With African hair braiding, you can give your hair a rest. It can protect your hair against harsh environmental elements. Hair braiding can give you space for your creativity. Most black women are sporting braids since they are gifted with strong black hair which can hold braids well.
History of African Hair Braiding
African hair braiding is an old form of art that is a part of Africa’s tribal customs. It actually originates way back in 3500 BC in Egypt. Every region and tribe in Africa have its own distinct style of hair braiding. During the ancient times, it is used a way of identifying the tribe’s members. It can also be a symbol for their age group, social status, marital status, religion, power, wealth, and community. There are some hair treatments and intricate patterns that are intended for certain ceremonial events such as rites of passage, weddings, social ceremonies, and others. Aside from its deep cultural significance, it can also be a fashion statement.
From an early age, the girls in the tribes wear hair braids. It is usually done by their elder female relatives, either, their grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters or cousins. They should observe how it is done so that they can learn. They can practice it on their peers or on girls who are younger than them until they can become an expert. It is done as a social duty with no rewards at all. When braiding, villagers will apply palm oil or shea butter or argan oil on the hair.
Hair braiding is a time-consuming task sometimes it can take a day or two. Some villages are practicing informal reciprocity. This means that if someone braids your hair then you must return the favor by braiding hers. As time progressed, hair-braiding was turned over to the professionals. Over the years, a lot of braiding salons have spread in the urban areas of the United States.
Since hair braiding takes some time to finish, it gives women the chance to socialize. In Africa, hair braiding is considered as a symbol of friendship, intimacy and confidence. In salons, braiders and customers usually talk and laugh together. The custom of braiding was lost for a while during the slave trade. However, it was revived by the immigrants who come from Mali, Togo, Guinea and others. The descendants of these immigrants are encouraged to wear hair braids in order to continue this African tradition.
Importance of Hair
In African culture, there is a belief that a woman who has thick hair can bear several children. She can have many riches and farms. Members of the tribe are not permitted to have loose hair because it is a sign of mess, dirt and mourning. They are allowed to let their hair loose only during death ceremonies.
An individual who has a well-groomed hair is considered healthy and well mannered. Women are encouraged to wear hair braids. It can also help them in attracting a partner. Braids can keep their hair away during fire dances.
The hair composition of each individual varies according to sex, age, color, and origin. The hair protects the head from the heat of the sun, coldness, injuries and others. The healthiness of your hair will greatly depend on the foods that you eat. The length of your hair will depend on the DNA of your body. On the average, a human being’s head is about 120 square inches and for every square inch, there are approximately 1,0000 hairs. Nowadays, there are a lot of products that can help in the overall well-being of your hair.
Types of Hair Braiding
- Country plaits are usually worn by women. It consists of hair braids that are laid on the scalp. Each hair section is braided by weaving one over the other. When it’s done, you can have a sleek hair braid. It seems that the hair is cut close to the scalp.
- Cornrows are much the same with country plaits. It is laid flat on your scalp and follows the shape of your head. The only difference is the process of braiding. In cornrows, the hair is woven under one another. As a result, it would look like a raised braid. Both cornrows and country plaits can be accomplished in different lengths. Of course, the thinner ones will produce more braids and time-consuming too. Cornrow braids are very ancient. It started way back in 500 B.C. during the Nok civilization of Nigeria. It has a variety of styles including intricate curves, spirals and linear. In order to look tidy, African men and women slaves wore braids. Braids were worn by famous African American personalities such as Benjamin Banneker and Frances Harper. In the 1950s, Black artists called it an “Afro.” It was worn by Odetta, Nina Simone, Abby Lincoln and others. In the 1970s, cornrow braiding was on the rise. Cicely Tyson and Stevie Wonder sported this style. In the 1990s, cornrows can be seen on hip-hop artists such as Ludacris, Lil’ Bow Wow, and others. It became a famous celebrity style and worn by other celebrities such as basketball star Allen Iverson.
- In single braids, a small section of hair is braided out up to the very end. It can be done is different lengths. Again, thinner braids will result to more braids, time-consuming, and costly as well.
If you are searching for a new look then we have put together a collection of the different styles of African hair braiding. You gotta love this!
African Hair Braiding Styles and Examples
1. African Hair Braiding
With this style, having a natural thick hair is a big plus.
2. African American Braided Hairstyles
If your hair is created for braiding then why not use this hairstyle to your advantage?
3. African American Hair Braiding
Braided hairstyles are very versatile.
4. African American Hair Braiding Styles
There are different hairstyles to choose from such as cornrows, twist braids, French braids, tree braids and others.
5. African Braiding
Braids are already ancient and yet they survived till now. Is there something special about them?
6. African Braiding Gallery
Cornrows are just a casual hairstyle but now they are already part of the fashion world.
7. African Hair Braid
With so many options, braided hairstyles are often seen on black women, men and children.
8. African Hair Braiding
One of the fastest ways to rack up likes on your social networking sites is to take a photo of your hot braids.
