Mom's Gorgeous Braids for Her Daughter Put Our Ponytails to Shame (PHOTOS)

braidsMost of us are lucky if we manage to get our kids' hair brushed in the morning before school, but Australian mom Shelley Gifford gives her 6-year-old daughter Grace such gorgeous and elaborate braids every day that the styles are going viral -- and with good reason!

And the most amazing thing about Gifford's designs are that she's not even a professional hairdresser -- though her love affair with braids has been lifelong.
"Growing up I always loved braiding; I would take any chance I could get to braid family and friends' hair," Gifford told The Stir.
As a young girl, Gifford says, she only knew -- like most of us -- about the French and Dutch braid. Then in April 2014, she discovered the world of braiding on social media.
"I found accounts that were solely set up to show hairstyles that mums had created on their daughters," she says. Inspired, she started her own Facebook and Instagram braiding accounts. She followed other hair and braiding accounts, watched video tutorials, and attended braiding and updo workshops.
"I just love learning new styles and advancing my skills," she says. "I'm hair obsessed!"
After seeing Gifford's incredible braids, we are too! Click through to see some of our faves and learn more about Gifford and her little model, daughter Grace. You can check out Pretty Little Braids on Instagram and Facebook for even more.
Images via prettylittlebraids/Instagram
  • Lattice Love


    Image via prettylittlebraids/Instagram

    "I braid Grace's hair most days and take the photo of the style in the morning before Grace leaves for school at 8 a.m.," says Gifford.  "I have approx 15-20 minutes on a school morning so if it can't be done in this time I may try it on the weekend." All that in 20 minutes! Incredible!!

  • Dear Heart


    Image via prettylittlebraids/Instagram

    "I love doing a special style for themed days: hearts for Valentine's Day, Rememberence Day, and Anzac Day; a star with red, white, and blue ribbon for July 4th; Minnie buns when we met Mickey and Minnie Mouse in Disneyland; Christmas trees and decorations for Christmas, and skeletons and scary styles for Halloween. It’s fun and interesting." Indeed!

  • Crowning Glory


    Image via prettylittlebraids/Instagram

    "People always stop us when we are out and about, to ask [about] or comment on Grace's hair. We get told how amazing Grace's hair looks and 'did your mum do that?' We have had people approach Grace in the street saying 'I know that girl,' based solely on her having an unusual braid in her hair."

    More from The Stir: 20 Gorgeous Braid Styles You Can Easily Do Yourself (PHOTOS)

  • Pretty in Pink


    Image via prettylittlebraids/Instagram

    "Grace's hair is certainly noticed by a lot of people at school, dance, and her other activities; their feedback is fantastic. We try to not make a big deal of her hair status."

  • Cross Bun


    Image via prettylittlebraids/Instagram

    "I love that I’m doing something that I’m so passionate about and I’m continuously challenging myself to do one better."

  • A Ribbon Runs Through It


    Image via prettylittlebraids/Instagram

    "It's never really been so much about making Grace look great but it's a lovely feeling to have that special time with her each morning and I think it's an added bonus that she has that personal attention to make her feel special."

    More from The Stir: 15 Creative Braids for Little Girls 

  • Dragonfly Tail


    Image via prettylittlebraids/Instagram

    "Work started coming in when I started on social media. I braid hair for special occasions and I’ve recently started braiding clinics, teaching mums how to braid. Our website is up-and-coming and we are working on 2016 being the year to start video tutorials online for others wanting to learn to try our styles. Things are moving quickly!"

  • Snowflake Sparkle


    Image via prettylittlebraids/Instagram

    "Our lives are so busy with school and after-school activities that I love that morning time where we are all together as a family. George [my 4 year old son] is never far from our side when I am braiding, and occasionally, if I'm lucky, hubby will make the coffees. It's nice to have that time to bond as a family in the mornings before the mad rush of the day starts."

  • Star Power


    Image via prettylittlebraids/Instagram

    "I guess we never imagined [Grace's braids] would be such a hit and such an interest to others!"

    More from The Stir: How to French Braid Your Own Hair in 11 Easy Steps (PHOTOS)

  • Upbeat Updo


    Image via prettylittlebraids/Instagram

    "It seems ironic that Grace has such pretty hairstyles for school and for the majority of time in the playground it is covered with her sun hat!" 

  • Put a Bow on It


    Image via prettylittlebraids/Instagram

    This seven-strand braid would "look gorgeous if she was in pretty clothes for a party," as Gifford pointed out in her Instagram caption. It looks gorgeous anyway!

  • Bubble Wrap


    Image via prettylittlebraids/Instagram

    This combination of "criss cross and bubble braids" is nothing short of a masterpiece!

    More from The Stir: 7 Cute Braid Styles Moms Can Steal from Their Daughters (PHOTOS)

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