I decided to practice braiding, which is possibly the easiest of the three techniques. First, I assembled my equipment: fake hair from Sally's, a bit of glue, the kumi-himu disk, and some thread.
Next, I followed the basic pattern from Campbell's hairwork guide. You can see me practice this with thread here. I'm glad that I spent the time practicing, because the pattern could be confusing if my fingers weren't already accustomed to the motion.
Here are a few of the problems I encountered:
1. I didn't count the strands. For most hair threads, it was okay. A few were WAY too big.
2. I need to be consistent about my level of tension at all times. Sometimes, I wasn't.
3. The hair needs to be moist. A little water on my fingers worked well.
4. Long hair is ESSENTIAL for braiding techniques.
5. Be patient; the braid takes a while to form
In less than an hour, the braid started to take shape. By the end of the hour: SUCCESS!
I know the braid isn't perfect; there were a few strands that needed to be clipped with fine scissors in the end. It was difficult with little hair pieces sticking out. By the end I was very squirmy, but satisfied. There were a few minor mistakes, but overall it looked authentic. SUCCESS!
Later I headed out to my local beading store to ask questions about attaching the hair to a finding. The woman was very helpful, and I left with the hope that my next piece could be completely functioning. Even my dog Rambo couldn't contain his excitement...
Save your hair, ladies and gents!