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Legolas

Here are instructions for the most commonly appearing Legolas braid.  That's right - there may be more than one.  It is possible that on occasion someone was insane enough to braid herringbones on the sides of the head rather than lace braids on some days; I do not recommend this, as it would take a LONG time.  Note also that I think they sometimes used a regular lace braid, adding hair every time one side was crossed over.  I choose to show a variation that I know they used, which is to cross over each side twice, then add hair to the top strand.  Some people have written to me to say they think that sometimes the first bit of the sides is done with a twist; this is not so.  That's what a lace braid looks like from the side when it curls up because there's no hair added to the other side to anchor it.  

Note:  Arwen's braid can be made by parting the hair a little left of center to just before the crown, then parting the hair from that point to the point of the ears.  Braid each side into a herringbone like the back of the Legolas braid.  Next, part the hair from point of ear to point of ear across the back, and braid that section into a herringbone.  Example picture coming soonish!

Happy braiding and film viewing!

Directions:

  1. Eyeball the spot about halfway between the "V" of the hairline and the ear - about 2 inches above the ear.  
  1. Make a part at the eyeballed location, starting from the temple and running straight back as far as is convenient.  I recommend you make the part slightly higher than I did in this example - this is more like an inch and a half rather than two inches.
  1. Make a corresponding part on the opposite side of the head.
  1. Make a part on the back of the head which connects the two side parts, separating off the hair on the top of the head from the rest of the hair.
  1. Hair clip the hair on top of the head and forget about it for awhile.
  1. Gather a section of hair nearest the face from the side of the head below the part.
  1. Separate the hair into three strands.
  1. Fold the upper strand over, trying to keep the braid as far down on the head as possible.
  1. Fold the lower strand over, trying to keep the braid as far down on the head as possible.
  1. Fold the upper strand over again, trying to keep the braid as far down on the head as possible.
  1. Fold the lower strand over again, trying to keep the braid as far down on the head as possible.
  1. From the head, gather a section of hair roughly the length of what you have just braided, taking the full width of hair from bottom to the part.
  1. Add that section of hair to the upper strand of hair.
  1. Repeat instructions 8-13, until you get about an inch and a half to two inches past the ear.

Note: As you get past the ear, keep the bottom of the section of hair you pick up in line with the hair you have been picking up, rather than following the hairline.

  1. Continue braiding out as for a basic 3-strand, then fasten the end with a rubber band.
Note:  This is what the finished side braid will look like.
  1. Repeat instructions 6-15 on the opposite side of the head.

Note: I recommend putting the part a bit higher on the head than I did in the example.  However, some of the sloping of the braid is simply caused by the fact that the hair in front of his ears was once cut, and is now only an inch long and couldn't be used in the braid.

  1. Unclip the hair on the top of the head and comb it smooth.
  1. Separate the hair into two sections.  To do this, I tend to hold it with my left and separate initially with my right.  I then put my left-hand index finger through the same separation and use the right hand to separate the hair to the end of the strands.
  1. Separate a small section off of the back of the right-hand strand.
  1. Fold that section over its original strand and add it to the left-hand strand.
Note:  Here's a shot of what the hair looks like with the one section folded over.  Notice that it always puffs up a bit until you get the herringbone well started.
  1. Separate a section off the back of the left hand strand.  I tend to use the middle finger of my right hand to do this, allowing my right hand to firmly grasp both main strands, freeing my left hand.
  1. Fold the section over the original strand and add it to the right-hand strand.
Note:  Hold the crossed-over sections in place whenever you need to rearrange your hands, such as when you separate the strands to the end.
  1. Hold the left strand in your left hand and the right strand in your right hand.
  2. Use your right index finger to separate a section from the back of the right strand.
  1. Fold the section over the right strand and add it to the left-hand strand.
  1. Use your left index finger to separate a section off the back of the left hand strand.
  2. Fold the section over the left strand and add it to the right-hand strand.
  1. Repeat instructions 24-27, keeping the size of the separated sections roughly equal.  

Note:  Smaller or larger sections give the braid a different look.  Various-sized sections in the same braid just look bad.

  1. Rubber band the end of the braid, and voila!  A Legolas braid.

 

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