Learning Even More About Hair

Sweet Pea and I took a leap of faith in our hair braiding adventure and tried cornrows with beads in Dimples’ hair. As you can see from the picture above (and the last one in this post), our efforts produced a frenzy of braiding on dolls and ponies and beads scattered all over my house.

We began by watching two short video clips about cornrows on the Shuruba website and then sat Dimples down in front of a movie and started in. We loved the look of one braid in front, so we did that one first.

This was taken the following morning and you can see the five wide cornrows that are already getting a little fuzzy.

Then we braided the back into box braids and put beads on each braid as we went. We didn’t have a nifty beading tool, so we used a flexible hair pin and adapted it to work. It works like a device for threading a needle. Having used this technique, I have since ordered four braiding tools from Snapaholics and I look forward to being able to load it up with beads for several braids at once.

It was dark by the time we finished the back of her head and we still had cornrows to begin. Despite moving a floor lamp right next to us and removing its shade, it was still very difficult to see the braids as we worked. For my “over-forty” eyes, braiding needs to be done during daylight hours whenever possible.

We decided to see how it would look with only five cornrows and when we were done we concluded that it would have been much better with smaller braids, but we could not take it out and start in again – it was past Dimples’ bedtime and nearing mine!

Dimples came downstairs the following morning swinging her head and smiling in delight over the clicky-clacky sound her beads produced. She was beaming, and while I was pleased, the cornrows were already looking fuzzy and I knew I was not going to be satisfied until I turned those five into ten smaller braids. So, that night we turned on the same movie and I braided them again with a little help from Sweet Pea. This was the final result which, although not fantastic, looks pretty good to me:

Ladybug has been doing her share of braiding and beading, which has produced many requests from Dimples and Boo for dolls with “real hair”. I’m hoping to find some that I can tuck away for a gift while we are in Ethiopia. A new doll, along with some pretty beads, might be just the thing for easing a sad day of missing Mamma and Daddy.

I can’t end this post without adding another plug for our AHOPE t-shirts. Due to the generosity of the company producing and shipping our shirts, we receive a significant donation for each shirt you purchase. Not only that, when you wear an AHOPE t-shirt you promote our work of caring for HIV+ orphans in Ethiopia and looking great at the same time.

We have already added a women’s style shirt and more colors, so please take a look and buy a shirt or two (or ten) to support the children of AHOPE.

Thank you for stopping by!


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Lisa
    July 12, 2008

    I LOVE her hair! I’ve never tried cornrows, I just don’t think I could do it. But you give me hope, maybe I can. 🙂

  2. small world
    July 13, 2008

    I am so proud of you and Dimples! They look great for some first attempts. You will just get better and better. I know what you mean about over forty eyes though!
    Yesterday I was practicing cornrows on Angelina’s hair(she is my fourteen year old). The one row that I got through was pretty good. She was a real troopper…”Took one for the team!” as my husband said.I am hoping that by the time Beautiful E comes home my cornrowing won’t be too painful!
    Keeping you and your daughter to come in our prayers,
    Theresa V

  3. Anonymous
    July 13, 2008

    That looks great! I’m so proud of you guys. 🙂

    Oh…and…guess what! I’m coming home in a week and a day! I can’t wait to see everybody. Give them all a hug and kiss for me.


  4. JYS
    July 13, 2008

    Dimples hair looks beautiful! you did a great job! You’ll love the beader tool, we just got ours, it’s so easy, and Emma loves shaking her “pretties!”

  5. darci
    July 14, 2008

    i love her SMILE! (great hair, too) she just looks like she is beaming..she knows she is a princess! 🙂
    lisa, i can’t get to the ahope store..when i click on the link nothing happens?? maybe i will just keep trying. 🙂 darci

  6. Michelle Riggs
    July 14, 2008

    Your braids look GREAT. They look so much better than my daughter’s did when I began.

    You are doing a great job with her hair.


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