Last week my daughter’s school had spirit week. Each day there was a different theme one of which was crazy hair day. I had taught myself to French braid my own hair as a teen but hadn’t learned much more past that. Now with two daughters I still haven’t gotten too much practice doing their hair as they were both born bald and once they, finally, grew enough hair to play with they were able to tell me no. So when crazy hair day came up I realized the end result wasn’t going to be too pretty and I wasn’t sure if I’d even have permission to help Ada out with her hair. When I finally asked Ada what she wanted to do for crazy hair day I found out she wanted a dinosaur on her head… so this idea was born. I wanted to share my end result and what I did to keep the toy on her head as I could see this idea working for many different hair lengths and toy types.
- Toy – Dinosaur with feet bigger than it’s ankle so I could wrap wire around the ankles to keep it attached. Any toy should work as long as it has holes to thread wire through or skinnier sections to wrap wire around.
- Wire – I used a 26 gauge floral wire I had on hand. It needs to be pliable enough to wrap and twist but sturdy enough to keep the toy attached and not break.
- Ponytail ties – To secure your hair around the wire. I used a ponytail tie variety pack we already had though we ignored the mini ones as they hurt too much going in. It doesn’t matter if you use different hair tie styles and/or different colors because you want the hair crazy and not to fit norms; although I could also see getting ties that color coordinate with your theme (like green for grass) too.
- Hair gel – I used göt2b ultra glued styling gel I bought the night before at Walmart. I used this to keep the ponytails sticking out and to spike the shorter hairs in the lower back.
- Sidewalk chalk – Alternative would be temporary hair color spray (was too scared to try) or hair chalk (couldn’t find when I was looking last minute). I used a fork to scrape a water saturated sidewalk chalk to create wet flakes though if you have dry sidewalk chalk it should create a powder. I’ve read online you could use water to darken the chalk and use an flat iron or hair dryer to heat set it in for longer, but I didn’t attempt heat and my chalk was already wet.
Leading up to crazy hair day I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I had booked haircuts in advance for the girls the day before and realized there was no point planning anything as I wasn’t sure how long Ada’s hair would in fact be the day of crazy hair day. When Ada brought up crazy hair day to me all she’d tell me was she wanted a dinosaur in her hair… we hadn’t much planned further than that.
The day of the hair appointment was pajama day at school. I normally never let the kids wear pajamas when leaving the house so Ada was super excited. After school we rushed right to the appointment. While there I started debating what we should do with her hair and knew I needed to include a dinosaur, as it was her one request, but wasn’t sure how. I had thought we could somehow make her hair be grass so wondered if we should get some spiky haired styling gel and maybe also temporarily dye her hair green. In the car after the hair appointments I frantically checked Amazon Now (didn’t have any) and Amazon (two days shipping) before going on Walmart’s website. There I saw several options so off we went, Ada still in her pajamas, and found absolutely no hair chalk. I asked two different people while combing through the hair and cosmetics sections, both Halloween sections, and the crafts (in case there was a kids kit). Luckily I was able to buy some ultra glued hair gel so the trip wasn’t a complete bust. Luckily at Walmart I also started wondering if sidewalk chalk would work, which we already owned, and looked it up to confirm once we got home.
Prepping the Crazy Hair Day Object
The night before crazy hair day I had Ada pick out one of our many dinosaurs to be the hair centerpiece. The first, a DUPLO® apatosaurus, she chose I had to refuse as there were no good spots on the apatosaurus to attach the wire to. Ada next returned with a large triceratops with moveable legs and head. I wasn’t quite sure it would work but figured why not and went ahead. I grabbed the floral wire I had, though any bendable and strong wire should work, and started wrapping it around the front foot making sure to twist the end closed so it wouldn’t be sharp against Ada. I then pulled off more of the wire, folded the length of wire in half, and twisted it up leaving the center looped. After creating the offshoot I wrapped the wire around the foot once again to secure it in place before crossing over to the next foot. Like before I wrapped it around the foot, created an offshoot, then returned to that foot to wrap it a couple more times to make it secure. I repeated this, using one long piece of floral wire, so all four of the dinosaur legs were secured to a wire framework with twisted wire offshoots coming out of the four corners. Once done I trimmed the excess wire making sure to twist the cut end so it wouldn’t be sharp. I created this wired framework and attached it to the dinosaur so the hair would have an easy way to attach and spread out the dinosaur’s weight without being too cumbersome for Ada.
That night I also grabbed some, completely soaked through, green sidewalk chalk from outside and set it aside with a sharp fork, small dish, ponytail ties, and hair gel. I normally get Ada to lay out her clothing the night before and she ended up picking out her new dinosaur dress to go with her triceratops. I planned to get Ada to change before I did her hair in the morning but, spoiler alert, I forgot so after her hair was done we had to change her top by bringing it over her waist.
The morning of crazy hair day both girls woke up forty minutes before when I normally wake them. It gave us more time but threw off my morning more than I had planned. While I was scrapping the sidewalk chalk to get ready Ada decided she was ready for me to do her hair, now while she was still eating, and I completely forgot to have her get changed first.
