BRAIDS AND THE AFRICAN WOMAN

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Hair braiding is an ancient art the origin of which can be traced back to Egypt as far as 3500BC. Africans braided their hair in those days, in response to their classes, marital status, age grades, traditions, religions, ceremonies and rituals. Both ladies and gentlemen in Africa braided their hair until civilization stepped in and it became more for ladies. African ladies enjoy braiding their hairs right from the olden days to this times. One may want to know the reason behind the love of hair braiding among African ladies; some of them are listed below.

Fashion Trend; Many African ladies love fitting into the latest fashion trend especially when it comes to hair. Different braid styles come up on daily, monthly, or yearly basis, mostly on celebration periods, and they end up being the fashion trend. Majority of Africans ladies get captivated by such braids and want to look classy and up to date with the hair styles. 

Socialization and Association: Braiding of hair is a time-consuming activity which can be boring, but this boredom is eliminated by gossip between the women present at the salon. They gossip about matters that concern the heart, the society, life and for married women, children and husbands. They share ideas and give solution to one another addressing issues among themselves. Braiding of the hair gives opportunity to women to meet and make new friends also and to strength the bond between friends. 

Hair Growth and maintenance: Science has proven that the African hair would keep growing but due to its natural dryness and brittleness, it is prone to constant breakage making the hair grow slowly and therefore not achieve the desired length of hair. It is widely believed that the braiding of hair increases hair growth which has been proven scientifically to be true because while braiding the hair, blood flows into the scalp and stimulates hair growth. Also, the braiding of the hair reduces breakage, knotting and tangling.

Grooming: The African hair can turn wild and unruly because of its kinky nature and rough look. In order to look decent and neat, African ladies get their hairs braided. This does not just make them look neat but beautiful and presentable boosting their confidence and self esteem.

BY STEPHANIE E. HEMEN

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