Braided Princess Crown

back-to-school-cupofjo-- When school starts in September, little girls everywhere ask their moms for cool hairstyles. So I thought it would be fun to feature four hair tutorials for girls this month—one every Monday! My friend Reagan of Hairdresser on Fire was the hair stylist, and seven-year-old Ella was our beautiful model. Here are Reagan’s steps, if you’d like to try…

The only thing cuter than a little girl with Heidi braids, is a little girl with a ribbon in her Heidi braids.

Prep: You’ll need two hair elastics (I like Goody’s clear ones) and a few bobby pins. You’ll also need a ribbon to braid into the hair; it’s best to leave the ribbon quite long so that it can be cut to your preference after the style is complete.

1. Part the hair down the middle into two equal sections.
2. Take your first section, and split it into three equal sections.
3. Place the center of the ribbon against the back of the head, and add the ribbon into the center parting.
4-5. Braid (with the ribbon included) and secure with an elastic.
6. Repeat on the other side.
7. Pull each braid up to the top of the head, tucking the tails underneath each other and pinning in place.
8. Tie the ribbon into a bow. (Bow would also look mighty cute worn off-center.)

Try your hardest to not hug and squeeze her cuteness too much or she’ll be late for school!

Adorable! Thank you so much, Reagan! xoxo

P.S. And grown-up hair tutorials

(Photos by Alpha Smoot for A Cup of Jo. Hair by Reagan Baker. Styling by Kendra Smoot. Clothing credits: Cape and socks from GAP; shorts from Zara)

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  5. Everyone loves what you guys are up too. Such clever work and exposure! Keep up the great works guys I’ve included you guys to my own blogroll.

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  6. KJ says...

    That is too cute! Love it

  7. I loved when my mom would do my hair when I was little. She even taught me the multiplication tables while putting it up, one number per day. After about a week, I knew how to multiply. When I finally got taught it in school a couple years later, I was all, “I got this”.

    So see, little girls can get their hair done and be smart too! Why don’t we all relax and enjoy the adorableness? :) My favorite is the kicking picture. That girl is a badass!

  8. My neise!! Love her!

  9. well I love this post! I put my niece hair up in Japanese styles! I am into it and she seems to love it. I show her my book and she points to what she wants! shes a reflection of me. I think its about whatever you can envision and turn into cuteness!! Lovely

  10. That little girl is hilarious. I am in love! <3 lol

  11. Ha! I just came over from Sharon’s and I am still laughing at Ella!

    I can’t wait to try this on Claire. I hope her thin-silky toddler hair will hold a braid.

  12. I miss Ella’s mom’s old blog, so it is fun to see her lovely face again.

  13. Adorable! I’d love to try that out even on me for days I’m feeling youthful! Plus, I think college students can totally pull off quirky, kid looks!

  14. ‘When school starts in September, little girls everywhere ask their moms for cool hairstyles.’ – that’s true :D

  15. Braiding hair is a cultural tradition that cuts across racial, social, and geographic lines. Yay braids! Princess Leia to the rescue! :)

  16. Love it Joanna! I think the first comment is really overdramatic. Parents can encourage multiple aspects of their children personalities and interests. Refusing to braid a girl’s hair certainly will not make her better at science. That type of attitude may make them ashamed about wanting to feel pretty. While I sometimes wish my nine year old wouldn’t think so much about how she looks, I understand it is important to her and is a way to express herself to the world. She also loves math, science, reading, playing with friends, and guitar. We can help them find balance between appearance and intelligence. They don’t need to choose one or the other.

  17. Such a cute kid! My daughter won even let me put a headband on her let alone braid her hair, but maybe someday..,

  18. Oh my gosh, I just saw this and it totally reminded my of you wanting French braids everyday around 4th or 5th grade! I think I have a picture somewhere of you lying on the floor in the family room writing stories which shows your braids from the back. :)

  19. she’s so freaking cute!

  20. My mom gave me Heidi braids every day till almost 3rd grade! This is a lovely twist on the original.

  21. Such a cute idea, I love the added ribbon. I have a feeling women will be copying. =) So cute, Ella is darling.

  22. really helpful post for all girls.

  23. My great grandma used to ask me to do this in her hair. Braiding her long gorgeous hair as a little girl is one of my favorite memories of her.

  24. She is adorable. I love reading her mom’s blog about Ella and her two brothers.

    I love the braids! I used to braid my hair every. single. day. and tie a bow at the end of each pig tail that matched my outfit. I hated having other people do my hair, so I learned to do it myself. Braids are so adorable, and easy!

  25. oh my gosh, can she be any cuter??! the nightmares i have from my mother’s french braiding on sunday mornings…so cute but so painful.
    this is great!

    love, us.

