Working w/ Kanekalon braiding hair

Before I made the decision to include the hair as a design element for my collection/ thesis project, I’ve only used kanekalon hair on the head (i.e. hairstyling).  If you were to lookup what Kanekalon braiding hair is, it would be described as, a synthetic fiber that is “soft and silky, easy to style and gentle on your fingers, and “flame resistant, tangle-free making braiding easier and faster”. But it not as easy to handle and tangle-free as described. Not to mention the hair is not “silky”,thought it is soft, it mimics a course texture so that it matches the texture of ethic hair. It takes a lot of practice and gentle handling to make a consistently smooth  braid.  By the way, the hair I am using is X-pression’s 100% Kanekalon, 84″, braiding hair.

Now, when trying to create a single braid, an anchor is needed. With braiding for hair styling purposes, the head is the anchor. So I had to figure out how to create and anchor. Depending on what kind of securing or anchoring technique I use would give me a different look of braid.

(Loop Anchor method seen in next the 2 images below)

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With this technique, creating a looped anchor on a fixed point, the braid will be left what could be described as a hole at one end of the braid. This makes two distinctly  different looking end point. Which can be good for some design element, but a nightmare for others.

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Another popular technique used to create a braid was the 2-person method. With this one, someone is holding one end of the hair, acting as the secure/anchor point, while the other person is doing the braiding. I found that it was way easier to braid short pieces than really long ones. The longer hair is more likely to tangle, making difficult to have a smooth braid finish. With that said, I would have an assistant hold the hair in the middle of its full length, I then braid from the have way point down to an edge. Then I would switch to the other side of the hair (the unbraided half), and braid from the middle down the edge. Thus, making a double edge braid.

Here’s another one, and probably the most efficient, using clamps to help secure the hair to a fixed point. So, I would use an edge of a table and a clamp to anchor the hair. With this method, I would get the same results as with the 2-person technique, a double edge braid.

(Clamp method seen below)

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