Ballet dancers made them popular, long-haired male hipsters gave them a resurgence and now a local little girl and her mom are changing the hair bun game.

“Birdie’s Bun” is an Instagram account showcasing the most unique and creative accessorized hair I have ever seen. The account’s bio: “I’m a tortured bun on top of a four-year-old’s head. My crafter is Charlotte, NC photographer, Emily Renee.”

Emily and “Birdie” are a creative force yet one-half of the pair is still in preschool.

Calling them buns don’t do them justice. They’re art. The pieces are silly, political, festive, and they all make me feel inferior as a mom. If I get a brush through my toddler’s hair before taking her to school, I consider it a win.

Bottom line: they’re genius (mom and daughter AND the buns).

Let’s learn directly from the trendsetting duo.

QCP: What is your daughter’s name? Is she “Birdie”?

Emily: “Birdie’s name is Lorelei Sue. She was named after my late aunt, Laurie Sue, who had an enviable exuberance for life, music, dancing, writing, purple and getting her hair styled.

“Laurie Sue also had Down syndrome, her love was infectious to everyone who was lucky enough to be part of her life. Lorelei got the nickname Birdie quickly after she was born because her sweet coos reminded us of a little bird.”

QCP: How do you describe Birdie?

Lorelei: “I am an artist fairy. I make things for people I love.”

QCP: Where did the idea for decorating your daughter’s bun come from?

Emily: “I had been putting Lorelei’s hair in a ballerina bun for about a year for her weekly dance classes at the YMCA. Last December she chose her favorite Christmas ornament to bring in for show and tell, a pink sprinkled doughnut. Her ballerina buns already looked like little doughnuts, so I made pink frosting out of felt and sprinkles out of beads then pinned it in her bun for preschool that day. Creating that bun gave me ideas for many more.”

QCP: Where do you get your inspiration for the different Birdie’s Bun styles?

Emily: “I get inspiration for Birdie’s buns from her favorite things, holidays, and wandering around a craft store with Lorelei. She may love craft supplies even more than I do! Lorelei loves using the leftover craft supplies for her own creations.”

QCP: On average, how long does it take you to assemble each one in your daughter’s hair?

Emily: “It takes about five minutes to actually put the bits and bobbles in her bun. I do all of the painting, glittering, sculpting and hot gluing ahead of time. I add loops of felt to the back of the pieces so they can be pinned into her bun relatively quickly. I probably spend about an hour making the objects ahead of time on average, but it varies.”

QCP: How long does a decorated Birdie’s Bun last on the head of an active 4-year-old?

Emily: “Lorelei wears the decorations for about 5 hours while she is at preschool and I remove them for her afternoon nap. The buns hold up pretty well, occasionally we will need to pop a fuzzy chick or tiny plastic baby back in place.”

QCP: What is your favorite one and why?

Emily: “Her spring birds’ nest. I had fun incorporating her hair into the nest and she was really excited about the little yellow chicks. When I dropped her off at preschool that day she was hopping up and down telling her teachers, ‘I have bird hair! I have bird hair!'”

QCP: What is Birdie’s favorite one and why?

Lorelei: “The New Year’s Eve Ball from Times Square. I like it because it is so sparkly and has lights!”

Emily is also a professional photographer, which is why her daughter’s hair trend is so well documented. Be sure to follow Birdie’s Bun on Instagram. It’s always fun to see a new bun creation pop up in my Instagram feed.

This story was written for CharlotteFive’s latest channel for parents in the QC, called QC Playground. Sign up for the weekly QC Playground newsletter here.

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