Boo is starting preschool this week and I needed to think of something nice to do with her hair that would: 1) stay out of her face; 2) not be distracting to her or other kids; and 3) be able to handle the rough-and-tumble play that will inevitably come from playing with other kids her size. I figured puffs would be a great way to start until she gets used to her school and her fellow students. That pretty much ruled out beads that may attract little hands or make noise. I'm sure she will wear beads in the future, but I opted out of them for her first day seeing as how she is new to the school and we don't really know anyone, nor how the staff might handle a "hair issue."
TIP: If you are just learning how to cornrow (or interested in trying it out for the first time), this is an excellent style with which to practice. There is only one cornrow to do, so if you mess it up you can always take it out and do it again if you don't like the way it looks....without the concern of having to do tons more of them!
So puffs it is. However, I opted to do a cornrow down the middle because it's not something that is often seen, and because we can change out the bead (or beads) at the forehead to give it a more "princess-type" look. This is the first time she's worn this style and she LOVES it! She definitely feels like a princess and is looking forward to showing off her "school hair." Thankfully she hasn't asked for a matching princess dress to wear with it!
As always, I like to start a style with freshly washed, freshly detangled hair. I parted the hair down the middle and loosely clipped the two sides as if I were doing regular puffs. At this point I made sure my center part was exactly where i wanted it, because the next step relies on that part being as close to perfect as you can make it.
I then unclipped the puff on the left side and started a second part on the left side of the middle part, about 1/4-inch off the part, all the way along the length of it. Reclipping the hair for the puff I was left with a mohawk of hair 1/4-inch thick. I gathered the mowhack hairs together and moved it toward the left puff to keep it out of my way while I repeated the step on the right side. With both sides of the hair clipped (or loosely banded) I was left with a mowhawk of hair 1/2-inch thick, 1/4-inch of the hair from the left side of the original part, and 1/4-inch of hair form the right side of the part.
At this point, all that's really left is to cornrow the mowhawked hair and finalize the puffs. I started this cornrow at the nape of the neck in the back and rowed all the way over the top of Boo's head to her forehead. Because this was the first time I tried this style it didn't occur to me that her hair in the back was not long enough to reach her forehead when cornrowed. This presents absolutely no problem with one exception: It did make the cornrow on the top of the head look a bit fuzzy where the hair from the back of her head stopped. I added more product (I used Carol's Daughter Loc Butter for this) to weigh the ends down and work them into the cornrow a little better, but it still didn't lay as smoothly as I would have hoped.
When I got to the forehead I just kept braiding until the hair ended. I then stranded 3 wooden beads onto the hair and then looped it back around up to the base of where the cornrow stopped and banded it there. I brushed some more Loc Butter into the hair being pulled into the puffs and banded those. Finished!
What is really nice about this style is that I can not only change the embellishments for the puffs, but I can also change out the beads on her forehead to match her outfits daily.
This is the look 3 days after styling, updated for Boo's first day of preschool: