This hairstyle was one of those that we had to come up with quickly, and execute in the middle of the week: Two things I try to avoid during the school year! But the weather had quickly gone from very cold and humid to our regular October Santa Ana conditions, and Boo needed a protective hairstyle that would both lock in moisture and work well underneath the mask of her Halloween costume. Hence, these protective cornrows, which are braided back into two back braids, and then tucked into buns.
I did this style over two days, working on the front section the first day, and the back section a few days later. As you can see below, Boo's hair is mostly dried (it had been in loose cornrows for a day after washing), but still very well moisturized and detangled, so moving from one style to the other went very quickly.
I parted the hair with a side part on the right of her head, and did three cornrows from the partline toward the left side of her head, making sure not to pull on the new hairs growing in, or making the braids too tight. Yes, they're going to have to hold up under the mask, but having her wear a satin cap on her head should provide plenty of protection. No need to go overboard on braid tension. We can live with fuzzies when/if they happen.
I repeated the above steps on the left right side, but with only two cornrows going away from the part, down toward the right of her head. I then sprayed the hair with water and added a bit more moisturizer before making large boxes and banding them for the next couple of days (as seen below). I didn't need to band the hair to do this style, but I chose to do so to buy myself some time between doing the front part of her hair and finding the time to finish the back.
After her hair had completely dried in the bands, we finished the rest of the hairstyle one day after school. You can see below how stretched her curl pattern is after banding (pictured below), and yet how it's still half as long as the hair underneath that I pulled straight. Still, it was soft and very well detangled, so it made parting and braiding go very quickly.
With a center part from the front bangs toward the base of her neck, I clipped the right side of her hair out of the way and concentrated on braiding just the left side. The first cornrow was done along the front-to-back part line; the second cornrow was done perpedicular to the first cornrow, heading away from the center of her head and toward her left ear. I alternated which direction each cornrow was braided, as show below:
When all of the rows were completed on that side, I took the dangling braids of the cornrows and braided them all together:
For added protection, I tucked the back braid up and under itself. You can bobby pin it in place, but we found that once the hair was dried completely it held in place on it's own:
I repeated the same steps above on the right side of her head, ending with another tucked braid on the right. This style would look super cute with two puffs in the back, too, but we needed to really protect her ends during this dry heat. Maybe next time.
Again, you can see that we left the new hairs along her edges out of the braids so that we weren't pulling on them. I just make sure they're moisturized and try to mess with them as little as possible so that they will grow in nice and strong.
Above you can get a better view of how I cornrowed the back in a different direction on each row. Below is how it looks from the back, with flower clips gently attached to the tucked braids.
And finally, a photo of the right side, illustrating the two cornrows braided away from the front side part:
I'm thrilled that this is the hairstyle that we have chosen for Boo to wear under her costume. Not only is it keeping her hair protected, it's a great style to wear under the bicycle helmet that is mounted inside of her mask.
And the best part? She can keep the flowers on while wearing the mask, so that's one less thing we have to put on and take off when she changes in and out of her costume. Because she's going to be doing that a lot over the next couple of days leading up to Halloween!