by Laura BlackFeather, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®
De-Vine Tresses--Easy-to-Make Hair Vines
Hair vines are a fast-growing Hollywood wedding hairstyle, most recently adorning celebrities Claire Danes and Selma Blair. Inspired by the beautiful flowering vines of royal gardens, bridal vines are as versatile as they are elegant. They're also easy and inexpensive to make, so you can create your own celebrity style on a dime, in no time.
Your hair vine can be as simple or as elaborate as you like depending on your hair length and wedding-day hairstyle. Up-dos are breathtaking with hair vine headbands and side pieces. Long curly or wavy hair is stunning in a simple braid intertwined with a long, single vine. Decide on your 'do before making your hair vine (see suggestions below).
Vines can be ''tied'' directly onto hair or attached to hairpins for added support. For designs with hairpins, cut two strands of wire, each 24 inches in length. Longer vines may need additional lengths of wire twisted into the design, but this length is easier to work with than long wires. Bend each wire in half, forming two 12-inch lengths for each wire, and slide onto either end of the hairpin. Twist ends together. For designs without hairpins, slide wire onto a leaf-shaped bead and twist ends together. Continue twisting to the desired placement of your first bead. If no hairpins are used, leave enough room (approximately 1-1/2 inches) to tie wire onto hair.
To make branches, bend one end of the twisted wire to a 90 degree angle. Determine the length you'd like your branch and string a leaf- or flower-shaped bead onto the wire at that length. Bring the two ends together around the bead and wrap the long length around the shorter length. Continue wrapping until you reach the main vine and resume twisting the two lengths together.
Adding additional wires
Continue twisting and branching until you reach your desired length, alternating branch directions as you go. To add additional lengths of wire, bend the new wire in half and wrap around the base of a branch. Twist the remaining wires from your first length and the new wire lengths together, trimming any excess.
Adding pearl flowers and Swarovski crystal bicones
To create cultured freshwater pearl flowers, string five pearls onto your wire branch, loop around and twist ends together. For crystal bicone beads, string the crystal onto a branch and add a seed bead of a like or contrasting color. Bring wire back through the crystal bicone and wrap the length around the branch.
Finishing the ends
Finish the hair vine with a leaf or flower bead. Bend wire as you would for a branch but rather than stringing the bead onto the angled wire, string onto the straight wire. Snip the bent wire and wrap the remaining wire around the bead and the wire stem until you reach the cut wire. The wires will blend together, concealing any seams.
How to wear hair vines:
Long to medium length hair
A popular style for medium to long hair is a vine-entwined, loose braid. Curl hair into gentle waves and pull top half into a low ponytail, fastening with a thin elastic band. Braid hair and secure the end with the wire vine. Loosen the plait of the braid and wrap the vine around to meet the ponytail. Tuck hairpin into the ponytail or, if no headpin is used, twist the end of the vine around a small section of hair.
Hair vines can also be worn with buns, knots and twists. Wrap the vine around the bun or knot like a wreath and pin in place. For twists, drape vine over the top of the twist and cascade on either side, or pin vine along the length of a French twist.
Short hair and up-dos
For short hair and up-dos, wear the vine as a headband or side piece. Headbands can be long enough to wrap entirely around the head, twisting ends together to secure, or short enough to only cover the top of the head, using bobby pins to tuck into hair. Add a hair pin to the center of the headband for wide or double-strand vines. Side pieces look stunning with up-dos. Keep the vine short (approximately 4 to 5 inches) and pin along the side of the hair.