Hair beading has roots in history, and is growing as a way for girls and young women to accessorise their hair easily, with no long-lasting effects. While hair beads can be strung by hand, there are new tools available that provide help.
Manual Hair Beading
The classic method of manual hair beading has led to development of looping tools like the Hair Bead Slyder. The Slyder is a flexible cord that forms an eyelet, and facilitates the beading process using a pull-through manoeuvre.
When using loop tools, prepare your hair according to manufacturer recommendations. The Slyder recommends that small braids be used as the base strand on which the beads will be applied.
Looping tools allow for the greatest flexibility in the size and shape of beads used. There is no casing that the beads will have to be loaded into, so the possibilities for bead arrangement are virtually endless. Beads are applied to your hair according to where they sit on the tool, and your top bead will be the one closest to the loop, so plan your colours accordingly.
To apply hair beads with a looping tool, thread the base strand through the loop. In one smooth motion, push the beads up the loop and onto the hair strand, while pulling the looping tool away. The strand of beads can then be secured with a small hair elastic or a snap bead.
Push-Button Automatic Hair Beaders
Push-button hair beaders such as the Girl Crush Hair Beader offer the same basic movements as looping hair tools, except that the beads feed onto the hair strand with a hooked needle.
Loading the beader is as easy as loading a loop tool, and follows the same pattern arrangement. The bead placed at the bottom of the hooking stem will be the bead that is at the bottom of your hair strand. The casing of a push-button beader often makes for some size restrictions, which you should keep in mind when applying funky shapes.
To apply the beads to your hair, thread your hair strand through the hooked end, and use the hook as a placement guide. Push the trigger button and the needle will thread the beads onto the hair strand automatically. Let go of the end of your hair strand, and to hold the base bead. This may take a couple of tries to get it right.
Spin-Style Automatic Hair Beaders
Spinning hair beaders like the ConAir Quick-Bead are automatic beading tools that are typically battery-operated.
When feeding the beads into a spin-style beader, the first bead inserted into the cartridge will fall at the bottom of your bead strand. This type of beader is the most restrictive in terms of bead shapes and sizes, and each manufacturer should provide sizing details.
When inserting your strand into the feeding loop, it isn't necessary to use the tool for placement guidance. The power of the tool and the number of beads used in the feeder will push all of the beads up your hair strand. Feed the hair into the hook and press the power button while releasing the strand. The beads will automatically slide up the hair strand, after which you can secure with a snap.
Some spin-style beaders will need to be rewound or cranked into starting position before you can feed more beads into the cartridge.