Wrapping hair braids in thread or fabric is a quick and inexpensive way to add some festive colour or tropical flair to your hairstyle. The process takes about 10 minutes depending on the length of hair, and the result is a non-permanent adornment that can withstand normal washing and wear. Because it doesn't require any extensive hairstyling knowledge or tools, hair wrapping is a popular craft project for children. Hair wraps can easily be unravelled to change colours or designs.
Separate a section of hair about the thickness of a pencil. Use hairpins and butterfly clips to keep other hair out of the way.
Braid the section of hair and secure the end with hair elastic. This braid will be covered by the wrap, so choose whichever style of braiding (traditional 3-strand plait, fishtail, overhand) is most comfortable to you.
Cut lengths of embroidery thread about six times the length of the braid. Use as many colours as you like.
Align threads, starting at the base of the braid, so they hang down the length of the hair. Holding the other threads flat against the braid, wrap the outermost thread around the braid and secure in a knot.
Wind the thread around the hair, working down the length of braid. To change colours, lay the current thread flat against the braid, then pull a different thread and wrap it around the braid.
Continue to wrap threads to about an inch past the hair's end. If desired, feed the wrap through several beads, then secure in a knot and trim the excess.
Embroidery thread works best for hair wrapping because it's thicker than normal cotton, thus reducing the number of wraps needed to cover the braid. This basic hair wrap can be varied using weave patterns or knots--essentially any macrame, knotting, or string craft can be applied to wrapping braids. As hair grows out, more thread can be wrapped around the top of the braid to continue the look as long as desired. Cotton thread should resist fraying and hold up to regular washing and wearing for three to six weeks. To remove the wrap, simply cut the knot at the end of the braid (this is why the wrap is continued beyond the end of the hair) and unravel.
Though this is an easy craft for young children, kids should be supervised to keep hair from tangling.