I made these three hair extension pieces today. If you wanted to get a premade version of the big one, you would generally be paying about $25 on Ebay. I got the hair for $5 and if you already have a needle and thread, that's all it costs!
Pulling off historically inspired hairdos is hard for women living in the modern era. What we think of as fairly long hair is actually quite short, and hairpieces are very useful for creating the hairdos. I often use a "hair rat" for updos.
I had some hair extension pieces lying around the house. I had been plaiting the bigger one into my hair, but the clips were pulling out my hair, and it wasn't achieving quite the effect I desired, so I decided to make it into a roll I could pin to the top of my hair. I didn't attach any more clips, just used bobby pins, as they seem to pull my hair out less than the clips these hair extensions come with.
YOU WILL NEED
Hair extension of the size you desire. (The big piece I used is a 15cm long whole head extension piece and the littler ones are shorter and narrower single pieces. All are very cheap on Ebay, and luckily matched my hair colour very well.)
Those tiny rubber hairbands
Sewing thread in a colour that roughly matches the hair
A very small amount of tulle (optional to give the roll more shape)
Get your hair piece, gently comb it out with your fingers. If you brush it too much, lots of hair will start falling out. If you like, you can carefully cut the stitches that hold the clips on. I find the clips tangle in my hair and I lose natural hair to them, which is not a good thing.
STEP 2 Fold the hair in half, leaving the bad side (that had the clips, and has all the mesh and stitching) on the inside.
Divide the hair into three fairly even sections as you would when braiding your own hair and braid it. It may help to pin it to a surface to keep it still while doing this.
When the entire piece is braided, tie off the end with one of those tiny plastic hairbands.
Start looping the plait around on itself, taking care to keep it looking nice.
Now comes the hard part. It's hard to explain, you really have to learn by doing it. Taking a needle and a thread that hopefully matches the hair fairly closely (brown or black, yellow or white for blonde hair), you will begin stictching the plait to itself as you coil it around. Remember to anchor your stiches properly by looping the thread back through itself, as otherwise it might just pull through the hair.
Keep coiling and sewing, trying to keep the stitches small and not too visible.
When you are finished, tie the thread off securely. I like to loop one end back through the hair and then quintuple knot it.
STEP 7 (OPTIONAL)
If you want to give yours more volume, you can push some tulle into the middle and sew it in. If you made yours the way I made mine, that should push it into more of a dome shape.
The little buns as part of a hairdo. Pinned on with a couple of bobby pins. (Click on image to see larger)
Big bun as part of hairstyle. (No, I am not turning into Elphaba, there was some weird green light coming through the door that I didn't notice until afterwards.)
I hope this gives you some inspiration for your own historically inspired hairstyles.