Braids: A timeless hairstyle
The art of braiding hair is an age old craft and is understood to be one of the styles that African women consider to be a timeless classic. The style is considered an integral part of African culture. It is counted among the most basic and easiest ways to style African, coiled, textured hair.
Braiding of hair can be accomplished with the use of natural or relaxed hair or with the use of extensions to add length, texture or color, these can be used to achieve a complex structure, a simple style or pattern.
There are many different types of braids that are popular among South Africans, the current trends are namely, box braids, knotless braids, triangular braids, bob braids, curled braids and many more. The Knotless braid seems to be the new trend in braids. These type of braids do not have knots situated at the root of the scalp because of the addition of synthetic braiding hair. They’re understood to be a protective style , as they do not tug at the hairline when compared to the ordinary braids. Braids can be achieved with long or short hair. They help one save time, because they require minimal styling and are easy to maintain. The beauty of having braids is that you can make them work with just about any outfit. You can rock the braids with a formal outfit, street or relaxed outfit or casual outfit.
Student, Nikiwe Sukazi, who resides in Durban braids hair to earn extra money, believes braids will remain relevant for as long as African women live.
“Personally I think braids are timeless, they can be braided using different techniques, whether braided the three strand way or ported , using the two strand method and can be rocked by anyone, from any race ,in any desired color and for any occasion. This is evident in the number of clients I have requesting braids, especially the knotless braids,” she said.
Some people will argue that braids destroy the hairline but Sukazi has a tip for that. She advises hairstylists to refrain from braiding from the dry scalp and from combining the synthetic hair too tightly to the clients own hair when doing braids but to rather use the knotless braiding technique as is it is much more friendlier to the hairline.