In the 1960s, the Afro hairstyle became a symbol of Black self-acceptance and an iconic figure of the Black power movement. 

The hairstyle is also referred to by some as a “natural” particularly the shorter, less elaborate versions of the Afro since in most cases the hair is left untreated by relaxers or straightening chemicals and is instead allowed to express its natural curl or kinkiness.

Some of the entertainers and sociopolitical figures of the time known for wearing larger afros include political activist Angela Davis, actress Pam Grier, rock musician Jimi Hendrix singer Mariam Makeba and the members of the musical groups The Jackson 5.

In contrast, the afro’s popularity among black culture had already started to wane by the early 1970s, the introduction of the afro to the mainstream and its adoption by people of non-African descent caused the afro to lose its radical political edge. The 1970s saw an increase in the popularity of braided hairstyles such as cornrows, among both sexes.

The typically simple, yet often complex technique of braiding became a styling staple for many cultures.

Finding its origin in North Africa, braids were a way to classify one’s status in society. A simple glance at your braided hairstyle could determine your wealth, class, whether you were single or married, and even what region you lived in.

Although several hairstyles that exist today might feel “new” and on-trend, many of them have been the norm in various African cultures for decades, if not centuries. Over the years, these traditional hairstyles have been modified to achieve a more modern look. 

Braids are taking over the charts from runways to celebrity styles and beauty blogs, braids are everywhere! With so many shapes, styles, and sizes, it’s hard to get bored of this trend and millions have taken notice all around the world.

Main Image: the African history
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