Cornrow, box braid, and extension braid hair style ideas for African Americans
Hair ideas: african american braid hair styles
African American hair is a unique type of hair. It is capable of taking on many textures, from bone straight to afro coarse. Because of the versatility in texture, style options are almost unlimited. One of the most attention grabbing styles is braids.
Braids come in various styles. They can be conservative or eccentric. They provide long lasting styles that require minimal maintenance. They also, when done correctly, provide protection and rest for the natural hair. African American braids can be done with the natural hair, no matter what the texture. One’s hair may be relaxed, curly or kinky, braids are achievable.
Braids can also be done with hair extensions. Hair extensions come in synthetic or human hair form. Hair extensions provide protection of the natural hair as well as length. Extensions also provide the option of experimenting with different colors.
Braid hair styles can be broken into two different subcategories, cornrows and box braids. Cornrows are braids that lay flat to the scalp. Box braids are singular braids that extend away from the scalp.
Cornrows are unisex as well as age appropriate for all. Males tend to favor small to medium size braids, braided from the hairline to the nape of the neck. Some opt for zigzag and/or circular patterns. These are achieved by parting the hair in the desired pattern before braiding.
Ladies have the option of braiding the hair upwards to a meeting point on the top of the head. They can fasten a fake ponytail or twist hair into a bun. Ladies can also use hair extensions to achieve the same ponytail style.
One of the most famous styles is the “ Cleopatra”. This is done by sectioning the hair from ear to ear in two sections. The back section starts about two-thirds of the crown, towards the back. The hair is braided downward and the braids are continued until minimum shoulder length. The front section is braided from the front hairline until it meets the back section. It is then braided to meet the length of the back section. If using synthetic hair, the ends can be singed or curled using perm rods and boiling water. After dipping braid ends with perm rods in water, absorb excess water with a towel and remove rods.
For little girls, hair can be sectioned down the middle and cornrowed into two ponytails. Cornrow styles are only limited by your imagination.
Box braids are more popular than cornrows. They are more popular because of their versatility. You can convert any non-braid style into a braided style with box braids. The style conversion is dependent only on the type of hair used when braiding. Synthetic hair provides for more sturdy styles such as a page boy or any style with bangs. Human hair is best used for styles that are fluid such as a Doobie or ponytail. Human hair extensions are best fro styles that are beyond the shoulder because it is lighter in weight.
Box braids can be worn loose, in a ponytail, twisted, upswept or in a bun. Box braids allow many styles from one set of braids.
The good thing about braids is the minimal maintenance. One can spray oil sheen on their hair and protect it with a scarf at bed time. Box braids allow one to wash their hair frequently and access the scalp, without disturbing the style.
Braids allow the natural hair a rest from daily manipulation. Extensions also protect the natural hair from exposure to the elements.
But one must be careful not to have their braids done tight. Tight braids can cause hair loss and scalp damage. Also one must be careful not to leave extension braids in for more than eight weeks, or the natural hair may become matted.
Braids are fun, versatile and beneficial for the hair. They can take one from the boardroom to vacation, and from day to night. Where will your braids take you?