Butter Braids and Dreadlocks: A look at Africa’s traditional hairstyles

Mildred Europa Taylor February 12, 2018
Himba women styling their hair -- imaginetravel.com

Ask any black woman about the kind of relationship she has with her hair, and she may tell you that it’s almost like a romantic affair. From spending long hours at the salon to having it washed and braided or pressed, to the amount of money spent on the hair should tell you how precious the hair is.

Right from the culture of ancient African civilisations, the hair was entrusted to close relatives for styling as it was believed that if a strand fell into the hands of an enemy, the owner of the hair could be harmed. Hair at the time played significant roles, as it symbolized one’s family background, social status, tribe, their spirituality and even marital status. Communities as early as the 15th century attributed the hair to fertility, believing that thick, long tresses and neat, clean hair symbolised ones ability to bear healthy children.

In effect, early African civilisations came with so much tradition and different hairstyles and here are some of them.

Last Edited by:Ismail Akwei Updated: February 12, 2018


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