Having braids as a hairstyle is not only beautiful, but it is also practical as you protect your hair from excess damage caused by combing and you save tons of time getting ready as you eliminate the hair combing and styling process.
Braiding hair has long been the tradition of Africa with the earliest known practice of hair braiding coming from ancient Egypt. The practice then spread across the continent’s various tribes, and developed into a distinctive art detailing one’s social status, age group and village affiliation. Some elaborate braid styles were reserved for special occasions such as one’s wedding day or a rite of passage ceremony.
According to tradition, hair braiding was passed on from older women to younger ones, where young girls would watch their mothers, aunts, older sisters and grandmothers as part of the learning process before braiding hair. This tradition still continues among women today.
As in the olden days, braiding is a social activity for women because it takes time to complete. Women are able to build relationships while getting their hair done.
There are a number of braid styles that one can do, including cornrows, Bantu knots and box braids. For this post, I’ll zoom into box braids because I love their simplicity and versatility when it comes to styling.
Box braids come in various lengths, and can either be twists or plaits. So, if you have long braids, here’s a tutorial that shows how you can style them in various ways:
To keep your braids looking good and your hair and scalp healthy, remember that the healthy maximum time frame to wear braids is 4 to 6 weeks (this ensures that the hair doesn’t lock or break at sensitive areas such as the hairline) and that dry washing your scalp is important as it prevents infection.
*image from Beyonce.