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Freija
August 25th, 2012, 08:09 AM
I'm going to admit it - I need help! I just can't seem to use them at all, and until now I've just dismissed it and told myself that my hair isn't long enough yet. But I'm not sure that that is true any more. I think I might just be incompetent, and the inability to do anything with my hair is really getting to me. :o Right now, I'm very tempted to hack it all off at my collarbones. It's just so hard to believe that after two years of growing, my hair is still 'too short'.

Basically, my hair is 'somewhere between APL and BSL'. I'm tempted to say that the longest layers are nearly at BSL when I'm standing up straight, but the shortest layers are only just past my collarbones. My ponytail circumference is a little under 4" at the top. Can I expect to be able to manage updos with this?

I can gather it all into a single ponytail and I can put it into a bun held with three Amish pins (but they pull at my hair as they go in, so I don't like to use them). I can twist it up and hold it with a claw-clip, and I can put it into a half-up with an extra-small Flexi-8, or with one of these (http://www.etsy.com/listing/97638553/choose-20-elastic-hair-ties-assorted?ref=usr_faveitems). But I can't plait it without the shorter layers falling out and into my face, can't seem to use hairsticks (either one or two - heck, I can't even seem to hold a half-up with a stick), can't use a comb or a fork to hold a full bun (can't use a comb to hold anything) and French twists are totally beyond me.

I usually try to make my buns by gathering all of my hair quite high on my head, and twisting it, then twisting the twist around until I have a bun. But even twisting it is hard - I have to do it really tightly or it doesn't coil, bits bulge or fall out, and/or the hair that should be sweeping over my scalp and into the bun bulges out. But this in itself is problematic: having to do it that tightly is bad for my hair, uncomfortable, and makes it very hard to work a stick or fork in to hold it. And - again, because I've done it so tightly - the final bun doesn't spread out nicely, sitting flat against my scalp like a cinnabun, but is instead forced into a clump which sticks out backwards from my head. Is there... maybe a better method than this that I can try? :o

CarpeDM
August 25th, 2012, 08:13 AM
I'm thinking you might just need more length. I know for me, 27 inches (and all one length hair) was the magic number where my buns started to really hold and work for me. Anything before that was a struggle and a flop.

sakuraemily
August 25th, 2012, 08:13 AM
Its not you. Layers can do that to a person. Its really difficult to do styles and buns with layered hair.
Can you do a gibson tuck? Look into YouTube for instructions.

Madora
August 25th, 2012, 08:44 AM
You need more length to do buns comfortably. Pulling hair tightly and twisting it are not hair friendly..or comfortable, as you've discovered.

I don't know if you've tried this style, but you might want to give it a go:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPHEzUr5bWQ

As with any style, practice makes perfect. Good luck!

heidi w.
August 25th, 2012, 08:50 AM
Your hair is long enough to use hair toys. What is it you're trying to do? What do you have that you want to use?

heidi w.

HumanBean
August 25th, 2012, 08:53 AM
Try a style that starts as a French braid or lace French braid on the sides, or something deliberately messy, like these:

http://www.crochetclouds.com/2011/10/braided-bun-tutorial.html

http://thebeautydepartment.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/TBDhairtutorialwinner.jpg

http://abeautifulmess.typepad.com/my_weblog/2011/11/how-to-style-a-side-braid.html

http://thebeautydepartment.com/2012/07/1-inside-out-french-braid-2-twists/

And, I've referenced this blog before, but this woman's hair is shoulder to APL and all layered and she has tons of updo tutorials. She does use hairspray and teases sometimes, but those steps can be skipped or just don't do those ones. Here is one of her tutorials:

http://www.thesmallthingsblog.com/2012/03/braided-pony.html

Those work well for my layers. They aren't hair toy styles per say, but I use decorated Amish pins or decorated bobby pins to get my hair toy fix in styles like these.

Freija
August 25th, 2012, 09:16 AM
Thank you, everyone! I just hope that updos will start to work soon. Maybe I'll treat myself to one or two pretty France Luxe claw clips until then, since they're gentle on hair and I know that I can use them...

I can do a Gibson Tuck, but because my hair is quite thick it tends to look a little bulky! I look better with my hair swept upwards from my face (as in a bun) than I do at the nape of my neck. I might experiment with positioning it, to see if I can get it to look better.

I haven't ever tried crown braids, either, but I will now. They look beautiful.


Your hair is long enough to use hair toys. What is it you're trying to do? What do you have that you want to use?

heidi w.

I'm looking for everyday protective styles, really. The dream is to not need extra hairties or pins, and to be able to use sticks and forks to hold buns - but for now, I would at least like to be able to use a comb or hair fork to hold a French twist, and if possible, would like a way of using my hairsticks.

I have a pair of 5 1/2 inch plain wooden hairsticks, a dragonfly hairstick, a comb, claw clamps (both large and mini), and a two-prong metal hair pin (maybe I could use this to decorate a Gibson Tuck, actually, if I started it higher up...), and two Micro Mini GS forks which I can use for a half-up, but might be able to use for a French twist, if I got the hang of it...?

Freija
August 25th, 2012, 09:22 AM
Try a style that starts as a French braid or lace French braid on the sides, or something deliberately messy, like these:

http://www.crochetclouds.com/2011/10/braided-bun-tutorial.html

http://thebeautydepartment.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/TBDhairtutorialwinner.jpg

http://abeautifulmess.typepad.com/my_weblog/2011/11/how-to-style-a-side-braid.html

http://thebeautydepartment.com/2012/07/1-inside-out-french-braid-2-twists/

And, I've referenced this blog before, but this woman's hair is shoulder to APL and all layered and she has tons of updo tutorials. She does use hairspray and teases sometimes, but those steps can be skipped or just don't do those ones. Here is one of her tutorials:

http://www.thesmallthingsblog.com/2012/03/braided-pony.html

Those work well for my layers. They aren't hair toy styles per say, but I use decorated Amish pins or decorated bobby pins to get my hair toy fix in styles like these.

