Celebrities who rocked box braids hairstyles
RiRi is killing those box braids!
© Getty Images
The origin of braids
Braiding is more than just a pretty or protective hairstyle. The history of braids can be traced back as far as 3500 BCE in Africa—where cornrows were born—and has been an integral part of African culture. Allegedly, it is the Himba people of Namibia who started the braiding practice first and have been doing so for centuries. The tresses were a symbol of power, religion, social position, ethnicity, and were also used as a way to identify each tribe and family background. For instance, the Fulani braids have been named after the Fula or Fulani tribe, one of the largest nomadic tribes in the world and an ethnic group in the Sahel region and West Africa. The different braiding techniques and styles have always been a social art. Due to the time-consuming process of braiding, women would usually use this time to socialize under the observant eye of their children, who would watch, learn and eventually practice on each other.
Just like in Africa, braids in Egypt also indicated a person's social rank and status. For more practical purposes, commoners used to wear simpler box braids to be kept cool in the very hot climate, while children would have their head shaved with a long—braided or curled— lock of hair on the right side of their heads. Young girls often braided their hair into several sections and wore them in a ponytail.
Cornrows and box braids became very popular again in the 1970s thanks to the Black is Beautiful movement, and it's been in the picture ever since, having been adopted by many celebrities. Click through to have a look at famous women who proudly wear the so-called box braids.
CELEBRITY Child stars