Today the Department of Awesome Parenting salutes Melbourne, Australia-based mother Shelley Gifford, who turns her daughter Grace’s hair into elaborate works of braided art nearly every day. Gifford says she’s always enjoyed braiding hair, but wasn’t aware of just how creative one could get with it until she discovered people all over the world sharing their own braids via social media.
“I found accounts that were solely set up to show hairstyles that mums had created on their daughters. I loved what I saw and it was then that I started my own Facebook and Instagram braiding accounts. I started following other hair and braiding accounts: asking questions and continuously watching video tutorials. I also attended braiding and up-do workshops. I just love learning new styles and advancing my skills. I’m hair obsessed. I’m always challenging myself to create something new and unique.”
Gifford usually braids Grace’s hair before school and sometimes on the weekends. While she’s always coming up with new braid designs in her free time, she spends only about 15 to 20 minutes actually braiding her daughter’s hair, which is done while grace watches tv after getting herself ready for school. If a particular style is going to take longer than usual, they wait until the weekend to do it.
Gifford always documents her daughter’s new hairstles with a photo. You can follow her latest creations via Facebook or on Instagram.
Heading into the NBA Finals with Hair Art by @robtheoriginal
To see more creative hair art, follow @robtheoriginal on Instagram. For more photos and videos from the @NBA Finals, follow the San Antonio Spurs (@officialspurs) and the Miami Heat (@miamiheat) on Instagram.
Rob Ferrel (@robtheoriginal) was working at a barbershop in Texas eight years ago when local kids starting bringing in requests for hair art. “At first it was simple patterns and designs, but now if they bring me any image, I can replicate it in their hair,” Rob says.
Today, Rob is a professional hair artist and founder of Rob the Original Barbershop in San Antonio. As the local San Antonio Spurs (@officialspurs) enter a rematch with the Miami Heat (@miamiheat) in the NBA Finals tonight, requests for his popular basketball-themed styles continue from Spurs and Heat fans alike.
Rob’s toolkit includes standard barber clippers and razors, but also colored eyeliner for the finishing touches. “I create every shape and shade on the portrait—like a puzzle,” Rob says. “You can only do so much with hair, so the eyeliner perfects the picture and makes it look realistic.”
Rob ‘The Original’ Ferrel is a San Antonio, TX-based barber who combines his artistic background with his skills as a professional barber to create works of art using the hair on his clients’ heads. The majority of his pieces are portraits of celebrities, athletes and pop culture characters, but he also creates illustrations of video game graphics and even some religious iconography. Rob is so good with pairs of scissors and clippers that calling him a barber doesn’t do justice to his skills. Instead it makes a lot more sense to refer to him as a professional hair artist.