Braids, so much more than a hairstyle

BraidsI love braids. I love how easy it can be to style your hair using a simple braid. I love how versatile a braid can be – a loose braid and a sundress creates a very different look compared to an angled french braid and a cocktail dress. I love how you can braid your hair whether it’s wet or dry. I love how you can easily braid your hair in a pinch, like when you’re unexpectedly offered a ride in a convertible. Or when you get caught in a rain storm – two quick braids down the sides and you no longer look like a drowned rat.

I love how braiding your hair can be an art form, not just a hairstyle.

And I’m not alone. Braids are in style every season, every year. Braids are perfect for the prom, for a wedding. A braided up-do with long dangling earrings and you’ll be the hit of ball. Braids are perfect for a day on the beach, where the wind and salt water work together to make your sloppy braids sexy. Braids work for most hair types, although it does help if you hair is longer. For straight hair, Ladies’ Home Journal recommends starting with a low ponytail, with a braid at the end. “Leave about an inch at the end, and secure with a covered elastic. Braids look youthful and chic.”

For wavy hair, amaze your friends with a waterfall braid, which is elegantly casual and easier to accomplish than you might think! Based on the principals of a french braid, with a little practice, you can master this one and even add a second line of cascading braids for a more complicated look.

Braids work great for super kinky hair too! Many African American women love mini braids or cornrows in their hair. While a little time consuming to create, it’s a look that will last, saving you time in the end. “The braids are thin and span the entire length of the hair, often adorned by pretty string, beads, or seashells,” explains Kathryn M. D’Imperio, who specializes in beauty writing.

Braids can be beneficial whether you’re planning ahead or doing them on the spur of the moment. Even after a swim, braiding your hair is easy even though it’s wet. Tip: carry a bottle of Mane ‘n Tail’s Braid Sheen Spray in your beach bag. While you’re at it, add a bottle to your gym bag and overnight bag as well. Braids can be itchy sometimes. They can also loosen quicker than you’d like. Braid Sheen Spray can help reduce both these problems. It’s safe for wet and dry hair and has a natural herbal complex blended in a ph-balanced water-based formula that softens and conditions your hair.

So whether your New Year’s Eve plans involve high heels or open-toed sandals, consider a braid as the perfect compliment to your outfit. There’s lot of great websites out there to help you create the perfect braid. One of my favorites is Bella Sugar because it has pictured examples and easy to follow instructions. Play around and have fun!

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