Friday, October 10, 2014

Hair Wraps - Like Dreads but Cooler

Unkempt, ratty, and distinctly hippie. I've written about it before, I'll write about it again. Possibly the biggest hippie cliché ever: Waist-length, disheveled, straggly hair. Bohemians often divorced social norms, which unfortunately often included a hairbrush. Due to the massive numbers of flower children who were unconcerned with personal hygiene, they earned an affectionate nickname: The Great Unwashed.
In fact, hippie hair was often barley a rat's nest away from a spiderweb of dreadlocks. To me, that is  revolting.  No matter how much I immerse myself in hippie idealisms, I will continue to bathe. Discovering hair wraps at a music festival in the middle of the Teton Mountains, however, was a life-changing moment.  These colorful accessories are perfect clash of modern-day boho style and dreaded hippie culture.(Ha ha, get it? Dread, like dread locks?) So here, dear readers, are your steps to add a temporary and vivacious vibe to your chic sleek locks or flower-child-esque straggly mane.


  • Multiple colors of Embroidery Thread
  • Small rubber band to hold hair
  • All-purpose thread (optional)
  • Beads (optional)

Step 1) Select a section of hair that's about 1 inch wide.

Step 2) Braid this section. This whole process will be easier  if you pull the rest of the hair out of the way.

Step 3) Select 2-5 colors of embroidery thread. Each color strand needs to at least six times the length of your braid.

Step 4) Double the embroidery thread over and tie it in a double knot at the top of your braid, as close to your scalp as you can get it.

Step 5) Choose which color you want to start the wrap with. Take both strands of that color and begin wrapping them around the braid and the other threads.

When you have enough of that color, switch to the the next by simply placing the one you were using beside the braid, taking the next color, and beginning to wrap.

Step 6) Wrap, wrap, wrap! All the way down the braid, alternating colors. Remove the rubber band when you get to it.

Step 7) When you get to the end of the hair, keep wrapping, until you've gone off the hair and are only wrapping around the other threads. Then tie a knot. If you want, you can add beads using all-purpose thread here. (Like these lovely peace sign ones I got at Michaels!)

Wow, look at you! You did it! Congratulations!
As with everything, wraps may take a bit of practice. But once you can do it, they're delightful and easy to display. Plus, people to ask about them, which is an supercool opportunity to have a conversation in the grocery store about The Beatles with a fellow member of the flower children.

How to take care of your wrap:
It will be fine in showers, as just try to avoid getting much shampoo or conditioner on it.
It will stay in for up to three weeks, but after that the hair underneath can start to turn into a dread.

To remove, just untie the knot at the bottom and unwrap it.

Bonus: You can use them to adorn your ponytail!

Thank you to my wonderful friends for modeling these wraps, letting me pull their hair excessively, and making delightful mac and cheese.

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