Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How To Make Perfect Baby Pig-Tails

Disclaimer:  Despite her complaints, no child was harmed during this process.  I am a firm believer in the "it takes pain to be beautiful," concept of raising girls, passed down from my mother and many generations before.  Someday, my daughters will understand.

Olivia's hair is finally (sort of) ready for baby ponytails.  It is the stuck to the head, no curl, baby-fine type of hair, and I am ALWAYS brushing it out of her eyes.  I could trim her bangs a bit, but then I wouldn't be able to achieve this adorable look:

Want to try it for yourself?  Good.  All you need is a (somewhat) complacent baby with hair, a rat-tailed comb (see image below), and some tiny pony holders.  (Getting some fun colors is on my list of things to buy... right now I just have boring black.)

First step: Part baby's hair down the middle of her head, using the end of the rat-tailed comb.  This may be a challenge, especially if she's got a cowlick in the back going on like my kid.  Don't fret.  It can be done.  Start in the back, not the front.  And face your child away from you.  And give her something interesting to play with. (like a remote control or a cell phone that you don't mind getting chewed on)

Step 2: Begin pulling hair from the top of her ear up, combing in an upward motion.  Pull as much hair as you can from the back of the head as you like.  Chances are that unless your baby has very long hair, much of it will hang down in the back still.  The bangs and sides are what you'll succeed in securing into pig-tails, which will be both purposeful in keeping hair out of her eyes, and adorable at the same time.  By the way, this is probably when your kid will start to pull away, fuss, or give you the "what the hell are you doing? look."  Carry on.  Persistence is key.  Perhaps give her a more interesting object to play with.  Like car keys or some cooking utensils. (try to steer away from the knives... I heard they can hurt kids.)

Step 3: Holding the pony in one hand, use the comb to create a smooth top from the center part that you will have to find again. Bumps are bad, so keep combing the hair into your hand until it's nice and smooth.  Be sure that you don't include any hair from the other side of her part, or it will throw off the look, and a baby with cock-eyed pig-tails is not OK.  We're going for adorable-ness here, not sloppiness.

Step 4:  Choose a desired height for your first pig-tail.  A lot of this will depend on the length of the hair that you are working with.  I like pig-tails that are set back from the front of the head, but still have good height- creating that Pebbles Flinstone look.  At this point your kid is probably really irritated that you won't stop touching her head.  You may have to wrap your legs around her to keep her in place.  Ignore her crying.  Assure her that it'll all pay off in the end.

Step 5:  Secure the pony with a soft coated elastic.  As you get more experienced and your child begins to tolerate hair ornaments for longer than 10 seconds you should begin matching her pony-tail holders with her outfit.  But any old color will do for now, we are just trying to master the technique.

Step 6: Repeat Steps 2-5 on the other side of your child's head.  The key during this step is matching your second pig-tail to the first as far as head location, height, and amount of hair in the pony.  Your child will begin to cry harder (maybe even with real tears!), pull away from you, and your husband and other children will ask you why you are hurting the baby.  You aren't hurting her.  You are making her even more adorable, and I can't think of anything better than that.  So tell them to shut it.  Or you'll do it to them.  Haha, just kidding.
Step 7: Hug your baby, tickle her, tell her how pretty she looks, and get your camera.  Wipe away any tears or drool that occurred during process, as that will not enhance your picture.  You should be able to snap a picture showing your happy child:

Step 8: Quickly snap a bunch of pictures of your baby with her first set of pig-tails.  You'll need proof that you actually accomplished this.  Because as soon as you turn around, she'll yank those perfectly placed pony-tail holders out and throw them back at you as punishment for torturing her in the first place.


Kathryn said...


Anonymous said...

I found your article yesterday and got the courage to try to do my daughter's first piggy tails. She looked darn lovely. Her name is also Olivia. I wish I could send you a picture :)


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