Wrap It Up!

Melissa Kossler Dutton

Before Ava Stammen left for vacation this summer, the 6-year-old was ready for a new look. She wanted a purple streak in her hair, but her mom, Kelli Stammen, nixed the idea.

The Grove City mother promised they would look for something fun for her hair during their stay in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The youngster was delighted when they found a stall at the pier where a lady was braiding and beading hair. She loved her braid so much, she kept it in for two months, her mother said.

"It reminded her of vacation and all the fun we had," Stammen said.

Many of the East Coast beaches have places where tourists can have their hair braided. The braids are a fun temporary souvenir.

Central Ohioans didn't have to go to the beach to have their hair done, though. A vendor at the Ohio State Fair sold a removable hair wrap that mimics the look of braids but can be taken in and out of the hair. Users wind their hair around the wrap which has beads hanging from the end.

The wraps were a big hit at the fair - especially with girls aged 12 to 15, said Tricia Alsup, owner of That's Perfect.

"Hair wraps are very popular," she said.

She's not sure what's driving the trend, other than people want to style their hair in different ways. The wraps cost $7 or $13 depending on how long they are.

"People just want to do a little something to their hair," said Alsup, whose company is based in Oakland, Ky.

Laura Clubok and her two daughters had their hair braided while visiting the beach at St. Thomas in June. The Bexley mother suggested shopping around for the best price and making sure to choose a braid and bead style that would be comfortable for sleeping.

Rose, 7, and Sarah, 5, loved having their hair done, Clubok said. "They never complained about it hurting," she added. "They looked so cute."

Braids will continue to be popular during the fall, said Iris Coker, director of marketing for the Aveda Institute Columbus.

The look, which consists of braiding a small section of hair, can be done at home, Coker said. It's also fun to pull the braid into a pony tail or braid to the side, she added.

This month, visitors to the Ohio Renaissance Festival will find leather and beaded hair wraps made by Kim Kollman of Reno, Nev.

Kollman, who sells his removable hair wraps at fairs and festivals around the world, said they are popular with girls and women between the ages of 13 and 40.

"The only place they wouldn't sell is at a Telly Savalas or a Yul Brynner look-a-like contest," he joked.