Halloween is one of the few times where I get to blend in with the rest of the world.
As a child, my favorite movies were always holiday-based. I absolutely LIVED for The Nightmare Before Christmas, rejoicing in every stop-motion moment. Shopping at the Halloween store was more like a raid. I stocked up on wigs, makeup and crazy accessories, and wore them year-round. Princess Jasmine headband? Didn’t take it off for three weeks. I feel so blessed to be published in a community of other strange beauties who love Halloween and all it’s festivities with abandon!
This is my first year not bartending for Halloween, so I will need more than one costume to get me through what is usually a week’s worth of parties. One of my favorite tricks, besides having a house full of silly costume pieces to make random outfits with, is Kanekalon hair.
Kanekalon is synthetic hair for installation. This cheap (like 99 cents) hair is used for a multitude of reasons, bulking up braids to support a weft, making temporary dreadlocks, fattening updos--you name it! I like to treat Kanekalon like Playdoh, sculpting and securing all over the head to create wild styles.
I think that some women are irrationally afraid of fake hair. I see it just like any other accessory. Really, it is a means to an end. If you want your hair to look a certain way, you can achieve it with fake hair. In the case of costumes, this hair can also save your actual hair from the teasing, styling and products needed to create fantasy styles.
For this beyond-simple tutorial, I will run down three ways to attach a giant handful of hair to your head and make it look cool. You can modify these techniques to fit a wide variety of costumes.
These three techniques can be employed on your own hair just the same, but depending on your length, you may not have as many handfuls of tresses to twist, gather and mold. Also, please note: you CANNOT heat Kanekalon hair with tools--it will melt!
You will need the following to create these looks:
- One or two bags of Kanekalon braiding hair in color of choice
- Bobby pins
- Hair pins
- Rattail comb
- Sectioning clips
- Small rubber bands
- Any other hair accessories you wish to add
Backcombing is teasing, but doing it in large swaths to create height in the hair. By doing this, you can create a classy Audrey beehive, a Snooki poof, or an Amy Winehouse-type freeform depending on how smooth you keep the top. Taking a section of hair and combing it towards the scalp is the basic gist of it.
For a simple voluminous bouffant, section off all of the hair in front of your ears and backcomb in three pieces: top and sides. Grab a piece about 2” wide of Kanekalon, and backcomb until it is a ball.
Use two or three bobby pins to secure this to the very top of your head. Arrange your teased sections over this cushion and secure with hair pins. And POOF! You have a poof!
This can be used to create a Madonna look or even a Princess Leia look.
Take sections based on how thick you want the braid to look. Secure each section with a rubber band on the top, braid simply to the ends, and use another band on the bottom. Make as many as you need to wrap your own bun (or two for a Leia look) with the faux-braids. You should need at least two for a typical bun.
Create a sleek ponytail and secure with a rubber band. Wrap your own hair into a tight bun around this base, and secure with a few bobby pins.
Take the first braid and pin it to the base. Wrap around your existing hair, using hair pins and making sure to spread the hair over your bun.
Now begin to coil and arrange the braid in its own bun around yours. Bobby-pin the ends of the two braids towards the inside of the bun and continue wrapping. Use hair pins where necessary to join gaps or further fasten the Kanekalon to your own hair. If you hide the start of the braid in your own bun, you can pin it all about your head with hair pins to form a halo.
Feel free to tug at the braids to fatten them up. You can even just let it fall as is for an extra-long braided pony!
All you really need to do to play with this hair is secure the ends somewhere within your own hair. You can do this with pins or a ponytail. But simply taking a fistful of this hair and tying it up with your own can create the most runway-tastic buns ever!
You can then pin, braid, twist, tease or tuck away pieces until you get the style you want. You can even use crazy colors here, and it will really just look like it is a part of your hairstyle.
To keep your hair smooth, you can first make a smooth ponytail centered wherever you like, and just grab both your hair and fake hair at the same time, and tie into a messy bun with a band, scrunchie, or gathering of clips and pins.
If you can get your hair into even the tiniest pony or at least slicked back, you can do this.
Hopefully this helps some of you get more easy and affordable costume ideas, and if you are a fellow crazybird like me, just more fun ways to do your hair!