The world would definitely be a different place without black hair braiding in it. Braids are black women’s official summer, maternity leave and bad hair day hairstyle all rolled into one (hehehe).That’s how important they are in so many of our lives!
Braiding is a big part of black culture coming from Africa, even before the days of slavery. Intricate braids were worn by black women as a symbol of beauty and status.
That tradition has carried on to our present time. However these days braids worn mainly for style purposes and are a hit among people of every race, creed and color!
A few of the top reasons you and other women might have to consider braids are:
- They’re easy to maintain
- Less upkeep than wearing straight styles
- Usually cheaper than other styles in the long run
- Weather and moisture resistant
- They give the hair “a break” from styling and chemicals
There are many different black hair braiding types and techniques you can investigate and try out. All these styles can be done by a professional at a black hair salon or you can even learn to do them yourself!
These are individual braids that are done on all of the hair and about the size of a pencil in thickness. These are the most used braided style and have very flexible styling options. Synthetic hair is usually used for this technique.
These are large braids that are usually cornrowed into intricate updo’s with elaborate details. They are usually done with synthetic hair.
Also individuals, these braids are very small and are usually just plaited in an inch or two and the rest of the length of the brain left loose for a free flow look. Human hair is usually used for this technique.
This technique gives one of the most natural looking finishes that almost makes it seems as though the hair is growing right out of the scalp. Human hair is usually used.
This kind of braid is twisted rather than plaited and it gives a different style pattern to the braid but with all the flexibility of box braids. These kinds are also very easy to remove. Straight or kinky textured synthetic hair is usually used for this technique.
As the name suggests, yarn is used to do this technique. It’s used in the same way as synthetic hair would be with individuals. This technique is particularly good if you’re thinking about transitioning seamlessly to dreadlocks.
This is a style that doesn’t use individuals but instead makes the hair sit right against the scalp in whatever row patterns your imagination will lead you to. These braids get messed up the fastest, but also take the least amount of time to do. People usually cornrow their natural hair, but extension hair can be added for length.
There are a few more things to consider before you make a decision on which to choose.
- Time required to put them in
- Time needed to take them out
- Length of time you can wear them
- Amount of upkeep required
- Possible damage to your hair
- Type of hair you can use to do them
- Level of skill needed to do them
Of course, you can control all of these things (especially the price) if you learn how to braid your own hair. The best hair braiding instruction videos I’ve ever seen are from Braids by Breslin. Everybody who uses her videos say that the techniques she teaches are very easy to learn and understand and I totally agree. If you want to learn how to braid your own hair or anyone else’s like a pro they are your best bet!
Once you’ve covered all your bases and you’ve selected a black hair braiding style that’s right for you, jump right in! And hey, if you don’t like that style you can always take them out and start over. Who knows, you may become so good at it you want to start doing it professionally!