In The Community

Latin woman braids the hair of a younger companion against the backdrop of a Caribbean beach.

Hairstyles have always been about more than just aesthetics. They’re a symbol of ethnicity, religion, social status, resistance, and more. Through them, ethnic and cultural groups have been able to reclaim their identities in the past and the present. Hair braids are one of those empowering hairstyles that have stood the test of time.

The art of hair braids isn’t specific to one culture or people because it has existed everywhere in many forms, including Ancient America. Mummies hundreds or thousands of years old have been found wearing braids, such as the Pre-Columbian Mummy “Juanita” of Peru.

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dark skinned woman with makeup,

A hairstyle is not a random collection of knots, braids, and cuts. Hair isn’t just fiber growing from your scalp. It has a deep connection to the personality, sense of belonging, and stylistic expression of Black and Indigenous people. It’s also proof of their resistance, their endurance, and singularity. Indigenous people perceive it as a reflection of their knowledge, culture, and pride. It’s their personality shown through those fibers. Other people see it as an extension of themselves, a way to communicate who they are or experiment with their expression.

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