Milkmaid Braids for the Non-Dairy Set

My hair has been long (past my shoulders) most of my life. There were a few times when I just felt the need to chop it off, but pretty much it’s been long most of my life. When I was a little girl, braids were a go-to style for the super-active child I was.

For a long time though, braids were not really an acceptable “everyday” style for a grown woman. Unless you were a Dutch milkmaid. And even then . . . Inevitably, I fell into the trap that ensnares many long-haired women: the everyday ponytail.

Rather than go short again, I learned a few new braid styles I could do myself. But, damn that Instagram algorithm for peppering my feed with more new and beautiful braids that are way beyond my braiding abilities!

Lucky for me, Heather (at Atea) is always up for a some experimenting and so I turned to her to come up with a pretty and fun braid style that would look great day or night for going out and/or survive a workout.

(She’s so focused!)

She began by making two milkmaid-esque braids (which look something like reversed French braids). At the nape of my neck, though, instead of continuing to braid or making two ponytails, she maid two buns. Two big, slightly loose, slightly mussed buns. It was perfect. My hair was out of my face, but styled in a way that was practical and feminine. Here’s the final result.

We dubbed them “Dutch Baby Braids” since the braid part looks a bit like, well, Dutch milkmaid braids, and the each of the billowy buns look a bit like a Dutch baby pancake!

Not only did they withstand my workout that afternoon, but I also slept in them and managed to salvage the buns for most of the following day. When I finally undid it all my hair was beautifully wavy and some dry shampoo and texture spray took me into a third day.

Unlike my beach waves that Heather walked me through and shared her styling methods and product preferences, I doubt I’ll be able to recreate this style on my own without a lot of practice. In the meantime I’ll enjoy the pampering!

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