WHY BRAIDS REMAIN AN ENCHANTING, ENDURING STYLE & HOW YOU CAN ACHIEVE THE LOOK
If there’s one thing that cannot be denied, it’s that women the world over are bound by the different ways they braid their hair. Braiding can be traced back as far as 5,000 years in Africa, where braided styles were worn by royalty and the privileged. Soon it came to be a universal symbol amongst various tribes as to whether a woman was married.
Braiding was prevalent as a means for keeping hair clean and out of the way for a day’s work in Europe and the Americas, and also served as a means of distinction between classes during the Medieval and Renaissance periods. More elaborate styles were worn by wealthy women, as opposed to the more simplistic styles of the working class.
In terms of self-expression, women in Aztec tribes famously wove fabric into multiple braids ornately wrapped around their heads. Today, the cross-cultural bonds of styling with braids are evident and as popular as ever. After all, the style is tied to some of the world’s most admired figures, such as Frida Kahlo; and who could forget Dorothy’s adorable English braids in The Wizard of Oz?
Plaid gives you some tips on how to easily weave your way in and out of this complicated craft.
The Fishtail Braid
- Separate your hair into two pieces.
- Take a piece from the back of one section and join it to the opposite side.
- Afterwards, take a piece from the back of your second section and bring it to the opposite side. Continue this way until you get to the ends of your hair.
Although this braid looks complicated, it’s rather easy with the right amount of patience. Just make sure to keep your two sections neat with a firm grip while interchanging pieces of your hair.
When you’ve mastered the fishtail braid, create an intricate updo by messily sectioning your hair into six parts:
- Fishtail braid each part of the six parts, and once you’ve finished, lightly pull at the sides of the braids to make them look wider.
- Afterwards do a big, loose french braid with your fishtail braids weaving them in and under to avoid part lines.
- After you’ve braided down to the end fluff out the braid just a bit and tuck the end of the braid underneath and into the nape of the neck with bobby pins. If you have any fly aways, curl them on a low heat and allow them to fall where they may.
The Crown Braid
- To begin, section off three pieces of hair and continue a dutch or french braid along the edges of your hairline, keeping the hair close to the scalp to avoid part lines.Make sure to tighten your grip too avoid having your hair puff up.
- When you have reached the end of your braid running along your hairline, braid the ends of your hair upwards and fasten it into your braid with bobby pins so that the end of the braid does not show. The braid will then look continuous whether wrapped around once or twice.
One of the best aspects of braided hair is that when the braid is taken apart, what you’re left with is a beautiful cascade of waves. You can take advantage of these waves by wearing them out, transforming them into a side-swept bun, or creating an elaborate updo for a high society style.