9. African Hair Braiding Designs
Sometimes it’s amazing to see what we can actually do with our hair.
10. African Hair Braiding For Long Hair
This is a great inspiration for women with long hair.
11. African Hair Braiding For Short Hair
Most rappers and NBA players are now rocking the scene with their cornrows.
12. African Hair Braiding For Women
There are certain styles of braid that can look good in a particular face shape and skin tone.
13. African Hair Braiding Hairstyles
Black is beautiful.
14. Long Twist Braids
Long braids can give you a “Poetic Justice” Janet Jackson feel.
15. African Hair Braiding for Celebrities
You can create your own hair design that looks convenient and fashionable as well.
16. Best African Hair Braiding
With good maintenance, you can keep your hair looking good.
17. Blonde Single Braids
The blonde and black combo are hot.
18. African Hair Braiding Styles
Adding makeup and jewelry can complete your look.
19. Hair Braiding for Kinky Hair
To keep it looking neat and shiny all the time, wash your hair at home or in a salon.
20. Best Braided Hairstyles for African American
To make your braids more stylish complete it with a trendy outfit.
21. Braided Hairstyles for Black Women
Look charming and gorgeous with your braided hairstyle.
22. Fabulous Hair Braiding Styles
Adding style to your hair braid can make you look younger.
23. Beautiful Hair Braiding Style
Braids are great hairstyles for parties, weddings, and other occasions.
24. Long Black Braids
Long single braids for women are sweet and sassy.
25. Natural Braided Hairstyles for Black Women
This hairstyle can look fabulous in any outfit.
26. Hair Braiding with Color
Want to look daring? Then why not introduce some color to your hairstyle.
27. Neat and Shiny
With braided hairstyle, you can hold it in such a way that its flexible and less stressful for you.
28. Best Braided Up Do’s for Black Women
An eye-catching eyeshadow and makeup that compliment with your skin tone can make your braided hairstyle look more attractive.
29. Best Black Braided Hairstyle
A stylish hair design can bring a smile on a woman’s face.
30. Half Braided Style
The braided hairstyle can be worn long, medium or short depending on what you desire.
31. Up Do’s for Black Women
It’s not advisable to wash your hair more often since you will be washing away the natural oils that are necessary for well-textured hair.
32. Braid Hairstyles Ideas
Braids can look good on women of all ages.
33. Braid Hairstyles For African Hair Side View
Braids can look great when left free.
34. Braid Hairstyles For Long Hair
Updos are designed to improve your looks.
35. Braiding Styles
This hairstyle can work for any season.
36. Braid Styles For Teenagers
Whether you want to go colored or natural black, the choice is yours.
37. Easy Braid Hairstyles
Keep it nice and simple!
38. Hair Braiding African
Using a braid hair spray can help in maintaining the sheen of your hair.
39. Hair Braiding African Styles
Braided Hairstyles are stylish, modern, and most of all simple to do.
40. Hair Braiding Ideas
Hair braiding is exclusively sexy and attractive too.
41. Blonde Braided Hairstyle
You can wear them in black, blonde or any of your favorite color.
42. Lovely Natural Hairstyle
Regardless of your face shape, braided short hairstyles can make you look magnificent.
43. Micro Twist
A messy look can be a great inspiration to most women out there.
44. Senegalese Twist
Braided hairstyles can uplift women’s dignity to the top.
45. Touba African Hair Braiding
Work on your beauty to always keep you look young and presentable.
46. Natural Braids
Adding stylish silver jewelry can complete your look.
47. Unique African Hair Braid
Choose a hairstyle that is comfortable and easy to maintain.
48. Zoe Kravitz Hair Braid
Braids and nose piercing can go well together.
49. Bob Box Braids
Braided short hairstyles are for ladies who are worried about aging.
50. Box Braids
Wanna look prettier and younger?
51. Long Jumbo Box Braids
Braids can stay longer with proper hygiene.
52. Short Small Box Braids
For a fresher look all the time, you can lubricate your scalp.
How to do African Hair Braiding
- Step 1 – To start with, use a fine comb in parting the hair. The width of a single section of hair will depend on your desire. If you want to produce more cornrows then you can choose a thin width.
- Step 2 – Identify the direction of the braid. You can start from the base of the neck and move forward to the hairline.
- Step 3 – Separate a single section of hair into three groups. The left group is A, the center is B and the right group is C.
- Step 4 – Place group A under group B and over group C.
- Step 5 – Continue braiding until the entire row is done. Repeat this on a new section of hair.
To know more, watch this tutorial:
African Hair Braiding Costs
Would you like to get an African hair braiding? If this is the hairstyle that you want to try then you can go to a salon. However, you can also find someone who will do it at your home. It will greatly depend on how thick your hair is and how small the braids are. The best way is to let a professional from an African hair braiding salon do it so as to avoid any mistakes. The price will also vary based on the type of hair braid that you want. For instance, box braids, cornrows, twist braids, Ghana braids, and others. It can range between $150 to $250.