African American Ethnic Hairstyles for Little Girls/How to Cornrow Braid Hair with Beads
I decided to add another article to what may become a series of how-to articles on braided hairstyles for little girls. (Even though my ten year old doesn't think of herself as a "little girl" anymore.) I also have a couple of pictures of my granddaughter but I didn't have time to add the beads to her braids.
I started out by washing my daughter's hair with Tresemme shampoo and then using Tresemme conditioner. I was introduced to this brand one day when I went to Rite Aide and was in the hair aisle forever. One of the workers asked if she could help me and I told her I needed a good conditioner. She recommended Tresemme because she used it and liked it. I was skeptical but gave it a try and so far I like it better than other much more expensive shampoos and conditioners.
I know there are lots of more expensive and maybe organic products out there, but this one fits my budget.
While her hair is still damp I rub in African Oil. I just get the one sold in the dollar stores. They also have it at Walmart. I have a friend who makes up an all natural hair pomade. I can't give away her secret but it has shea butter, coconut oil and lots of other good stuff. I like to put her hair into large braids and let it dry naturally overnight.
Once her hair is dry, I start by looking at how I want to part off the main sections. I like to do a line of braids at the base of her neck to start.
Okay, I decided to do two levels in the back, so I parted from ear to ear for the second row of braids. I like to use the large metal clips to hold the hair back.
In the photo below you can see where I started doing the first braid on the second level. It is right next to her ear. After this braid, I go to the opposite side and do a braid, going back and forth until I get to the last few braids in the center of the back of her head.
Okay, now that I have my second level done, I want to start working on the top and sides. I started putting on beads because I know how long it can take and by the time I am done braiding, I'm tired and don't feel like doing a whole head of beads.
Once the back is done, I started doing the sides. I decided to make these braids going front to back. Once both sides are done I will work on the top for the more intricate pattern.
Finishing the Style
Now I start working on the top of my hair. In order to achieve the effect, I went from side to side. I did the first braid in front going across her hairline. I am careful NOT to try to pick up every little hair. That's a good way to end up with a thinned or non-existent hairline!
Then I go to the other side and bring the cornrow back. Once I finish with the top, I finished off putting beads on and voila! All done!! This style takes me about four hours from start to finish.
I like to separate my beads out before I get started. I purchased a beader because it holds more beads than the ones that come with the beads from the beauty supply store. Using an inexpensive sectioned off plastic dish works.
I purchase some of my beads from the beauty supply store but I also like to buy them from Walmart. You can get the huge buckets and of course it's much cheaper. The only downfall is you have to separate them. In the huge buckets all the colors are mixed together.
I used a small tooth comb for parting and a large tooth comb for combing. I also use a nice large rubber brush.
To take out the braids, I use a knitting needle. It has a point that is just right and is slightly rounded so it is less likely to break the hair.
Pictures of Finished Styles
I think this style came out very nice. I tried large sections so when it comes time to take it out we can just take out a section, put it into ponytails, and not have to take it all out at one time.
I added a few photos of my granddaughter. I did her hair as a favor to my daughter. She is five and her hair is incredibly soft. However, she is very tenderheaded. If her hair is braided too tightly, she gets little red bumps so I have to be careful not to pull too tightly.