Hairstyles come and go but one that always seems to be all the rage is braiding in various ways. From traditional African cornrow styles to ultra-modern twisting, braids have been a go to hairstyle throughout the ages, whether for style (Egyptians), status (Romans) or spiritual endeavours, such as was used by the Native Americans.
In some instances, nowadays braids have become quite practical, too. According to Joy Miller, co-owner of Junior Green Hair and Beauty and guest of UIO: Your Hair Inside Out, braids are a great style for playing sports and so on. You don’t have to worry about your hair… That’s my point. Anyhow, Joy points out that braids can give hair a needed break from endless styling, too.
Not that you don’t have to look after braids, you do but it is an altogether easier task. I should know I jumped on the band wagon for my trip to Sri Lanka recently. Having struck up a love affair with my hair goodness knows how long ago, it was an easy, yet stylish, way to look after it in a sweltering climate, where no one, including me would have a clue how to manage it.
Thankfully, braids, rather twists, were just what I needed. When the heat got too hot, I could tie them up and at night when it was a bit cooler, not much, I could let them down.
Though it took three hours and counting to get the style, it was worth it with all the curiosity raised amongst the locals. A conversation starter for sure with both men, who likened my hair to Bob Marley, and women but particularly young women and teenage girls wanting to know how to get the style.
While I didn’t have any fast answers for them, I thought I’d offer a few tips here from UIO: Your Hair Inside Out on this all the rage hairstyle:
- While braiding can be great for the hair, avoid tight braiding and ponytails by all means. It breaks the hair. Been there, done that. Keep it lose.
- Ignore stereotypes! Love, love, love Bob Marley but sadly braiding does not hitch me to the star. Sometimes it is easy to pigeon hole people by hairstyles. Other than perhaps our African heritage, not sure what else we have in common- maybe a big heart. Yeah!
- Give your hair a break from braids from time to time. Pulling it too much in the same style can cause breakage, too.
- Shampoo, even if it is dry shampoo, if braids are worn for a short period of time.
- And do moisturise, key to managing any and every kind of hairstyle.
Oh yes, how to get the style. In some cultures, such as mine, people learn to braid when they are young. My sister did, even if she doesn’t braid professionally. Others check out YouTube videos to learn. Thankfully, however, there are professionals out there such as the one who styled my hair. My best advice is to opt for the latter if you can for the best experience.
Speaking of: the best comment from friends and family and acquaintances I heard repeatedly—the style makes you look younger. No wonder braids have been all the rage throughout history. There is something youthful about them. But here is the thing teen girls, you are youthful, with or without braids. Keep wearing them well.