Thursday, June 23, 2016

In Praise of Braids

So, I live in Los Angeles.  That means, at any time during the year, the weather can shoot into the upper 90s (and beyond) and turn my otherwise normal long hair into a torturous, Medusa-worthy mess.

This is why I seriously love a good braid.

While nobody seems to know for certain where the tradition of braiding hair originated, there is evidence of its popularity in almost all regions of the world including Africa, Egypt, Asia, the Americas and Europe.  Historians say that African braiding can be traced all the way back to around 3500 B.C.

The ritual of creating braids has long been a social event among women in many different cultures, including the culture of my own North American suburban childhood, where braiding hair was practically a mandatory activity at slumber parties.

Now, I'll be honest: I'm not good at the fancy braids.  I see them on others and feel pangs of hair inferiority.  I can barely master a French braid.  On a good day.  (It's hot!  What do you want from me?!)

But even a messy, simple braid is a fashion classic -- and that's what I go for.

(Flowers optional.)

If you want great tips on every kind of braiding imaginable, you really need to check out Abby over at Twist Me Pretty.  She does things with her hair that I didn't even think were possible.  Her blog has tons of great hairstyle advice with gorgeous galleries and plenty of tutorials-- heavy on the step-by-step of fancy braids.    She literally wrote the book on braiding.  Or at least, a really great book on braiding called The New Braiding Handbook.  Check it out:

Here is one of her video tutorials:

While Abby makes it look soooooo easy, remember: there's really no wrong way to do a braid.  Seriously, there are no rules, and the wilder the better.  I give you exhibit a:

I can't tell you how much I love this.

Glamour also has a fantastic slideshow of summer braids.  Check it out here.

And don't forget the glory of Pinterest braid boards.  There's a braid a day for at least three months worth of hot summer days.

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