View Full Version : How to Teach Hair Braiding?

February 6th, 2010, 12:25 PM
So my university has this student run program where college students can sign up to teach any class they want to high schoolers. It's a weekend in the fall and one day in the spring; last fall we had about 2000 students. In any case, a bunch of my friends are involved in running it and they've been trying to convince me to teach a class this spring. The only thing I could think of that I know well enough to teach is how to braid hair, but I'm not sure of a practical way to teach it. Wigs would be nice, but they're expensive. I can't really ask everyone to bring a friend with long hair (as much fun as that would be). Using something like ribbons or threads would be okay for some things, but I couldn't teach any French braiding. Does anyone have suggestions for this?

I was thinking of teaching something along the lines of 3 strand braids (English, French, Dutch), herringbone, rope, 4-strand, 5-strand (which could be extended into n-odd-numbered-strands). I don't really have a clear sense of how long it would take to teach most of these, but the class would probably be about an hour long.

February 6th, 2010, 01:16 PM
My initial thought was ribbons, but you're right in that they wouldn't help with French braiding, and probably wouldn't work too well for rope braiding.
It would be time consuming, but you could get a bunch of balls and glue ribbon/yarn/whatever in several places to simulate hair.

As for the time thing, I don't think you'll be able to teach all those braids in an hour. That's what, seven braids? 7 braids in 60 minutes means about 8 and a half minutes per braid. I highly doubt everyone will catch on that fast. It took me at least 20 minutes with a head of hair and a video to learn the French braid, and several attempts adding up to somewhere around there to learn the rope braid.

February 6th, 2010, 01:59 PM
Just a suggestion as a spin off, how about teaching it as cord making, like Kumihimo? It's a smilar principle to braiding (not French/Dutch) but with cord. You shoulodn't be too out of your depth with a little research since it's similar, and everyone could leave with a belt or friendship bracelet or something.

Sorry, I know you say highschoolers but since the UK system is different could you clarify the ages? Also, what abilities do the students tend to be?

February 6th, 2010, 05:13 PM
Yeah, I don't really expect to teach all of those braids, but that was the list I started with, figuring that I would start with the first and probably get through 3-4, but that it would be better to have a longer list in case.

High schoolers is roughly ages 14-18. This program also allows some younger kids (12-13), but you can choose whether each class is open to younger kids.

February 6th, 2010, 05:41 PM
Rope is good for teaching braids.

As for the in-braiding--get a skein of cheap yarn, cut maybe two dozen pieces of at 18-20 inches, secure them over a dowel so that you double the number of pieces hanging down and use that to demonstrate or teach the in-braiding. This would also work for teaching a herringbone braid.