumball
March 12th, 2009, 10:54 AM
I am not a fan on braiding, but I want to learn how to style my own hair, would you still recommend that book?

From what I know (I don't own that book) that book is pretty much all braiding all the time, so if braiding isn't your thing a book on braiding might not help too much.

As per the question from the OP. I get so flustered with trying to do french and dutch braids to myself. Luckily I have my repetoire of other things I can do. For those kinds of braids I have practiced and done some learning on both friends' heads and a mannequin head I've got in a little box (synthetic and nice and cheap). That way I just teach someone how to do something and voila! They can do it to me. Easy peasy. Still the best way to learn how to do stuff to yourself is just that: Do it to yourself. Diligence is key! The fingering is all different, too. I just get tired with my hair's absolute devotion to grabbing on to itself.

Good luck! :D

Auryn
March 12th, 2009, 11:07 AM
I guess I must be one of the oddballs that learned how to braid on my dolls hair as a child and then was easily able to do it to my own head. Granted, it took me a few months to be able to french braid and not do dutch braids all the time.

LutraLutra
March 12th, 2009, 11:38 AM
Thank you all for your excellent advice.

I never relealised it before, but I can now see how different it would be to braid something in front of you (like another person) and to braid something behind you (like yourself).

I now also know that I've been making a major rookie braiding error - I've been twisting myself around trying to see what I'm doing in the mirror (giving myself neck ache in the process) :brickwall but what I really need to do is learn the finger patters.

Aahhh, it's all becoming much clearer now!

More practise - less looking in the mirror = (hopefully) more success.

Thanks again. :)

Delila
March 12th, 2009, 02:35 PM
I am not a fan on braiding, but I want to learn how to style my own hair, would you still recommend that book?

It's all braiding-your-own-hair, all the time, if I remember correctly, both disc and booklet. (It's been a while since I gave them a look, though.)

In my rather limited experience working on my own head, I've learned that both updos and braiding (and combinations) require me to learn how to do a style more by feel than by looking. Sure, it's important to take a look to see if things are as tidy as I'd prefer, at the beginning and at the end, but most of the work for me is done by feel.

RetroKitten
March 12th, 2009, 03:02 PM
It's all braiding-your-own-hair, all the time, if I remember correctly, both disc and booklet. (It's been a while since I gave them a look, though.)

In my rather limited experience working on my own head, I've learned that both updos and braiding (and combinations) require me to learn how to do a style more by feel than by looking. Sure, it's important to take a look to see if things are as tidy as I'd prefer, at the beginning and at the end, but most of the work for me is done by feel.

Thank you, that is very helpful. I guess the only thing I can do is practice practice practice to get the feeling?!!

Delila
March 12th, 2009, 05:53 PM
Thank you, that is very helpful. I guess the only thing I can do is practice practice practice to get the feeling?!!

Well, that was true for me. One thing that took me a long time, was learning how to be realistic, and just start an updo over once it becomes obvious that it's not going well. Some days I seem to be a total fumble fingers, and eventually resort to a simple braid, others it seems I can do no wrong, and manage to create an updo (without struggling) in what seems like moments.

Another thing that helped over time is that my fingers, hands and arms got stronger from the repetition. At first, my arms would get really tired, but I guess I've got more muscles in the right places now, because I hardly notice the effort now.


HTH!

JCFantasy23
March 12th, 2009, 08:47 PM
I used to have a doll type head just for playing with her hair. The head was pretty large and the hair was a lot of fun to mess with. I'm not sure what it was called though, but I'm sure it would be cheap and work well.

SimplyLonghair
March 12th, 2009, 09:26 PM
I used to have a doll type head just for playing with her hair. The head was pretty large and the hair was a lot of fun to mess with. I'm not sure what it was called though, but I'm sure it would be cheap and work well.
Barbie beauty head I think, I had one as a child. :silly:

arabidbutterfly
March 12th, 2009, 09:36 PM
I hate to :horse:, but I agree that braiding ones own hair is totally different from a practise head.
I found that practicing without a mirror was helpful to me.

Spiffyhink
March 12th, 2009, 10:37 PM
Two things helped me learn that might help you:

When my hair was shorter, I braided small portions of it on the front and sides, sort of in the way younger girls do when they string the ends of them with plastic beads and such. Some think it's juvenile, but it helped me.

As my hair got longer, I got used to braiding all of it by pulling it around to my side and braiding it straight in front of me. Then I gradually braided it further and further back until I was braiding upside down.

I still haven't learned to french braid though. :p

Monchhichi
March 13th, 2009, 04:55 AM
If you just want to learn the braid pattern, you can use ribbons or anything else that can be braided.

LutraLutra
March 13th, 2009, 10:53 AM
When my hair was shorter, I braided small portions of it on the front and sides, sort of in the way younger girls do when they string the ends of them with plastic beads and such. Some think it's juvenile, but it helped me.
Yes, that's a really good idea, thanks. :)