Kaylee Bliaya, Reporter
Section it, cross over the middle, cross over the middle again, repeat...dang I messed up! You know this has happened to you before, but you still keep on trying to do braids because like Roman Payne said, “A girl without braids is like a city without bridges.” Like the beautiful bridges that make Mullerthal, Luxembourg seem ethereal, braids compliment a person’s beauty and that’s why people have been wearing braids, even since the ancient times.
A popular hairstyle today, cornrows, can be dated back to as far as 500 BCE in Africa. Scientists discovered a Nigerian clay sculpture of a person from the Nok civilization that had cornrows from 500 BCE. In the Tassili Plateau of the Sahara, the same scientists found an ancient rock painting from 3500 BCE that portrayed a woman with cornrows feeding her child. Apparently, cornrows expressed the kinship, status, age, religion, and ethnicity of a person depending on the region and group they came from.
The Romans and Greeks would also wear different styles of braids to show their status. During the Flavian era, women would style their hair with curls in the front, and braided sections in the back by using crescent shaped wire frames. Later during the Antonine era, people developed this hairstyle so that the curls were lowered in the front, and the braids were moved to the top of their heads. While servants, slaves, and women that participated in sports kept their hair short, those that lived in leisure would keep theirs long so that they could twist it into elaborate braids.
Speaking of people who were rich and braided, Queen Meryet-Amun, the queen of Egypt, was even buried with braided extensions. The ancient Egyptians used to style their hair with wigs, jewels, beads, and extensions. They wore them to stay cool in the scorching, hot weather, and to prevent lice. Young girls would braid their hair into several sections and then combine them all into a ponytail. Men and women separated their hair into tiny braids with beads woven in, to give themselves the classic “Cleopatra” look.
Like the Egyptians, men from China would also wear braids called a “queue” braid. These were worn by the men of Manchuria during the last imperial dynasty in China, which was from 1644-1912. To get this hairstyle, men would shave all their hair above the temples, braid move shaded 3 over plain the rest, and then wear a hat to top it off. Men would be severely punished if they didn’t wear a “queue” braid, some men were even executed.
So as you can see, braids have been worn by many people for an extremely long time. Many people adore the new intricate braids that people create today, but sometimes it’s best to stick to the basics. “When I do braids, I usually just do a regular three strand braid because I can’t do anything else. I would like to do french braids, but I don’t know how to do them,” said Victoria Rivas.
A simple three strand braid is fine, but sometimes you might feel like kicking it up a notch, so you do a french braid. “I usually do french braids because when I do regular braids, they look messy. I like wearing them because it’s easier to maintain my hair with them,” said Annissa Hernandez.
Maybe you don’t care about the actual braid, but the outcome like Shalom Hernandez. “I just do a normal three strand braid, and I like them because when I do them at night my hair will be curly in the morning,” she said.
Braids aren’t only for girls because man braids are in right now, so forget the man buns. Some guys like Jose Orendain, like taking risks. “Yeah I want to braid my hair when it gets longer because I want to try something new,” he said.
Braids have been a popular hairstyle since the beginning of time, and it doesn’t look like it’ll go away any time soon. They’re historic, beautiful, helpful, and they can make you look pretty badass, so if you’re wondering what to do to your hair, just go with braids. Be Beautiful, demand Respect, Achieve your dreams, make an Impact, be Daring, and don’t Settle for less because this is what it means to wear braids.
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