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Mum's intricate braids for her daughter go beyond typical school hairstyles

When she's not writing, Claire Gillespie can most often be found wiping snotty noses, picking up Lego, taking photos of her cat or doing headstands.

This mum's braiding skills will make you think twice about that last-minute ponytail

From SheKnows Australia

Mums (and dads who do hair), look away now. Trust me, you really don't want to see what this Australian mum can create with her daughter's tresses.

More: Sweet single dad goes to beauty school to learn how to do daughter's hair

Actually, you do — because it's incredible.

Shelley Gifford from Melbourne somehow manages to send her daughter Grace to school sporting hairstyles like this:

Shelley's skills are so impressive she's amassed 107,000 Instagram followers who can't get enough of her intricate, beautiful braiding.

"Growing up I always loved braiding, I would take any chance I could get to braid family and friends' hair," Shelley told SheKnows. "Back then I only ever knew how to French and Dutch braid, I wasn't aware that so many other braids existed."

It was when she discovered the world of braiding on social media that Shelley realised how much scope there was for more exciting braids. "I found accounts that were solely set up to show hairstyles that mums had created on their daughters," she said. "I loved what I saw and it was then that I started my own Facebook and Instagram Pretty Little Braids accounts. I started following other hair and braiding accounts: asking questions and continuously watching video tutorials. I also attended braiding and up-do workshops. I just love learning new styles and advancing my skills. I'm always challenging myself to create something new and unique."

More: 25 amazing DIY braided hairstyles to pin

Anyone else feeling a little inadequate for sending their daughter off to school with no more than a scruffy ponytail (on a good day)?

If you fancy trying something a little more interesting, Shelley's advice is simple: "practise, practise, practise!" She recommends learning the basic French and Dutch braids to start with, and says most other styles are just an extension of these.

If you're sitting, thinking, "Pah! I don't have time for braiding in the morning," you should know that most of these styles take Shelley only around 20 minutes to complete.

Although she saves her more elaborate styles "for the weekend."

It's no wonder she's got people queuing up to get their hair done.

Shelley describes braiding as her "passion," and on the back of her Instagram fame, she's expanded into braiding clinics, teaching other Melbourne parents how to re-create some of the styles modelled by Grace. She also does freelance hair styling for young girls for events like weddings and confirmations, and is currently working on getting her website — which will feature video tutorials — up and running.

While Shelley is excited about the new opportunities generated by the online attention, she tries to keep it "low key" for Grace in real life and make sure the photos focus on the styles and not her young daughter.

Check out Pretty Little Braids on Instagram for more fabulous hair creations.

More: New hairstyle has women braiding unicorn 'horns' into their hair

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