Braided hairstyles can effectively keep your locks healthy and manageable while helping avoid dryness and breakage. You can wear this hairstyle in multiple styles, making it fun and fashionable! Plus, they help show off your personality!
Cornrow braids have long been seen as an icon of Black pride. When Janet Jackson made cornrows a mainstream look in 1990s pop culture, it symbolized Black womanhood’s rejection of European beauty standards and became a staple among Black women everywhere. Braids took on additional significance during enslavement. African people would use braids to plan escape routes from slave ships by creating patterns in their strands and hiding gold or seeds inside for use after escaping to freedom. So when White models or non-Black celebrities wear cornrows and receive credit for making them trendy, we must remember the history. Calling cornrows fads or boxer braids merely trivializes centuries-old looks.
Afros, which feature tightly coiling braids that tend to kink when styled, was significant not just as fashion statements for African women but also as an indicator of heritage, clan affiliation, and marital status. Afro-creation took hours or days of work, so this process served as an opportunity to bond among female African women while upholding traditions. As soon as afros were brought into America through slavery, they quickly became a way for black people to fight oppression. Even after emancipation, many black men and women adopted smoothed locks to fit into mainstream society and conceal their natural texture. If you are a naturalist, don’t be intimidated to spice up your afro with bold colors – make sure that only high-quality hair products are used, as natural hair needs special care and may become fragile over time.
Bantu knots have quickly become one of the hottest styles. They can aid natural hair growth and relieve heat styling, and they look fantastic, too – especially on thin or delicate locks! Emerge Style Goals Gel can also add texture and create a look. This classic hairstyle can be worn with hair of all lengths yet is particularly flattering on shorter locks. The braid style requires less maintenance than others, allowing it to even be worn with a wig! Bantu knots are an iconic symbol of Black culture that must be preserved from racism. Unfortunately, however, this hairstyle has been misused by non-Black celebrities and fashion magazines and referred to incorrectly as twisted mini buns. Still, the Black community has successfully advocated for their recognition through history and traditions.
Box braids are an elegant style for those with unruly locks. Available in various lengths from shoulder-grazing to waist-length, box braids make an eye-catching statement when dyed and look even cuter when combined with Bantu knots and beads for an updated look. Though box braids can certainly make for an eye-catching hairstyle, some argue that wearing them amounts to cultural appropriation. This term refers to when non-black people adopt aspects of black culture without acknowledging or respecting its source culture. Hairstyles often hold significant meaning for their wearers; for instance, braids have an important place in African history, and it would be disrespectful for other ethnic backgrounds to wear them without acknowledging this fact. Dreadlocks and other textured styles carry similar connotations.