Friday, September 7, 2012


The Braid

Thyra Heder is an illustrator who lives in Brooklyn.

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One of the very few things I miss about having long hair is braiding it. I used to braid it before bed every night, so it became a sort of meditation for me.

But then I cut it all off, so now I can only braid other people's hair.


life is always so imcomplete :)@v


This is lovely.


in place of sister, read boyfriend.

ha ha ha *delusional*


@redheaded&crazie - all my inappropriate fantasies about obscure English actors involve their hands in my hair. Because it doesn't happen in real life. >sigh<


Once my sister cut off a hunk of my hair while I was asleep...




@noReally That's how I thought this story would end, actually. "She never did" was kind of a relief for me.


@noReally ooh boy we got in so much trouble once for cutting off bunches of our hair when young. my sister's was the worst too, she was younger than me and my friend and she chopped her bangs haphazardly and too short, and large chunks of her hair. I was such a bad influence as a kid.

raised amongst catalogs

@redheaded&crazie I cut my hair when I was in preschool and my mom caught me in the act, scissors in hand and everything. She told me how naughty I was and what a bad thing I had done and I flatly denied it, saying, "I didn't do it. My kite did it." (I didn't have a kite. Still, can't blame a girl for trying.)

Faintly Macabre

@vanillawaif A perfect place for this radio piece for anyone who hasn't heard it: Two Little Girls Explain the Worst Haircut Ever

Sample quote: “When I was finished and I put the scissors back and I looked at her, I was like uh-oh, this is bad, bad, bad.”


@redheaded&crazie In my family, we call this a "stick-up bangs" haircut and my sister is sporting them in her 1st grade school photo.

polka dots vs stripes

@vanillawaif I think my little sister once claimed her doll cut her hair.


@Faintly Macabre oh my goodness, thank you for that!

Faintly Macabre

When I was little, my mom braided my sister's and my hair every night. One summer, my older sister and I went to stay with our grandparents at their beach house for a week. Even though I was only 8 or 9 years old, they'd already decided that I was not a very good child and that my sister was a lovely child, and were eager to tell my parents exactly why.

One example? My sister had to help me braid my hair before I went to bed.

Judith Slutler

@Faintly Macabre wow if I were your older sister I would've been pissed!

Faintly Macabre

@Emmanuelle Cunt Haha, for having to braid my hair? I had much worse (better?) ways of annoying my sister, unfortunately for her.

Judith Slutler

@Faintly Macabre Nah, at your grandparents, for dissing her sisterly devotion.

Faintly Macabre

@Emmanuelle Cunt Oh, yeah, we were both mostly used to that kind of thing from them at that point. Though she claimed that having to witness it plus me constantly guilt-tripping her in my quest to make her give me the clothes/toys they bought her was just as bad as their bullying.

(How does anyone have children? We were both mostly good and still such brats!)


Damn. This is beautiful. Even (especially?) the scribbled out words are perfect.


I don't think my sister knew how to braid hair when we were kids. I barely did (single Dad). I always used to want the girls in my class to braid it during storytime though. It rarely happened. :(


@Megano! I remember feeling very left out in first grade when suddenly Braiding Craze took over my class. My mother taught me how with yarn, but I never braided anyone's hair anyway. Then we moved and nobody cared about braiding hair at our new school. I was still a left-out nerd though, haha.

so what?

@Megano! I don't remember wearing my hair in braids one single time as a kid (actually not until college) and I'm just now wondering if maybe my mom doesn't know how to braid hair. She must, though, she does have a sister. Right? Then again I do distinctly remember teaching myself how to braid using my untied shoelaces in elementary school. I need to get to the bottom of this.


I have to put my hair up over the pillow like the second picture when I go to sleep (or most of the time when I'm just lying down), otherwise I'm uncomfortable.


@NeenerNeener I always put my hair up like that when I go to bed because I figure it will help avoid bedhead better (and it kind of does) but then the back of my hair is always full of knots and I think that's partly why. Sigh.


@NeenerNeener meee tooo it's because feeling my hair on the back of my neck when I sleep weirds me out. I have to have direct pillow contact back there.


I used to braid my little sister's hair when we were kids. She has this crazy fine hair that would fall right out of the braid as soon as you let go. Even the ponytail holder I used on the end would slide right off as soon as she started moving. She could never manage a decent braid in my much courser hair but I always pretended to love the rats' nests she made out of it.

I think it may be time for an old timey sleepover with my sis.


this is a woman's truest and best dream


Right now, as grown ups, my sister is constantly trying to braid my hair. Mostly because she watches all the youtube videos and knows all the weird braids.
She wishes my braids weren't so messy. Little does she know I DO IT ON PURPOSE. MUHAHAHAHAHA


@JadedStone - I hate when people don't understand that my messy hair is on purpose. (I feel like that sounds snarky, and it's not, it's the truth.)

I guess really I don't care that they know it's on purpose so much as I care that they don't think I'm accidentally messy. Like, my mom will try to help me "fix" my hair because she thinks I'm just so incompetent that the mess on my head is a failure on my part, not a success. And then I get paranoid that everybody at works thinks I'm just a slob who can't do her hair either (even if they think my version of slobby is charmingly and alarmingly beautiful, which is my end goal with on-purpose messy hair).

