Thursday, September 11, 2014

It's In My/Your Hands from the Ancestors: Natural Is Cool Enough Braiding Skills!

  When I was a young woman, I decided to braid my own hair, adding extensions no less.  I had gone to a place in Harlem to get my hair braided and returned home and told my mother that I thought next time I could do it myself.  She said to me with great ease and confidence that I could do it and she provided one reason.  She looked at me and said "It's in your hands baby." When she said that to me, I knew instantly what she meant.   The referral to my ancestry as a woman of African descent was clear in her statement.  I was so excited, and to make a long story short, I found some of my dolls that were in storage, got some hair and started braiding with a little guidance from my mother.  It came to me so naturally.  From that day on, I never went to anyone else to braid my hair, I braided hair for others and to this day, I continue to braid my daughter's hair.  She is an adult, in a Doctoral program and cares for her own hair,  but when it comes to braids, I am happy to say that she comes to me, and that deep down inside she knows that the process of doing so is also in her hands.

    Now as for braids, using extensions, I feel very strongly that the approach is natural.  Some disagree and find this surprising because of my adamant views about weaves and wigs and unnatural hairstyles in general.  But I differ when it comes to braided extensions.  The reason is because I know that the process of braiding, using extensions, goes back to early African history and was a key approach to hair styling for African people for many reasons.  So in this post, I am not going to get into the historical facts, but will simply state that in terms of braids and Black people, including the use of extensions, the approach is an embracement of  Natural Is Cool Enough (N.I.C.E.).  So below, are pictures of the process of doing so with my beautiful daughters hair, naturally!

Dangling the braids in Hot Water to seal the ends...

The lovely finished product!  That's N.I.C.E!
Check out her blog at:  http://www.ivyrosejourney.blogspot.com/2014/09/stepping-up-to-mic.html

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