Decorate your braids with beads
If you want to finish your braids with beads, you need special hair beads with large enough holes to fit over the braid.
All the hair beads for braids have holes of around 3-4mm. Any less and you won't get them onto your braid.
Plastic, barrel-shaped pony beads are the easiest beads to find for braids with beads.
These beads come in many different colours and finishes.
You can buy plain colour beads, or ones with neon, frosted, transparent, glitter, pearl or glow in the dark finishes.
|Neon||Frosted opaque||Frosted transparent||Glow in the dark|
There are metallic hair beads available. These are usually plastic beads with metallic paint on them. They work fine if you only plan to keep the braid in for a few days, but over time the metallic colour washes off and you are left with a rather unattractive dull white bead.
You can sometimes find glass pony beads with transparent or frosted finishes. They don't come in such a large range of colours.
Heart-shaped pony beads look great on the end of braids. They come in a wide range of colours and finishes including plain, neon, frosted, transparent, glitter, pearl or glow in the dark finishes.
You can buy these beads in mixed colour packs or in single colours.
I have occasionally seen glass heart-shaped hair beads, but mostly they are plastic.
|Neon||Glow in the dark|
Star-shaped pony beads are another good option for braids. They come in the same range of colours and finishes as the heart beads.
|Glow in the dark|
So far, I haven't come across star-shaped hair beads made of anything except plastic.
Other shaped beads
You can sometimes find other shapes of pony beads such as butterflies, animals and flowers.
To use these beads for braids, first check which way the hole runs. When the animal is the right way up the hole should run from top to bottom. If it runs from side to side the bead will hang the wrong way.
Beads with side to side holes can be used to decorate hair in another way.
You might prefer to decorate your braids with beads made from wood rather than plastic ones.
Wooden hair beads are available in several colours, mostly in just the barrel pony bead shape.
|Wood pony beads|
You might find cheap packs of colourful round beads designed for hair decoration. These beads can work for braids, but check what the hole looks like. Sometimes the inside of the hole is very rough. You will have trouble getting these beads onto braids unless you are prepared to smooth off the inside of the hole by running a sharp scissor blade or a small round metal file around inside them.
You can make braids with beads look very individual by adding unusual beads to the end. If you want to try different kinds of beads, the most important thing to look for is that the hole is at least 3mm diameter.
Also think about comfort. Very large or spiky beads on braids may be very uncomfortable if you lie on them while sleeping.
|Unusual hair beads|
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