The origin of braids can be traced back 5000 years in African culture to 3500 BC—they were very popular among women.
The ever-evolving world of beauty births new trends every day. It’s impossible to keep up with all the hairstyle fads that have come and gone throughout time. But one thing’s for sure—braids have been a staple style in the history of hair for what seems like forever.
It’s safe to say the style has maintained a historical legacy that’s here to stay. From classic cornrows and simple three-strand braids to Dutch braids and more, this symbolic style has been a sign of societal status, ethnicity, religion, and more.
With the Instagram era, YouTube tutorials, runways, and popular music festivals, braids have evolved.
Braiding started in Africa with the Himba people of Namibia. These people have been braiding their hair for centuries. In many African tribes, braided hairstyles were a unique way to identify each tribe. Braid patterns and hairstyles were an indication of a person’s tribe, age, marital status, wealth, power, and religion. Braiding was and is a social art. Because of the amount of time it can take, people often would take the time to socialize. It began with the elders braiding their children, then the children would watch and learn from them. Younger children would start practicing with each other and eventually learn the traditional styles. This tradition of bonding was carried on for generations and quickly made its way across the world. It was around the 1900s when braids became most popular around the world. Almost all women, children, and most men in some way had their hair braided.
Europe and the Americas:
Also, braids could be traced to Egypt in 3100 BC; Greece with the halo braid in the first century; Native Americans with pigtail braids in the fifth century; Europe with the crown braid from 1066 to 1485; China with the staircase braid from 1644 to 1912; the Caribbean with modern cornrows in the 1970s.
The Evolution of Braids:
Cornrows with beads were very popular in the 1970s, and box braids gained popularity in the 1990s. Expressions and styles have changed, but braiding patterns have remained the same. In today’s culture, braids are adorned, worn, and praised in many different ways. Men and women who wouldn’t have worn them previously now embrace them. Women are approaching the braiding style in different ways. From clean lines to braids that are organic and messy. Women are taking on a fresh approach to coolness.
Getting your hair braided builds unity and embraces a historical culture.
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