Russian Braids Put Pinterest Braids to Shame

In Culture, Lifestyle by Sally1 Comment

Elaborate Russian braids in their natural habitat... raspberry bushes?

Elaborate Russian braids in their natural habitat… raspberry bushes?

We’re going to take a break from our more serious and culture-focused content to tackle some pressing, superficial concerns in the realm of Overland Undersea.

Beauty blogging is an absolutely saturated market, and I won’t even pretend to make an attempt here, but Overland Undersea is about travel, and as it so happens, the oft spontaneous experience of travel isn’t without the mundane of personal upkeep.

So our superficial topic for this post? Mine hair.

My hair is very fine and prone to tangling, so when I’m doing a lot of travel, I like to make sure that it’s secure and out of the way as anything loose is a recipe for a matted, tangled mess. I know this all sounds pretty anal, but the struggle is real: my locks are so temperamental, that I can’t even wear my hair down while wearing a collared shirt or else I’ll have a massive, tangled knot the size of a fist at the nape of my neck within a few hours.

Unfortunately, the best I can do to remedy this tragic situation is to put it back into a ballerina bun. Attempts at braiding my own hair resemble the fumbling failure of an awkward handshake gif.

Noticing the braids and hairstyles Nikita’s young cousins wore everyday, I asked his aunt if she would braid my hair before we left for the train that evening. I was thinking something along the lines of a tight French braid or two.

This is one instance that I’m thankful for the communication barrier, because if I’d told her that’s what I wanted, I would’ve never gotten the elaborate braid style that she gave me.

The unreal, flower design braid Nikita's aunt gave me. I've never seen a braid like it in my life.

The unreal, flower design braid Nikita’s aunt gave me. I’ve never seen a braid like it in my life.

It was a flower design, and one of her personal favorites.

 

Well before going to Ukraine, I spent a few good hours of my life in a Youtube spiral watching braid tutorials. It started off as learning about the basic French braid, and ended up in the realms of videos of insanely intricate styles that were entirely in Russian.

I forgot all about watching these Russian braids videos until Nikita walked in mid operation, and took a few photos to let me know what was going on top of my head.

In progress view of the art being made of my hair. She makes it look so easy, like setting one piece of hair to the side and managing 15 other pieces is no biggie.

In progress view of the art being made of my hair. She makes it look so easy, like setting one piece of hair to the side and managing 15 other pieces is no biggie.

I’m still in awe.

I’ve spent my fair share of time on Pinterest, checking out hairstyles and braids that claim to be DIY. Nothing I’ve found comes close to the level of detail of these braids, which are so complex they strive to look like something else entirely, like a flower or butterfly.

Below is a tutorial of the actual braid style I’m sporting in the photos. You can watch how it’s done in the video below/follow along with the tutorial if you possess superhuman hair braiding abilities:

This tight spiraling braid is something straight out of an LSD-inspired fractal poster your stoner friends might have had on their dorm walls in college.

2 more examples of intricate, princess-like Russian braids:

WTF right?

Sadly, I didn’t notice a lot of women wearing their hair in elaborate braids while we were in Ukraine, so these elaborate Russian braids are more for special occasions than everyday.

The masterpiece braid in process. I don't feel like she backtracked or kept anything but the same pace the whole time. All in all it took her less than 15 minutes. Also, pretty sure she crocheted that cardigan she's wearing. A goddess among women.

The masterpiece braid in process. I don’t feel like she backtracked or kept anything but the same pace the whole time. All in all it took her less than 15 minutes. Also, pretty sure she crocheted that cardigan she’s wearing. A goddess among women.

Another thing I noticed was that Nikita’s aunt is quite the homemaker. In addition to the basic upkeep of a household with two young children, she’s incredibly skilled at things requiring a lot of detailed handiwork, like traditional Russian cooking, sewing and crocheting.

Perhaps I don’t have a lot of experience with motherhood, or even hang around that many mothers, but I was truly impressed at the level of handmade detail she applied to everyday life.

The work of art she created with my hair was definitely ogle-worthy, but everyday, she made adorable hair styles for her two young daughters, only less detailed than mine because they were still young enough to lack thickness and length in their hair.

She even made summer and winter garments for her children, husband and herself through crochet skills.

My only question now, is how do I stop failing as a human being and learn how to make something with my own hands? Or does typing these words count as my own hands…

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