  26. I love this! When I was little, my mom used to braid my hair every day before school. It was a really nice bonding time for us at the beginning of the day! I think it was just the 10 minutes of sitting together and talking that made it special, less so what the actual hairstyle looked like.

  27. People are so quick to read into things these days… Take this post for what it is, a simple, cute tutorial on how to achieve a temporary look on a given day. Just because someone wants to feel special with braids in their hair one day doesn’t mean they can’t have a full life with nuanced interests. Thanks for this tutorial, Joanna.I can’t wait to try it once my hair is a bit longer.

  28. I wish I had that much fun when taking outfit photos for my blog!

  29. I remember my mom doing my hair in a similar way when I was younger. Whenever she did I went to school feeling extra special, like I could take on anything – from a pop quiz to lunchroom politics.

  30. She is precious! What a sweet post!

  31. Adorable! I love your “Motherhood Monday” posts! My daughter is still working on growing hair, but when she does, I’ll definitely give this cute hairstyle a try.

    Many Thanks!

  32. dudes. it is perfectly okay for posts about cute hairstyles for girls. last time i checked, girls are allowed to be all things: smart, outdoorsy, and pretty! it seems a little ocd-y to be up in arms about a hair tutorial for a little girl, overthink much? what would you all prefer, that she go to school in a burlap sack with a gender-neutral haircut? come on.

    let’s all take a deep breath, go play outside and realize that ONE POST about cute hairstyles for girls is not going to set back the feminist movement a hundred years.


  33. I’d love to do this in my little girl’s hair. Getting her to sit still is a challenge. Super cute.

  34. I love it. I wish I had long enough hair for that style.

  35. If my hair was long enough- I would so wear this style myself- that sweet little girl wears it well!


  36. I can not wait to try this on my daughter.!

  37. In my opinion, this little “model” is so cute, she could go without hair and be adorable …
    that gap toothed smile is precious :)

  38. About how I want to wear MY hair this way…!

  39. thalassamov–yes! we have curly hair and short hair coming up! :)

  40. amber, the cape is from the GAP; the credits at the bottom link directly to it. (and i know, it’s so cute!:)

  41. thanks, maike and jan! i understand your point, but this is just saying that if girls would like a fun hairstyle, here are a couple to try out. i agree with lauren, we want to bring out girls’ love of reading and sports and science and nature and music and art and all great things, but not ignore if they want braids either:) it’s all about balance and showing that we see them as full dynamic complex wonderful little people. :)

  42. I love this braid! I also think it would look great upside down with the ribbon as a headband and the braids around the back of her head. I’m trying this next time my niece wants her hair done!

  43. @ Maike und Jan – While I agree that it’s important to teach little girls that they have value outside of being “pretty,” I don’t think the best way to do this is to totally reject anything aesthetic. Both children and adults are allowed to have a wide range of interests, that can include things like books AND style.

    If a kid enjoys getting her hair done and it makes her feel confident and happy, what’s the harm in that?

  44. These photos are soooo freakin’ cute! I’ve been getting more and more into braids myself and can’t wait to try this!

  45. Adorable! My daughter is also only five months old (like Carla!) and has a loooooooong way to go before she has any hair to do tricks like this with. But she will have heidi braids with a ribbon as soon as I can make it happen!

    So cute! XO.

  46. holy heck, that is cute!! That little girl looks like she had so much fun with it, too, which is awesome.

  47. Can’t wait to try this on my daughter! She’s barely five months old and still has baby fuzz for hair so I guess it’s going to be a while. Doesn’t diminish the excitement though :)

  48. Cute Cape! Where is it from?

    Amber Genise

  49. Although I agree with the 1st comment-knowledge sould be much more important to little girls than looks- this is just so cute I can’t wait for the other hairstyles!
    Could you please consider including girls with different hair?
    Not all girls have long blond straight hair,think about gorgeous mediterranean curls,thick african hair,or short hair.
    Have a nice week!

  50. Awesome tutorial! I wanna try this on myself. Too bad I won’t look as cute as that little girl though! I really enjoy your hair tutorials.
    Hannah Rosette

  51. Normally I don’t do different hairstyles but after your tutorials I think I am gonna try one! Thank you so much for sharing and making them look so easy! Have a great day!

  52. This is so cute, and as Julia said, it seems pretty easy! Have a great Monday. XOXO

  53. thank you for this! It looks easy, and I’m sure my daughter would love it.

  54. Dear Joanna,
    a year ago, you were talking about how to talk to little girls


    Having this in mind, I beg you not to start with hair tutorials for girls, as it only highlights the fact, that girls have to be cute, have accurate hairstyles and be good looking. Please rather feature something like “the best books for girls”, or “fun outdoor ativities for kids” or something like that.

    I love your blog, but this seems a little contradictory.

    All the best from Europe