Braiding is an art form or simple geometric design formed by braiding multiple strands of soft fabric like hair, yarn, nylon, or cotton. Braids were originally created for hundreds of years, in various cultures all over the world, for various purposes. In ancient Egypt, braids represented the community of women braid their hair to create a festive look. The ancient Greeks used braids to symbolize strength, and the Vikings made braids from animal hair that were tied together to represent their own mythical ancestors.
Hair braiding dates back to 3500 bc when the Egyptians first began braiding their hair. They used decorative items to turn the basic braids into more artistic designs. No one knows for sure how or why the Egyptians first started braiding their hair, but it is believed they may have done so to increase the speed with which they could gather their hair into tighter bunches. The Egyptians may have also applied wax to braids to add a glossy look to the hair and prevent them from sticking together.
The history of hair braiding in Ancient Egypt is almost as hard to find as is the history of hair braiding itself. What is known is that braided hair was very common among the middle classes in Egypt, although it was not worn by the elite. Braids were often worn by women that were involved in the trade of things like grain, fish, and cattle. Women of the upper classes sported braids on their heads during special occasions.
Braiding was often performed before African hairstyles were formed, which means the actual designs of braids varied depending on the culture, the time period, and the purpose of the particular headpiece. Some of the African hairstyles of the time were influenced by European hairstyles. One of the biggest influences was the hairstyles of Africa’s slaves. Although they may have looked similar to the Europeans, they were actually much different, being more akin to what would later be called African American hairstyles.
The typical African American hairstyle of the time was to wear their hair tied in cornrows, with it coming in rows. They would typically do this at various points along the hairline, and some even added a layer of cornrows to the ends of their braids. Braids in Africa were also usually short, although longer braid styles were also common. In many cases, these cornrows were not braided, but rather had several strands of hair braided in a loose style around it.
Throughout Africa, the use of hair accessories became extremely popular. Hats, belts, scarves, and other accessories were worn for different hairstyles throughout the continent. In addition, most of these African American women also braided their hair, as it was an important cultural tradition that was done by elders in the communities.
By the time of the nineteenth century, there had been many changes made to the African American hairstyles, but nothing seemed to come close to the elaborate braiding styles of earlier times. However, with the changes in technology that were taking place, some braids were being made more free-flowing. In fact, many African Americans began growing their own hair and creating elaborate braids as a means of preserving the hair they already had. In the U.S., African American women began braiding their hair as a way to create diversity out of their otherwise identical hair.
Today, there are many different kinds of African American natural hair braiding styles, and these vary from person to person. Some African American women prefer to wear their hair braided in cornrows, and others prefer to wear it loose or in some other natural, braided style. No matter which type of African American hair braiding style is chosen, the important thing is to make sure that the individual’s personal style is maintained, and the individual can continue to look her best for the day.