Braids with yarn extensions

{Photo 1: What Adelia's hair used to look like, occasionally.}

{Photo 2: What Adelia's hair used to look like, regularly. And, oh... I'm going to miss those little poofy pigtails. Because somehow I think that now that we've started the braiding? There's no going back.}

{Photo 3: What Adelia's hair looks like now, with braids.}

The secret to Adelia's cute new braids is a skein of black yarn. I used black Lion Brand Homespun acrylic yarn, because it has a natural "kink" to the yarn, similar to her hair, but I'm sure you could use any acrylic yarn.

Basically you twist a couple of strands of yarn around the top of a section of hair, and braid it down so that the braid consists of two parts yarn and one part hair. Then you braid beyond the end of hair (with yarn only) and tie it off.

The beauty of braids (or so I'm told) is that they should last 4-6 weeks. If that's true, it is definitely worth the hours it took to get those braids IN, because that will save me all the time it takes me every day to do her hair.

I started on Thursday night, and washed and conditioned her hair. Then I sectioned it off (into four sections~ similar to Photo 1) and worked on one of the front sections. Adelia was strapped into her seat, we were having family movie night, and she had a lollipop. Now. The lollipop may not have been the best idea since a couple of times it got stuck in the yarn and that was trouble. But it worked as far as keeping her occupied and happy. [Total time for this first session: about 2 hours, what with the washing and parting and figuring it out for the first time.]

The following morning I approached her with a spray bottle, combs and strands of yarn, and began the other front section, and did a bit of that while she played on the floor next to the kids. [Total time: 20 minutes]

Then I finished that section and began on the back sections when she was strapped into her chair for breakfast. [Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes]

Later that evening I put on another video for her and worked on finishing the back sections [Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes]

I spent another 20-30 minutes the following day finishing the back section. And that was that.

I had a wonderfully accommodating subject (for a little girl who NEVER sits still). On two of those occasions I asked her if she wanted mama to work on her braids, and she was all excited and sat right down to do it! I was stunned, but am chalking it up to the fact that she felt like it was special time with me and she actually likes me playing with her hair (when it's not too tangly!)

A couple of other thoughts before you link away:

-I don't think I ever would have attempted this if Mark hadn't been home to help occupy the other kids while I was spending all this time braiding.

-I think the way you choose to end your braids depends largely on your daughter's hair. You'll likely have to experiment a bit. One of the links suggested I just "twist" the ends and then tie it off. Adelia's hair is too loose for that; her hair just untwisted and it wasn't secure. I had to braid to the end and then knot the yarn to tie it off securely.
Without further ado, here are the links to the tutorials I watched to learn how to do this:

Yarn Braid Tutorial Part II:
This was the first one I found. (Begin watching at :50). This was a great tutorial because the camera zooms in so that you can see what she's doing really well. The only thing I did differently is that I used two strands of yarn, as shown in the following tutorials:

How to do Yarn Extensions, Part 1 and
How to do Yarn Extensions, Part 2.
You're going to love those last two links because it's just this cute mom that has learned to do amazing things with her daughter's hair. In fact, I bookmarked her entire "set" of You Tube videos, and that link is here if you'd like to find out other ways to do your own daughter's hair. Trust me, you will be inspired!

I hope this helps!


  1. She's such a beautiful little girl!

  2. Stacy,
    Those braids are so cute!!!!

    Did I tell you that we decided to pursue domestic adoption instead of international adoption this time? So if you have any advice for us, I would appreciate it. We are going to try and adopt a sibling group. Our adoption mentor was excited that race wasn't an issue and that we wanted a sibling group. Pray for us if you think of it!!


  3. Keep us posted if they last the full 6 weeks! They look super cute! :)

  4. Incredible.

    So this is weird. Today my bloglines put up three new posts from you today. As if you had written them all just now. Weird.

    Anyway, great job on those braids!

  5. Great braids! She is adorable! She looks a lot older with her new hairdo. :( ~Amy Crawford

  6. Wow, I am tired just thinking of all the hours you put in braiding. I looks perfect and I can't believe it was your first time. She looks adorable and thrilled with her fancy new braids.


    mama to 7
    one homemade and 6 adopted

  7. how fun!!!! they look adorable.
    And Adelia?? when did she get so big???!!!
    she is adorable, Stacy! =)

  8. Wow Stacy! Great job. All of this is so interesting to me. I only wish I could watch the videos - if it weren't for my dumb computer that overheats whenever I try and watch anything....

  9. Stacy, I was just looking online for a good "how to" video for braids ~ I just attempted braids on Tess for the 1st time this month too ~ yours look so good!!! Great job! Going to check out the videos now! Thanks

  10. stacy,
    i've loved your blog for so long and can't remember if i've ever commented! if not, hello ... and thank you so much for sharing your heart and your life. i've been so inspired, interested, uplifted by what you've written. and i've printed your booklist and still carry it to the library as a guide for checking out books w/my daughter. thank you soo much !

  11. Stacy, I am so proud of you! I don't think I could have done this myself. Adelia looks beautiful!! Good job, mama. :-)

  12. excellent points and the details are more specific than elsewhere, thanks.

    - Murk


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