French hair rolls give an updo more body and heft when your own hair isn't long or thick enough to do the job. Sometimes known as "rats," the hair rolls can be used to stuff a French twist, chignon, or a Gibson Girl updo. Our ancestors made these rolls by saving their own hair in a hair receiver on their dressing tables. You can do that, too, but you can also stuff a hair roll with old pantyhose or scraps of yarn. The pantyhose body of the hair roll sticks to your own hair and is easy to slide a hair pin through. The hair roll won't show through your own hair.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Old pantyhose
- Needle and thread
- More pantyhose, yarn, or hair for stuffing
- Hair pins
Cut out a section of pantyhose approximately 5 inches long and 4 inches wide.
Fold the pantyhose section in half, long sides meeting. Sew a 1/4-inch seam up this long edge and across one end. Turn this fabric tube inside out so that the seam allowance is inside.
Stuff the pantyhose tube with saved hair, scraps of yarn, or more pantyhose. You should end up with a little fabric "sausage" that is firm, but still pliable.
Sew the end of the hair roll closed.
Wrap your hair around the hair roll or roll the hair roll into your hair to form a French twist. Secure with hair clips.
Tips and warnings
- You can make larger or smaller hair rolls by varying the size of the pantyhose tube your make. You can also make a doughnut-shaped hair roll by sewing the two ends of the tube together. This shape works well in a chignon or Gibson Girl updo.
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