B R A I D S

The Beauty Of Afro Hair!

Today's post is all about braids.  In this public service announcement, I will briefly demonstrate a few braid options that are my go-to styles.  I prefer to braid my hair with added hair when I am in between "grow out" stages.  Braiding my hair allows me to protect my hair while I patiently wait for a haircut style to change.  #mypersonalstyle is to wear braids that mimic my natural hair texture.  My preferred braid style or technic is tree braiding or "crochet" for some.  The beauty of the "afro hair" community is that we "blessed human beings" are capable of being straight or curly, coily, kinky and braided!  We have the best of all worlds.  Unfortunately, we as a community are not fully aware of our attributes.  Our hair community is complex and vast with cultural textures.

 I was born in the sixties.  I grew up in New York City.  By the time I was aware of myself in the 70's "AFROS" and braids were the main hairstyle, especially in the city.  New Yorkers tend to be freer about personal expression and individuality more over the Southern states where Black people were more ridiculed about their appearance and movements of any kind in general.   Black men and women wore natural hair void of chemicals, little black girls wore braids and ponytails and or our hair would be straighten by hot combs and the boys wore regular haircuts or small afros; rarely did you see an afro on a little girl much like we see today; but afros were normal to see both on tv, magazines, album covers and everyday life.  As of late, we as a community have regained the love and appreciation of our natural hair textures.  Some of us are still unsure so we use the privilege of braiding our hair while we decide.  Some of us seek out a silky curl pattern over our more kinky and frizzy textures in order to feel beautiful and confident about our hair.  Others of us wish for longer, fuller textures much like our fellow sisters and brothers as a sign of security.  We as a community have been made to believe that our textures and our braid styles are ugly and a sign of bad.  We have been made to believe that our hair is BAD HAIR!!!  This lie has been ingrained in our community for decades.   It's no wonder so many of us still struggle with the truth.  We as a community have been robbed, raped and stripped for the use of the entire world to benefit except us!  It's as if we are a battery and we are fully charged and the white community plugs into us when we are born and begins to drain from us and then tries to erase us from civilization when they are done or before we can speak up and claim our rights and gifts as our own!

 There are generations of BLACK people who will have to learn to embrace our hair and learn how to train and nurture our own hair textures.  We as a community have to STOP being jealous of the various layers that make up our community.  Our complexed and layered beauty and various options as a PEOPLE are a BLESSING to our community that only speaks to our uniqueness!!!  This very uniqueness is why the world needs us and takes from us.  When we walk in a room our presence speaks volumes.  No one can miss us.  This presence isn't because we are ugly or dangerous.  This presence isn't because we are stupid or out of place.  This presence isn't because we don't belong or because we wear an afro and or our hair is too BIG.  Its because we have a presence that is undeniable.  It is because we are so intriguing that others have to stop and marvel.  We even amaze our own selves!!!! LOL!!!  STOP hiding or race shaming or hating on your own race and HAIR hating.  There are enough other people in the world doing that for us.  THEY don't need our help!!! When we hate on our own WE help to DISHONOR and DISRESPECT our own community and that helps others to do the same.  We as a community have to learn to love the hair on our heads and stop letting Western civilization dictate our own acceptance of ourselves.  In case you haven't noticed if we don't embrace what we have, there is an entire community of white people out in the world who will take it for themselves and claim OUR style and OUR culture for themselves and then claim that they discovered and invented everything that naturally belongs to the AFRO community!  White people call our style for themselves as being EDGY!  LOL!  This is their best way to try to understand everything that is just simply our community, BLACK AFRO PEOPLE.           

 The very 1st photo is my own hair.  I had just cut off so much after discovering that my hair was damaged on the ends.  I loved the results!  The photo next to it is braided.  The 4 photos on the bottom are also braids.  Four separate times and seasons.  This is my go-to style when wearing braids.  This technique can be done by Tree Braiding the hair or Crochet.  Youtube is a great resource for learning techniques about our hair.  These braids are done by me.  Braids allow me to protect my hair and be stylish at the same time.  I have always worn braids in my hair various times in my life.  It's rare to find a black female who hasn't grown up wearing braids at some point in her life.  Over the years our brothers have also embraced braids.  I myself prefer a clean cut brotha!!!  However I can appreciate the look of some braids and twist worn by some of the beautiful black men in the world.

The very 1st photo is my own hair.  I had just cut off so much after discovering that my hair was damaged on the ends.  I loved the results!  The photo next to it is braided.  The 4 photos on the bottom are also braids.  Four separate times and seasons.  This is my go-to style when wearing braids.  This technique can be done by Tree Braiding the hair or Crochet.  Youtube is a great resource for learning techniques about our hair.  These braids are done by me.  Braids allow me to protect my hair and be stylish at the same time.  I have always worn braids in my hair various times in my life.  It's rare to find a black female who hasn't grown up wearing braids at some point in her life.  Over the years our brothers have also embraced braids.  I myself prefer a clean cut brotha!!!  However I can appreciate the look of some braids and twist worn by some of the beautiful black men in the world.