African hair braiding is a popular hair styling technique that dates back thousands of years.
Design as well as style approach has evolved over time, yet the ease and popularity of the look has only increased. Why are more women becoming increasingly interested in African hair braiding? The answers lie in the changes that have come about within the hair industry.
Why The African Hair Braiding Industry Grew
The hair industry is a moneymaking machine. Women as well as men spend billions of dollars in order to ensure their coifs look fabulous enough to be the centerfold of a magazine. Nevertheless, not all products have managed to keep our hair healthy.
As a matter of fact, at an alarming rate women of color began to notice that relaxer and perm products did more than just remove their hair’s natural curl pattern. In some cases, it was literally removing the hair from their scalps.
Women reported more burns and hair loss than ever before.
Some experienced hair loss that removed strands from the nape up to about the ears. While others unfortunately developed complete baldness. As if that was not enough, more products were exposed for harboring damaging ingredients.
Numerous hair creams, greases and conditioners incorporated mineral oil (maybe?) as well as petroleum. Ingredients now known to clog the scalp, which in turn can inhibit hair growth.
These discoveries have led to an extraordinary hair revolution and call for product lines that contain no ingredients that can potentially cause harm or damage to our hair. Has the call for change been answered? If so, what changes have come about to ensure that all hair types can be maintained properly?
In recent times an emphasis has been placed on the development of natural hair products. Moreover, this has led to more women taking a more “natural” approach to how their hair is styled. This, in turn, has led to an increased interest in African hair braiding.
Braids are an excellent hairstyle when transitioning from permed hair to natural hair. African hair braiding also can be utilized to set hair into a desired wavy or curly hairstyle. Most importantly wearing braids protects your hair from damage, which in turn can enable and encourage more hair growth.
Hair braiding is a tradition that has been practiced in African countries for centuries. Across the United States, women from such countries as Senegal, Ivory Coast, South Africa and Togo, have used african hair braiding as a bridge to a better life.
In the 1990s and 2000s, entrepreneurial acumen and the ability of braiders to combine traditional braiding styles with hair trends within African-American culture, meant braiding was a new secure source of income.
African Hair Braiding Tips:
1. Never braid hair too tightly at the hairline. The tension can cause the hairs to be pulled out from the scalp resulting in hair loss.
2. Maintain your hair health even while it is fashioned in braids. Apply hair oil to ensure strands receive nutrients to remain healthy.
3. Do not wait till braids look “seedy” before undoing them. If left for too long of a period, hair can become matted and tangled. You may lose more hair than is necessary in order to detangle strands.
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