The History Behind Our Favorite Braids
Braids may be one of the biggest trends in hair right now, but they’re nothing new. In fact, some of our favorite styles date back to ancient times and provide interesting insight into the history of many cultures.Photo: Getty Images
The first depiction of this style in history is a rock painting in the Tassili Plateau of the Sahara from 3000 BC, which shows a woman with cornrows. The type of cornrow provided insight about the wearer — including religion, age, ethnicity and status. Today, celebrities such as Alicia Keys has sported cornrows on the red carpet (even Jennifer Aniston tried a one-sided version recently).
Peek-a-boo BraidsPhoto: Getty Images
The ancient Eygptians — think of Elizabeth Taylor’s portrayal of Cleopatra — adorned their hair with mini braids throughout the head, finishing with beads woven at the tips. Both men and women with social standing wore this style. Today, we play with a much subtler version, like Blake Lively’s multiple mini braids throughout the head. Are Cornrows Cool Again?
Braided UpdoPhoto: Getty Images
We don’t call them Grecian-inspired for nothing. During the 1st century, royal woman would spend their days braiding their hair into spirals around the hairline and throughout the back. Servants, slaves and Spartan “athletic” woman wore shorter haircuts. Today, our updos are less elaborate — with one or two braids around the head, like Salma Hayek’s, or woven around the nape of the neck. The Easy Trick to a Gorgeous Braided Updo
Long BraidPhoto: Getty Images
Long pigtail braids can traced back (not surpringly!) to Native American tribes. With more than 500 tribes in North America, women from each styled their hair differently — some adorning with ribbon or deerskin while others doubled braids over another. Top 25 Braided Hairstyles
Braided KnotsPhoto: Getty Images
Traces of Ancient Celtic braids and knots can be found in any Pinterest search. Around 700 BC in the British Isles and Ireland, noble Celtic men and women wore their hair long, weaving them into elaborate designs. Those lower in the class system relied on simpler designs that kept their hair out of their face. WATCH: How to Create a Braided Updo
Braided CrownPhoto: Getty Images
During the Middle Ages, older noble women were obligated to cover their heads or they would be accused of being witches. Popular styles during this time included braided crowns (like Amanda Seyfried’s), braided buns or even fishtail braids. How to Braid Hair, Better: Tips from the Experts