I feel/hope that having makeup and a purposeful outfit on helps convey the "I look this way on purpose" message but who knows...

so what?

@KeLynn I'm intrigued by your hair now. How messy are we talking?


My 8yo daughter just learned how to braid, and she insists on practicing on me all the time. I act like I hate it, because if she knew how much I loved it, she would stop.


@dreeski I have always wanted to have boys. You have given me my first true reason to want a daughter.


Probably another reason I wish I had siblings growing up.

Ohhhh wellll...


@meetapossum I'm an only child too! At least we never had to know the disappointment of the bottom illustration. I was alway really jealous of my two best friends though, who were close sisters just a little more than a year apart.


Jack: Avery, I have some information for you. But in exchange, I need you to do something for me.
Avery: Okay. I told you last night…No. Why would you even want to braid my hair?
Jack: Because it’s romantic and I’m really good at it.

fondue with cheddar

We used to French braid our hair in high school color guard before competitions and football games. Everyone hated braiding mine because it's really fine and slips out of everything.

It was better when I was younger and had longer hair, but still bad. My hair was always messy as hell in school pictures because my mom always put it in braids, pigtails, or barrettes.


My dad always used to comb my hair and put it in braids when I was a little girl, because he had had hair down past his waist when he was a dirty hippie.


@anachronistique yeah, that's why my boyfriend knows how to braid. (But he can't do a french braid - yet)


@anachronistique - I just taught my boyfriend's dad how to put his hair in a ponytail a few weeks ago, by doing it myself to him first. It was a strange experience.


There was a summer, maybe before third grade? When my Daddy took the summer off, while mom kept working. She would leave while we were sleeping, and when we woke, Dad would brush my waist length hair out. Except that he was super gentle and didn't want to hurt me, so basically he would brush the top layer and leave everything underneath. Right before school started, my mom brushed it for me one weekend morning, and realized that the entire underneath layer had basically become dreadlocks. She had to cut it ALL off, up to shoulder length. My dad cried. He thinks I didn't see him, but he did.


@MoonBat that's the most adorable story ever.

I smell burnt toast

@MoonBat Oh man, that story hurt my heart.


@MoonBat - Oh. Oh, oh. Poor Daddy.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

I had crazy-long hair when I was a kid, and I had a really sensitive head and would whine and cry when my mom would brush it. One day, before church, she was wrestling with my hair and attitude, and I said with plenty of sass, "What's more important, that I look good or that I feel good?" I was like, 8. She was so exasperated. My poor mother.


Ha! When I was little, I thought that extremely long hair à la the Disney Princesses was très romantique. I imagined that if I brushed it out exactly as in the first picture - so that it rippled and spilled "casually" over the pillow - then fell asleep with my hands folded demurely on my chest and my lips pursed, a prince would saunter by and kiss me.

I have short hair now.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@wee_ramekin Best part about my current shortish haircut is that if I place my head on her lap just so, my ladyfriend will absentmindedly run her fingers through it while watching TV. I'm a whore for a head scratch anyway, and this is magical. LIKE BEING A PRINCESS!


in all seriousness though, i love it when people braid my hair. it gives me weird little thrills all up and down my spine. and now that i've admitted that, nobody will ever want to braid my hair again.


@redheaded&crazie I will braid your hair!


@redheaded&crazie Schweet! I can do french braids, and herringbone, and try the snake braid thing that we got the tutorial on last week....

Valley Girl

@redheaded&crazie I get that from a good haircut! I'm pretty sure it's the Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), which is "a physical sensation characterized by a pleasurable tingling that typically begins in the head and scalp, and often moves down the spine and through the limbs". Having your scalp or back touched or hearing soothing voices are a couple of common triggers...There's a whole genre of weird Youtube videos meant to trigger them purposely. The human brain is crazy!


@MoonBat that reminds me, i got my hair did for a fancy event recently and i made the hair salon lady do that frenchbraid up the back of your head to your topknot style that was posted here. except the first hair stylist didn't know how to do braids (Wtf) and I was all "but that's ALL I HAD IN MIND" and anyway they found somebody who could do braids. and all those braids sound awesome! (I don't even know what a herringbone braid is!)

@Valley Girl ooooh it's an Official Biological Thing that makes me feel less weird! I also get it when people doodle on my arm or hand (I feel like that's probs pretty common though)

The Lamb

When I was in 1st grade, my 14-year-old sister suddenly decided that she was going to wake me up at 5:30 every morning to put two french braid pigtails in my hair. I had no choice in the matter. They were so tight and straight that I'd look surprised for the first hour they were in. She did that every morning for about three months- and for the first time in my life, my mother (who couldn't even do a ponytail) let me grow my hair to my shoulders because the braids looked nice and she didn't have to deal with my hair.

Then, one morning, my sister had to leave early before school and didn't braid my hair. My mother tried for about fifteen minutes to do just regular pigtail braids. It was a disaster.

That afternoon I was forced to get my hair cut to an earlobe length bob. A hair cut I wasn't allowed to linger from again for another four years (when I had figured out how to french braid and style my own hair).


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