I recently changed my Facebook profile picture and got many comments from friends telling me how gorgeous I look. I received their compliments graciously, but to tell you the truth, I half-expected them. It’s not that I am vain or full of myself (at least I don’t think so); rather, I am just fully aware of how flattering plaited hairstyles are on me. In fact, that’s why I had my hair styled that way. I was going away on vacation with a special someone and wanted to make sure that I looked beautiful—all the time—with minimal fuss. (Keep reading until the end for a slideshow of 8 of the latest hairstyles in Kenya.)
The beauty of braided hairstyles is something African women have known for ages. Swahili women on the East African coast, like many other women across Africa, have been braiding their hair as a form of adornment since time immemorial.
Personally, I braid my hair for several reasons. First, as I mentioned earlier, braided hairstyles are particularly flattering (not just on me but on most women). Second, they are incredibly practical. For the relatively short amount of time it takes to get my hair braided—anywhere from 1-17 hours depending on the hairstyle—I get hassle-free, beautiful, neat hair for the next 2 weeks to 3 months (again depending on the style).
Braided Hairstyles Are Always Evolving
Though braiding has existed for a long time, braided hairstyles are far from old-fashioned. I have been braiding my hair for 30 or so years and still, I always manage to find a new hairstyle to try.
When I lived in Nairobi, I looked forward to my bi-monhtly visits to Kenyatta Market to try one of the many latest hairstyles in Kenya. Sometimes, new hairstyles occur as a result of a braider’s ingenuity, when the braider arranges braids in an unusual pattern. At other times, the latest hairstyles are a result of developments in hair, where new types of hair extensions result in novel hairstyles. Whatever the case, the choice of braided hairstyles is almost endless, and there are hairstyles to suit all occasions, from the most mundane to the most glamorous.
Minimizing Hair Damage
Some women are wary of braiding their hair because they say it leads to hair breakage and hair loss. This may occur if hair is braided too tightly, if extensions are attached to too small an amount of hair, or if braids are kept in for too long.
Otherwise, when hair is braided by a skilled braider who knows not to braid too tightly nor attach hair extensions to too small amounts of hair (and braids are not kept in for longer than advised), then all should go well and braiding can, in fact, help grow hair by protecting it from the damage that results from everyday grooming.
All types of hair can be braided—not just African hair. If you have never had your hair braided before, why not try this age-old African beauty secret? I think you just might like the results.
8 of the Latest Hairstyles in Kenya
Check out 8 of the latest hairstyles in Kenya found around the web.
Until the next time,
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Photo Credits: Soko Huru