How to Make Fake Hair into Braids

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My hair is shoulder length. While you can disguise a modern haircut with a veil, sometimes you need a little more to keep it from looking, well, deflated. Some looks, such as a bliaut or an early period Nordic persona, look best with long braids. You can fudge it with braid covers, but they still need a bit of hair peeking out the bottom to make it look convincing. Women used pieces made from flax, horse hair, and even hair from the deceased to supplement what nature gave them.
Since this is my first experiment I picked up the cheapest fake hair available at Sally Beauty Supply, I believe it was Jumbo Yaki-Pony. I paid less than $7 for two packs and some hairpins. While I would have loved some of the real hair, the cheapest one I saw was $70 a pack. I relied on the advice of the saleswoman and the colour is a bit too dark, now I wish I had gone with the lighter one.
It comes doubled over in the middle and tied with a rubber band. I brushed it out carefully, trying not to pull one side longer than the other, and then looped the rubber band around the knob on my computer desk to anchor it while I worked. Again first time working with fake hair, so I just went with two simple braids. Armed with a spray bottle and hairbrush I went to work. I stopped periodically to spray with water or brush one of the three strands to keep the hair smooth. I held the other two with my left hand, spread the third over my thigh, and brushed with my right hand.
I tied the ends with modern hair ties. Just like with real hair, there were fly-aways along it. I sprayed it lightly with water all over, ran my hand along to smooth it as much as possible, followed up with a light misting of hairspray to set it, and smoothed by hand again. To hide the elastic at the ends I wrapped black ribbons several times before tying bows.
The end of the hair was a little scraggly looking as you can see on the braid on the left, so I took my good fabric scissors to them. You can cut straight across, but the result is too blunt to look natural. Hair that is braided tapers at the end, which is what I went for as best I could with the one on the right.
When I am gearing up for an event, I will coil them over my ears a la Princess Leia and top it with a veil. I am not certain what I’ll do with my real hair, probably just braid it up out of the way so that it doesn’t contrast too strongly against the fake.

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