Doing The Hair
I started by placing the dinosaur on the center of Ada’s head. I had Ada reach up with one hand to hold the dinosaur in place while I attached it. I was originally going to grab small amounts of hair from either side of the wire and create ponytails (or tufts of grass) but, in the moment, I wasn’t sure if that would be secure enough. I, instead, decided to start by grabbing small amounts of hair around the wire and created a small French braid to hold it in place. After braiding about an inch I bent the wire away from the braid and used a ponytail tie to create a small ponytail. That secured the leg in place and I went onto the next leg and repeated the French braid. At one point I decided to change up the braid by using Ada’s hair for the first two stands and the wire itself as the third strand. I hoped including the wire in the braid would hold it more securely that simply wrapping the braid around the wire. After securing two of the legs the dinosaur was steady enough to stand on his own while I secured the rest of his legs.
After I secured each leg with the small French braid I went back around adding little ponytails. At each foot area I created two separate ponytails by wrapping the hair around the wire and then either securing only the hair with a ponytail tie or, if I was near the end of the wire, including the floral wire with the hair in the ponytail tie. After each wire offshoot had a French braid and two ponytails securing it to Ada’s head I then had Ada shake her head to confirm it was, in fact, secure. After that I went around her head gathering all the longer loose hairs into small ponytails to match the first bit. By the time we only had Ada’s smaller hairs left she was done with the hair ties so it was an easy decision to not attempt mini ponytails on the shorter back hairs.
The original, vague and not thought out, idea had been to turn Ada’s hair into grass for the dinosaur to stand in. The braids and ponytails kind of stopped that illusion but Ada loved the components of it, when I brought it up earlier, so we continued on with the hair gel and sidewalk chalk. I had read to scrape the sidewalk chalk into dust but as the sidewalk chalk was saturated from being outside it created flakes rather than dust. I decided it might be simplest to mix the sidewalk chalk flakes into the hair gel on my hands before applying it to Ada’s hair. I hoped to make the hair gel a light green and I could’ve kept adding more and mixing to darken the shade; instead, I mostly ended up with green flakes in clear gel. I went ahead with applying the mixture to Ada’s ponytails making them point outward and be spiky. After I applied the hair gel mixture to Ada’s shorter hairs which ended up more grass-like like I had pictured. I loved how even though her hair style wasn’t quite how I pictured it before it still ended up looking really cool. If you could connect a dinosaur to a shorter haircut (maybe with hair wrapped around the wire and fastened with small green ponytails ties) I could see this becoming an amazing illusion with short hair turned into spiky green ‘grass’.
After we finished Ada complained about the pointed front foot of the dinosaur hurting so I took another soft hair tie and threaded it through her hair so it went under the dinosaur’s foot. Since I couldn’t treat the ponytail as normal I instead cut off a small piece of floral wire, brought it through either end of the tie and cinched the ends together so the ponytail tie would stay in place.
While we were doing Ada’s hair we realized the mini ponytail ties were too small and gave them to Zoey to play with as I did Ada’s hair. Midpoint I was told by Zoey that she wanted to use all the ponytail ties so I paused Ada’s hair to quickly create a quick small braid and used all the ties on it. Later still she wanted some of the hair gel so I added a dab to give her her own crazy hair day. She spent the rest of the morning pausing to flake it off.
Finished Crazy Hair Style
Ada loved her dinosaur hair and kept it in the whole time at school; though, when I picked her up, she wanted it off immediately and didn’t even wait for us to leave first.
I love how the idea of the floral wire framework and offshoots could go on to work with many different toys so, ideally, I could later recreate this idea with whatever Ada and Zoey’s next favorite object might be. A lot of toys could be attached by threading the wire through a hole, wrapping it through and around a vehicle axle, or around an animal’s slightly skinnier sections (like the skinnier ankles, compared to the wider feet, on Ada’s triceratops toy). All you need is the wire framework to stay stuck to the toy and have enough connection points to both the toy and hair to stay put doing the day and not pull one section more than the rest.
If your child’s hair is shorter you might wrap smaller amounts of the hair around the wire to create smaller ponytails to hold the wire in place. You’d end up making more ponytails than me but this way they might also have a higher chance of looking like clumps of grass, what I was going for, rather than the spikes I ended with. There’s also the option of bobbin pins and hair clips to help secure it too.
I love that Ada was able to tell me she wanted a dinosaur on her head and I was able to make it happen. I ended up making this without trialing it ahead of time, or redoing anything the morning of, as I knew Ada wouldn’t have the patience to let me do that. Once I was done I realized how completely it didn’t match what I pictured but I’m so glad Ada got to help decide what we did. After I was done, and before Ada left for school, I spotted her crawling and growling and I knew then that I had succeeded.
I’d love to hear from you if this helped you create your own crazy hairdo. If so what did you create? How did it go? Was it better than you expected? Feel free to share your story and/or a picture in the comments below, on my Facebook page, or through Instagram. And if you’re setting up for a crazy hair day I hope it goes smoothly and turns out great!