What Exactly Is African Hair Braiding?


African hair braiding has a long and culturally history amongst the women and men that are of African descent. Very similar to other types of braiding uses 3 sections of a person’s hair, which are interwoven, there are various different styles of African braiding available today. This hairstyle is a traditional expression of the different aspects of a culture, and braiding is still very popular even today, however, the significance that is behind today’s styles is now much more generalized.

It is not just the hair style was practical and aesthetically pleasing, African braiding was originally done to show off the cultural aspects of African tribes. Different style variations would show various different social attributes, such as marital status, age, and ties between neighboring villages. This braiding skill was passed down the generations and was a social activity which created social bonds.

Hair braiding was brought from Africa during slavery, where women, men, and children were taken to other countries. African braiding has since continued to flourish, allowing people to maintain their identity and culture, and it asserted their independence in a way which was not realized by their owners. Once slavery was abolished, traditional braiding was not as popular, due to the fact most African-American women began to adopt more Caucasian hairstyles.

African braiding started to become more popular again in the 50s and 60s thanks to the black pride movement. And is still popular to this day although it is now carried out in hair salons which specialize in it. Popularity continues because of the flow of immigrants streaming into America, this reaffirms and renews the more traditional hair styles. The braids worn by women and men alike, tend to be more about which braid suits their face, and not about any specific cultural significance.

So if you want to give African hair braiding a try, and live in New York, NY, call us. Call Rama Elegance African Hair Braiding today at (212) 558-9497.