I don't know if ya'll have noticed how much I tout using a wire headband online, but it feels like I am always singing praises to this newly discovered way of styling my hair. I've honestly never found or used such a simple method to achieve beautifully curly locks, and I don't think I'll ever go back to utilizing my curling iron for anything other than fixing my bangs on a really bad day.
For those of you who have never heard of a wire headband, or are unsure of what I mean by styling hair in one, let me show you what it is I am talking about!
I first learned of this styling method via @aclotheshorse. Doesn't her hair look divine? Gosh I always wanted to be a natural redhead. I digress...
She showcased a video in which she wrapped her hair around a cute headband and magically woke up the next day with amazing curls! I was a bit skeptical and after researching the cost of some headbands online, I decided it would be much more sustainable to make my own- All I needed was some artists wire and I was on my way!
Before I jump into the DIY method of making the wire headband, I want to show you how to actually use one.
Besides being just a super cute headband to wear on the regular, you can style your hair as I learned to do by following these steps. For best results, make sure that your hair is thoroughly combed and damp--not soaking-- when you do this:
Step 1: Part your hair the way you tend to wear it on the day to day. For me I generally have more hair on my left than on my right.
Step 2: Place the headband on your head and situate it until it is comfortably seated on your scalp. You may need to twist your headband into shape or create a cute little bow.
Step 3: Part your hair in half from the back and bring it towards the front of your shoulders.
Step 4: Begin wrapping one side of you head of hair, one chunk at a time until you run out of hair, like so...
Step 5: Repeat with the other side of your head.
Step 6: Place a few bobby pins along the back of your headband, catching the loose strands of hair. This will help to keep your hair from getting too tangled while you sleep and keep your headband in place.
Step 7: Get a good nights rest!
Step 8: Wake up and take out the bobby pins.
Step 9: This part is always a challenge for me and I haven't found the 100% fool proof way to release my curls from my headband. However, the easiest way has been to grab the headband from the top and gently shake the curls loose from my head.
Step 10: Admire your curls before grabbing a brush and running it through your hair to soften them.
Voila! Super easy, right? I have tried this a number of ways, including:
- Wrapping my hair after a morning shower and taking it down prior to bed (second day hair is always the best anyway!)
- Keeping my hair wrapped for a full day (two sleeps) before taking it down. The headband makes for a cute style, and the longer your hair is up, the tighter your curls will be and the longer they tend to last!
It's super fun to experiment with and I have always personally loved the results! I also started doing this when my hair was about shoulder length and it worked really well. In fact, I am starting to run out of space for my hair now that it is so long.
Ok, so now that I have shared how to achieve the curls, I suppose I can share how to achieve the headband as well! You ready?
Let's get started!
You'll want to gather a few items before diving in including:
- Some scrap fabric. I am using scrap rayon because I have a ton and it's great next to hair (no frizzies, comfortable, etc)
- 20 Gauge Artists Wire
- Needle Nose Pliers
- Fabric Scissors
- Sewing Machine (Threaded with matching threads)
- Coffee or Tea (Gotta have that bit of comfort!)
First, I started by cutting my fabric into 4 1/2" (11.4 cm) strips.
If you are like me and utilizing scraps, you might find that none of your fabric strips are long enough to constitute creating an entire headband. If that is the case, simply sew a couple of the strips together at the short end until you have a nice, longgggg strip of fabric.
You might be wondering, "How long should my fabric strips be?" And that is an excellent question.
It depends on you, your personal preferences; whether you wish to wear this headband strictly as an accessory or as a curling machine, or both; whether you like tying bows or wish to wrap it round your head twice; it all just depends!
If you'd like, you can use Becca of Ladyface Blog's suggestion of 32" as a starting point. I went a bit longer than her suggestion for my first one because I really wanted to tie a bow in my headband. Then for my next few I just kind of used what I had sewn up as a strip of fabric as my guide.
Super helpful and specific, right?
But I am really glad I did that because now I have different length headbands for many occasions / moods/ styles I wish to play with! I've got my orange headband that wraps around twice and my rainbow one that stays in a bow 24/7, and my black based one that is a mix between the other two.
Once you've determined what length you wish to have your headband at, fold your fabric in half hotdog style, i.e. with the right sides of the long edges touching. Pin these sides together.
Before we sew, we will want to make a nicely tapered edge to our headband. To do so, I generally grab a ruler and place it at roughly a 45 degree angle and then draw a line.
Once you've got your line drawn and your sides pinned, it's time to sew your headband together! Be sure to leave a nice sized opening near the center of your headband so that you are able to eventually turn it right side out.
iBefore turning your headband right side out, clip the corners of your headband. That way, you get a really nice pointed edge once it is all turned out.
You can now turn out your headband using your preferred method! I know that a lot of sewists like to use a chopstick or another long, thin object to turn their straps and things out (like a straw). I used my rouleaux turner because I love it and simply because it was the closest object I had near me.
Once your entire headband piece is facing right side out, poke out those corners with whatever you have available! That could mean using a point turner, a chopstick, or even a tiny screw driver head.
The give the whole thing a nice press.
Set your headband aside for a quick sec and grab your artists wire, tape, & needle nose pliers.
You are going to want to cut a length of the wire a few inches longer than the finished length of your headband, from outer point to outer point. If you can't recall your measurement or don't feel like doing the math, just unwind your wire to the same length of your headband while it's near you and then add a few extra inches.
Taking one end of the wire, create a little loop. You'll want enough extra wire to be able to wrap it around itself a few times which helps keep it securely in place.
Once you have wrapped the wire as far as your fingers will allow, use your pliers to finish the wrapping process, pressing the wire snugly together at the end.
Because we dont want our wire tearing through our headbands and poking our skulls (yikes!) we will want to tape off the ends of each loop we make. I used biodegradable cellophane tape for my wire ends, but you can use whatever tape you have on hand! Just make sure you wrap it enough times that the wire has no chance to poke through.
Repeat this same process on the other side of your wire.
Now we can slide our wires through our little headband opening.
We are nearly done! We are going to tack our wire into place at the pointy ends of our headband. You can either do this by hand for an invisible finish or you can use your sewing machine. I opted for my sewing machine just because I didn't think anyone would try to get that close to my head to inspect my headband.
Four our last step, we just need to pin our headband opening closed and sew it up! Again, you can use a sewing machine or a hand stitch if you want to be extra fancy :)
Voila! You have completed your very own DIY Wire Headband! Whether you utilize it for easy-to-style-curls or you rock it as a cute accessory, you now have the skills required to bust all your prettiest fabric scraps into a super useful item!