Braided work of art

Every day, Australian mum Shelley Gifford sends her 6-year old daughter to school with the some of the most intricate hairstyles we have ever seen. It takes her about 15-20 minutes to weave this kind of astonishing artistry. The more elaborate styles are saved for weekends.

And she’s entirely self-taught! Gifford has been braiding for only 2 years.

“I try and think of a new style each night for the following day,” said Gifford, who teaches mothers how to braid and does special occasion braid work. “I like trying to be creative with my braiding.”

According to Gifford, the secret to mastering these elaborate hairstyles is practice and a lot of time spent learning the basics.

“Start with learning the basic French and Dutch braids and practice, practice,” she shared. “When you have this braid right, you will find most other styles are just an extension of these.”

Check out some of Gifford’s styles below and see the rest on her Instagram feed.