Looking at the list of hairstyles currently in trend, braids is one of the hairstyles for afro-textured hair with its origin from Africa. The hairstyle can be traced as far back as 500BC in Africa. It has been also discovered that there are some tribes like Himba in Namibia, where different styles of braids tell the age, marital status and stage of a woman’s life. Due to its several forms and styles (ranging from cornrows to Box braids, Fulani braids, Ghana braids, goddess braids, and Senegalese braids), braids can be referred to as one of the most versatile hairstyles worn by African women.
When it comes to braids, time required to install braids is one of the most considered factor; most people lose interest in braids due to the time required at the beauty salon. However, no one can deny that braids have their own beauty mark. As a protective hairstyle, braids help to tuck away hair strands and split ends while avoiding manipulation and reducing friction on the hair. Apart from the aforementioned factors, there are other conditions to consider before making the ‘braids decision’.
Moisturization has always been a very important hair care routine for Afro-textured hair, to help maintain a healthy and well-managed hair porosity. Some hairstyles make it impossible to moisturize the hair while wearing them but braids aren’t one of them. Making braids means dividing the hair into sections, which makes the scalp visible for optimum moisturization and locking in absorbed moisture.
Braids have a way of encouraging creativity and styling in everyone, while some people are fine with their updo styling, some indulge themselves in several other styles of tucking their braids in. Due to the several styling options when it comes to braids, it has become a more dependable hairstyle especially if you are a fan of craft or expressing yourself through your hairstyles and looks.
Can be worn in any weather
One major thing to consider when picking a hairstyle is the weather condition. During harsh weather, it is advised to protect the hair to avoid breakage and hair damage. Braids have been discovered to be a saving grace for afro-textured hair in any weather condition. Depending on how you packed your hair and how few the braids are, air will neither be permitted nor not permitted. It’s in your hands!
Colors or no colors
Now, one of the fascinating things about braids is the way colors can be mixed when using an attachment. In the past, colors apart from brown and black have been frowned upon when it comes to Afro-textured hair but in present times, people now enjoy the variety of colors on hair. Stylists now mix two or three (sometimes four) different colors to give just one color, this color mixing gives great results and adds to the beauty of the hairstyle.
Perfect for frizzy hair
Due to the coily nature of the afro-textured hair, protective oils known as sebum find it difficult to circulate and this in turn causes frizziness of this particular hair texture. The frizzy characteristic of afro-textured hair tends to benefit more from braids than other types of hair textures, due to the hairstyles ability to reduce tangling to a manageable level.
Expensive to make, low maintenance
Recently, size of braids has become a determinant of the price that will be spent while making the braids. While this might be a con, the fact that braids are low to maintain is an advantage bonus people take note of. The lower maintenance does not equate to no maintenance but rather, it means that the amount spent on the hair to keep it in form is little compared to others.
Possible high tension on the hair
High tension is probably one of the major con when it comes to braids. Tiny and tight braids have always been a major contributor to hair breakage and sometimes total damage. The weight of the braids on the scalp and the tightness of the weaving of hair strands can not only cause headache but also unnecessary pull and manipulation of the hair.
How much time is too much time
Even though braids can last for a long time especially due to good maintenance, the time span can also become the sole reason for hair damage. Wearing braids for a long period of time will not only weaken the hair and cause breakage but it will also improve the collation of dirt at the beginning of the extension. Braids should not be worn longer than 4-6weeks after which it should be removed so as to avoid breakage and split-ends.
Breakage around the edges
Braids that are not properly fixed tend to cause more harm than good to the edges of the hair and the hair as a whole. Protecting the edges is why it is advised to exclude the edges when installing braids so as to protect the hairline. Also the reason why people now brush their edges up with edge control.
Ready for any occasion
Not only are braids great enough to be worn to the office but nothing also prevents you from rocking it out with your friends. The hairstyle has shown versatility in terms of occasions it can be worn to.
With all the pros and avoidable cons, we can all say braids will remain on the list of trending hairstyles for a while, which is why it will forever be iconic. One of the most important things is to carefully select a stylist who will not only do an excellent job on the braids but will also consider the health of the afro-textured hair while installing them. This will avoid the majority of the disadvantages listed above while also keeping the hair healthy and encouraging growth.
So relax, enjoy your braids and do not stop caring for your coils!