Oh we love braids and so does the whole world.
One of the ultimate aesthetic expressions for women of African descent has got to be braids. The hair style spans back to ancient Africa, and is so culturally significant that the technique was used to communicate different tribes and groups.
In the UK braids for Black women and men are often a look you go towards to be creative and also fuss-free.
From many years ago leading up to today, braiding has prompted a multi-million dollar division in the beauty industry. `High fahion thinks its too black when worn by women of color but are often worn by white chicks to give them that cool look. But now loads of salons, independent braiders, and hair products have emerged. Braided styles like the early nineties “dookie” or “goddess” braids have become a staple for women, adorned by golden beads and other hair ornaments.
Do you remember Brandy, the singer-actresses signature look centered on her gorgeous pigtail or knotted braids. Also Janet Jackson starred opposite Tupac Shakur in John Singleton’s “Poetic Justice” using her “goddess” braids as a cornerstone of her character’s personal style. And todays Alicia Keys who wears them so well.
Throughout our collective memory, we can recollect the seconds, minutes, and hours that we’ve spent in between our mother’s knees, wincing with pain or at the community stylist, having our coiled strands interlocked together, tighter than Simon Cowells jeans.
Today, we can see the visual evolution and versatility of present day braided styles. The look has become more global, high-fashion, and has even taken cues from other cultures blending it with traditional African elements.
Braids are beautiful, diverse, sexy and classic. Here’s to the love of braids and all the beautiful people that wear it.