For many of us, styling our hair is a way to express ourselves. However, Macedonian artist Trendafilka Kirova takes creative hairdos to the next level. She creates extraordinary hair braids that would be fit for a khaleesi à la Game of Thrones. Each look—featuring interwoven loops and plaits—almost looks like a basket or textile weave. It’s incredible to think that each intricate design is carefully created with soft human hair.
Kirova originally started braiding her own hair while she was pregnant with her first child. “I started watching a lot of tutorials and started doing simple braids,” she tells My Modern Met. “I find braiding to be so calming and after a while I started learning new, more complicated techniques.” Kirova’s soothing hobby soon grew into an “obsession and passion” and she started mastering complex braids. She left her accountant and auditor job and began working full time as a freelance hairstylist.
Today, Kirova is an expert of creating extraordinary hair braids of all kinds, from woven fishtails to complex zigzag plaits. Some even incorporate colorful textiles, woven within strands of hair. Kirova finds inspiration almost anywhere, from tattoos to rug patterns. “I love this art form because it’s limitless and there are no rules to creating it,” she says. “It allows me to express myself in so many more ways than words can. It’s also fun, therapeutic and rewarding. Artistic expression is what colors the world.”
Kirova works from her studio, where she practices styling on mannequin wigs or hired models. She shares each of her creative hairstyles on Instagram, where she now has over 230,000 adoring followers. She even has her own YouTube channel, where she gives tutorials on how anyone can recreate her braids at home.
Check out some of Kirova’s hair braids below and find even more from her ever-growing portfolio on Instagram.