For us, it’s never been just hair mainly because our hair has never solely been ours to begin with. Black women have been told our natural kinks, coils, curls, waves and everything in between aren’t beautiful and should be changed to meet European beauty standards.
Yet, when anyone who is not black wears hairstyles that first appeared on Black women, such as cornrows, Bantu knots or a Yaki-textured ponytail, it’s considered “new” and “chic” in the mainstream media and renamed in many instances. However, these same hairstyles are often deemed as “ghetto” and “unprofessional” when the person is Black.
Are Black women notorious for switching up our ‘dos constantly? Absolutely, but that’s part of what makes us us. Let’s own it.
From bountiful afros to bold cornrows and Bantu knots, Black women have rocked some dope hairstyles over the years. Many came and went, but a popular ‘90s hairstyle reemerged a few years ago when Beyoncé and Solange started rocking it again.
Celebrities such as Gabrielle Union, Zoe Kravitz, Tia Mowry, Janet and even Brandy have rocked iconic looks with this gorgeous hairstyle.
Not surprisingly, box braids and other braided hairstyles originated from Africa, dating as far back as 3500 B.C.
“The box braids we saw in the ‘90s and even today aren’t that different from the Eembuvi braids of Namibia or the chin-length bob braids of the women of the Nile Valley over 3,000 years ago,” explains Emon Fowler, a Chicago-based cosmetologist and cosmetology instructor, who specializes in curly hair, braids, locs and twists.
The best thing about box braids is there’s no right or wrong way to style them.
Always start with clean, conditioned hair and trim your dead ends before installing any protective style.