Braids are one of the easiest styles (well, maybe not the fishtail braid) that we can do when we just can’t muster up enough energy to blow-dry our hair. We’re pretty sure our mothers had the same idea back in our younger days. But braided hairstyles have also had a huge cultural significance, according to celebrity stylist and salon owner Ted Gibson.
Gibson explained, “In Egypt, braids were worn by royalty or reserved for ceremonial purposes like weddings. In Native American tradition, single women often wore their hair in braids with flowers in them as a way to attract a mate, while married women wore their hair down. In European history, common women plaited their hair in simple braids as a way to keep their hair out of their faces while they worked, while high society ladies wore their hair in more elaborate braids. In Africa, women wear braids in different patterns and designs to show their personality.”
Today in American culture, braids often symbolize youth. Just think of famous TV characters like Laura Ingalls on “Little House on the Prairie,” Cindy on “The Brady Bunch” and even “Moesha.” (Ed. note: This author sported just about every braided hairstyle Brandy did on her popular ’90s sitcom from middle to high school.)
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