Have you ever stopped to think about the history behind the braided hairstyles you’ve worn before? Did you know that braids date back to ancient B.C. times? The designs are intricate and the technique is skillful. Scroll to understand more about the history and evolution of braids!
Braids were highly regarded styles in ancient times. Women would wear braids as a way to display what tribe they were from. Some styles also signified specific religions and cultures one was apart of. During slavery times, braids would be used to hide small grains of food and seeds to survive through the middle passage. After Africans were stolen, brought to America, and force to serve white families they began to use their historic hair methods more innovatively. Braids were being used as maps and passage ways to guide slaves to freedom. When slaves were granted their freedom after the emancipation proclamation they decided to shift from traditional African culture and try to assimilate to white beauty standards by straightening their hair. Black women found it very difficult to gain employment if they were not of lighter skin complexion and had straight hair.
In modern day, braids are still heavily worn and appreciated. We continue to educate ourselves on the true history and cultural values that have been lost over time. Braids have always been a stylish form of art meant to protect our hair and embrace our heritage. It’s important we don’t lose parts of our roots and we keep being Black and carefree!