Oh, wow, the first two are especially gorgeous! And the first looks very protective, too. Thank you so much - I'll have to practice French-plaiting. :D

Tristelle
August 25th, 2012, 11:03 AM
Beginning with French braiding is a good idea - it will keep yout layers and make your updo more secure.
I would suggest looking at youtube video tutorials (when I first learnt how to do buns, it really helped me)

heidi w.
August 25th, 2012, 05:52 PM
I'm looking for everyday protective styles, really. The dream is to not need extra hairties or pins, and to be able to use sticks and forks to hold buns - but for now, I would at least like to be able to use a comb or hair fork to hold a French twist, and if possible, would like a way of using my hairsticks.

I have a pair of 5 1/2 inch plain wooden hairsticks, a dragonfly hairstick, a comb, claw clamps (both large and mini), and a two-prong metal hair pin (maybe I could use this to decorate a Gibson Tuck, actually, if I started it higher up...), and two Micro Mini GS forks which I can use for a half-up, but might be able to use for a French twist, if I got the hang of it...?

You may have hair that is a bit short for use of a hair stick. Those styles often depend on having long enough hair to tie into its own knot and then use the stick to hold the rest of the updo in place.

The first hair updo I did was when I was around mid-back length, and it was a Bee's Butt Bun which someone showed me how to do quickly on a hiking trip in the mountains of California. I held it with one hairstick, and had to redo the updo about two times in the remainder of the day. Not too bad.

IF you can grow out some of those layers, you will have a far easier time getting your hair into an actual updo. Once that happens, a lot is going to change for you.

For now, keep as you are doing, practicing, learning. A french twist is very do-able with hair that is cut into layers. There are youtube videos on how to do that on your kind of hair which is in layers. I actually have too much hair to pull off a French Twist anymore. I do a version that is quite like a French Twist but I leave a puff of hair below the updo as well.

If you can learn how to do a french twist, then you can decorate your hair with a hair stick by inserting the stick when your twist is all done, down the center of the bunned hair. I have a pet peave about letting the end of the stick show a lot which is not very attractive in my opinion. I get around this by having doubles of the same comb design and then insert a comb on the other side as well to cover up the tip of the comb.

I hope this helps a little bit.
heidi w.

Pearly~91
August 25th, 2012, 06:29 PM
Hey, so I have a similar problem!! My hair is just past APL, with layers up to my shoulders, and my ponytail circumference averages more than 3.5 in. My hair is not long enough to do a proper bun because I can't do a complete coil yet. (I don't anticipate it being long enough to actually tuck my ends till at least BSL) One thing that I have found that works is this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boGblrUa_O8

but I do it with a 2 prong fork and have to twist it pretty tight to get it to stick. (It takes me about 5 tries to get it right, but if it sticks, it lasts all day) The longest that I've managed to get it to stick with sticks is about 30 min, but where your hair is more curly, you might have more success with sticks than I do.

battles
August 25th, 2012, 06:33 PM
The first style that was able to hold in my layered hair was a peacock twist with a fork. That was about APL, but my hair is a little thinner than yours.

ratgirldjh
August 25th, 2012, 06:38 PM
My hair is just at shoulder length. It is 'supposed' to be sort of one length (lol) but the front grows way faster than the back!

I do several buns and I always have hairs hanging down in the back because my nape hair isn't long enough. Mostly I do a sort of twisted one also - I don't twist tight though I just twist until it forms a coil and wrap the end around and then stick the hairstick through.

Forks might be easier for you. I have very good luck with dpn (knitting needles) bent into a fork because it can be straddled over the edge of my bun and just holds the ends in.

Actually I found it easier to do buns when I my hair was growing out of a layered cut. It seemed that I could get more of my hairs into the buns. Now it seems harder.

Freija
August 26th, 2012, 11:29 AM
Again, thank you so much for all of your help! I have loads of pretty things to try now (I do need to get better at doing French plaits, though!), and I'm really grateful. I came across this awesome youtube video last night (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JhXxMY5CGY) and after several attempts I think I've found a way of making (gentle!) buns which are a bit messy, but stay in place. It is amazing how much better they work when I'm not pulling them tight! I'm going to try to get a full-size fork for buns soon; I think it's probably true that it would hold better than a stick! : )

whylime13
August 26th, 2012, 04:24 PM
Again, thank you so much for all of your help! I have loads of pretty things to try now (I do need to get better at doing French plaits, though!), and I'm really grateful. I came across this awesome youtube video last night (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JhXxMY5CGY) and after several attempts I think I've found a way of making (gentle!) buns which are a bit messy, but stay in place. It is amazing how much better they work when I'm not pulling them tight! I'm going to try to get a full-size fork for buns soon; I think it's probably true that it would hold better than a stick! : )

This rocks my world! I tried the softer twist and it's kinda working!

Freija
August 26th, 2012, 05:56 PM
This rocks my world! I tried the softer twist and it's kinda working!

I know! The video doesn't seem to be saying anything new, at first, but then once you go back to trying to make buns it's as though it triggers some kind of mental breakthrough! I think it's just so counter-intuitive to make a bun looser if it doesn't work at first that it's impossible to do it without being shown. I am definitely going to post a picture if I manage to make forks work. I think i'll be dancing around my living-room, too. : p