Hair Braiding Style

Last Updated: 11 Feb 2021
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Braiding is more than a hairstyle – it’s a cultural tradition that cuts across racial, social, economic, and geographic lines. Hair Braiding in Africa Ancient African hair braiding patterns reveal a variety of complex geometrical designs, which often pointed to characteristics of the wearer. Identity Status Religion Age Ethnicity kinship Hair Braiding in Egypt In ancient Egypt, braiding was reserved for royalty and for ceremonial rituals like weddings.

Hair Braiding in America

Historically, most Native American women and children wore braids to signify things: Whether a woman was married or unmarried women was based on the braids she wore. Braiding was also performed for religious rituals. Native American men wore braids with feathers, fur, leather, or beads to prepare for war. Hair Braiding in Europe According to Medieval and Renaissance artwork, upper-class women were revealed by elaborate braids and styles.

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Simpler braids were often chosen by common women for functional purposes – to keep hair cleaner between baths and to keep hair out of the way while cooking, cleaning, and performing other daily chores.

The Braid Breakdown

There are hundreds of different types of braids, including French braids, English braids, Dutch braids, Swiss braids, multi-strand braids, crown braids, etc. – all of them “twists” on the traditional style. Currently, 11 states have imposed a specialized license for hair braiders, and seven states require braiders to obtain a full cosmetology license.

Ten states specifically exempt hair braiders from cosmetology licensing laws, and in the other 22 states, the law remains silent on the issue. We loved when Dorothy brought her braid to Oz, but no movie has made braids more famous than “Return of the Jedi” did. Who could resist Princess Leia’s many braided do’s? When your hair is divided into even rectangular or triangular sections all over your head, with the hair in each section twisted together and wound into a protruding knot, the style is known as African knots or Zulu knots in the U. S.

In Africa, however, the style is called “chicken poop. ” In the 2005 playoffs, NBA forward Vladimir Radmanovic made more headlines for his hair than for his performance on the court. His reason for going braided? He just wanted to get the hair out of his eyes. According to South African research published in the British Journal of Dermatology in 2007, tight hair braiding, especially when combined with hair-straightening chemicals, can lead to permanent bald patches and severe acne on the scalp.

Yikes! In 2010, a 4-year-old was suspended from pre-K in his suburban Dallas school district because his hair was too long. The school board’s compromise that he could braid his hair and pin it up? REJECTED.

Hair braiding is an ancient art, practiced by the Ancient Egyptians as long ago as 4000 BC. Today it has become a “hot “ fashion trend with many styles, weaves and colorful ornamental beads.

Not only women but also men have embraced this beautiful art, creating color and style beyond our ancestors wildest dreams. How and where did braiding begin? Hair braiding, as we know it today has its origins in West Africa.

The different and often complex designs signify the social status, age group and village a girl has come from. The braid patterns are made up of different geometrical patterns and can become quite complex for special occasions, such as marriages. Braiding is traditionally a social art.

Because of the time it takes to braid hair the women took time to socialize while braiding and having their hair done. It begins with the elders making simple knots and braids for younger children. Older children watch and learn from them, start practicing on younger girls and eventually learn the traditional designs. Here in America you see mothers and grandmothers braiding and putting colorful beads in little children’s hair. This carries on a the tradition of bonding between elders and the new generation. The difference between ancient and modern braiding: Nowadays, as well as the colorful beads and intricate designs of our ancestors, hair weaving has become part of the traditional braiding technique. This opens the door to a whole new assortment of styles and looks.

The Hip Hop industry has taken hair braiding and weaving to a whole new level of popularity and style, allowing people from all walks of life to enjoy creating a fashion statement with hair braids and weaves. Hair weaves range from real hair to a vast array of different colors and textures made from synthetic hair.

The traditional beads are also being developed into all sorts of shapes and sizes.

Hair Care for Braiding and Hair Weaving

When you decide to braid your hair or use hair weaves, your hair needs to be in good condition, or you will experience breakage and damage.

Your hair should have elasticity. This is a natural condition of hair fibers and will be present in all hair that has not been chemically treated. If you have used relaxers, bleaching, or perms, these chemicals make your hair dry and brittle, it is very important to use good conditioners on a regular basis to restore your hair’s natural elasticity.

Be sure to discuss this with your stylist, so that you can enjoy braiding styles without damaging your hair. Hair braiding and weaving can be quite costly, so it is essential to go to stylists who are experienced and knowledgeable. Make an appointment with your stylist for a consultation, before you have your hair done. Discuss what style is best for you, the cost and how to maintain your hair braids or weave. Proper care of your hair when braiding and using hair weaves will prevent damage to your hair and scalp. Hair braiding is one of the most versatile ways to style your hair and truly make yourself unique, with this beautiful and ancient art form.

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Hair Braiding Style. (2017, Jan 19). Retrieved from

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