Hair beading can be done on any type of hair and can easily be done at home. You can add beads to strands of hair or small braids, as you prefer. Bead all of the hair or just a few strands to add a colorful accent to any hairstyle. While hair beading kits can be purchased, you can easily bead hair with basic and ordinary craft supplies you already own.
Pony beads are the most commonly used bead for hair beading; however, larger or smaller beads may also be used. Choose larger beads if you will be beading larger braids and smaller ones if you are beading only a few strands of hair at a time. You will also need either a hair beading tool, a loop of 20-gauge craft wire or a dental floss threader. If working with wire, form a simple loop at one end to make an easy, makeshift hair beading tool. Wind or wrap the wire ends or secure around a bit of wood or cardboard to keep the beads from falling off of the beading tool. You may also need tiny rubber bands or a small amount of quick drying glue.
Most hair beading is done on braided hair. Create a neat braid, but be sure not to braid the hair too tightly if you are working with wet hair. If the hair is quite fine, you may want to use a bit of hair gel to secure the braid, but do not put a hair elastic on the braid at this point. Thread the beads onto the floss threader, wire or hair beading tool in the order you prefer. Put the braid through the loop, then pull the hair through the beads. Repeat as necessary until the desired number of beads are in place on the hair. You can use the same method to place beads onto a small section or a few strands of hair.
Securing the Beads
If you are beading coarse or very curly hair, the beads may hold quite well with no additional effort. Fine, soft or straight hair will require that the hair beads be secured. Use very small rubber bands at the end of the beading to hold the beads into place. This option will not damage the hair. If you are working with just a few strands of hair and very small seed beads, a drop of superglue will allow you to secure the beads; however, you will need to cut the glue out of your hair. Avoid this method if you are working with more than just a few strands of hair.
Making Beaded Clips
Create the look of hair beading without the effort by creating strands of beads on beading cord. Secure a simple jump ring to one end. The jump ring can be threaded onto a bobby pin or alligator clip and worn in the hair as desired.
References and ResourcesCornrows.co.uk: Beading Braids
MakingFriends.com: Beaded Hair
beads-faq.getcrafty.com: Hair Wraps