July 6, 2020

Shelley Gifford on being the interesting hairbraiding mum

Mums and stories features diverse stories across the country and we surely want to reach out to mums living outside India too. This story is of a mum living in Melbourne Australia and she manages an interesting venture called Pretty Little Braids.

We happened to come across a few unique hairstyles she had done for her little daughter and wanted to know more. Meet Shelley Gifford who is a mum to two lovely kids and her daughter Grace has been an inspiration and an amazing support in chalking out a new venture of hair braiding.


“Growing up I always loved braiding. I would take any opportunity to braid hair for family and friends. Back then, I only ever knew how to French and Dutch braid, I wasn’t aware that so many other braids existed.

It wasn’t until April 2014 that I discovered a world of braiding on social media. I found accounts that were solely set up to show hairstyles that mums had created on their daughters.

I loved what I saw and it was then that I started my own Facebook and Instagram braiding accounts. I started following other hair and braiding accounts, asking questions and continuously watching video tutorials. I also attended braiding and up-do workshops, anything to advance my skills.

Grace is 6 and I have a son, George, who is 4 years old. I have a business, Pretty Little Braids. I braid hair for special occasions and I also teach at braiding workshops; teaching mums how to braid their daughter’s hair and teaching hairdressers extensive and creative braiding styles. Our website is up and coming and we are working on video tutorials online for others wanting to learn to try our styles.”

Talking about doing braiding for Grace, Shelley says, “ I braid Grace’s hair most days and take the photo of the style in the morning before Grace leaves for school at 8am. I only have approximately 15-20 minutes on a school morning so if it can’t be done in this time I may try it on the weekend.


The majority of the time I try and think of a new style each night for the following day. I like trying to be creative with my braiding. Sometimes it seems more like art than an everyday hairstyle which I find fun and unique and then sometimes I may just recreate a great style that I have found on social media from fellow braiders and hair accounts. I love inspiring others and seeing their recreations too.

I’ve learnt motherhood comes with a world of emotions. Being happy when they are happy and sad when they are sad. It’s a continuous learning curve of knowing when to help them and when to stand back and let them work things out themselves. It’s the small things that  mean so much, the ‘I love you’, their random acts of kindness, cuddles when they are sick or heart warming artwork. Being a parent is the most challenging yet rewarding experience.

I think overall the fundamentals of parenting remain the same from when I was a child however obviously time has progressed and so has technology.

Grace is fantastic. I’ve been styling her hair since she was a toddler so she doesn’t know any different. It’s her quiet time for TV after she is ready for school so she is more than happy to sit there. For as long as Grace’s hair was long enough to clip back or put into an elastic- I have been styling Graces hair. Sometimes on the weekend Grace will ask for her hair down with curls for a friend’s birthday party or outing and I think this is great.



I’m really enjoying braiding and educating and will continue to do so while there is demand and people enjoy watching and following my work.

Grace’s school requires her hair to be all up. You will see from her school day photos that we make sure this is the case.

I style Grace’s hair damp and therefore don’t require a lot of hair products. I spray Graces hair with a detangler before I begin braiding so that I don’t feel like I’m tugging at Grace’s hair when braiding. If I am curling or crimping I always use a heat protectant spray and finish a style with hairspray to contain any fly aways. “

Is it time for mums with daughters who have long hair to try out a new hairstyle this weekend? Do let us know if you have tried and we will love to receive the pictures.

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