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Braids & Beads

Daijas in Beads & Braids

Daija in Beads & Braids

I got an email from a friend the other day.  She’d been looking at the pictures from our Santa Barbara trip, and her daughter asked why the girls wore beads in their hair.  My friend started to respond, “Because they like it that way,” but decided to pose the question to me instead, to learn why we braid and bead.  I decided to make a blog of it, because I am sure that other ladies I know have good answers for this that may differ from my own, so maybe we can all learn something new.

Well, my friend’s first response is the right one from the girls perspective.  They like beads in their hair.  Halle always spends the first several days after hair is braided tossing her hair around her shoulders like she’s in an Herbal Essence commercial.  Daija likes beads because Halle likes beads.  And I like the beads too… when I was a little girl, probably around 2nd grade, I wanted to be black more than anything so I could wear beads.  And I still think they’re cute.  But aside from being decorative, they have a more practical purpose, which I explain to Ro every time he asks me why I put beads in the girls’ hair (he doesn’t like them). 

Halle has to take a bath and have her hair completely soaked and conditioned in the morning in order for me to comb it.  Taking a bath the night before isn’t even an option for her unless her hair is braided.  During the summer when she spends a lot of time in the swimming pool, it’s a real pain in the rump for her to have to take a shower at night to rinse off the chlorine and another one in the morning so her hair can be combed.  Between all that rinsing and the sun exposure, her hair can get very dry in the summer.  Plus, she has eczema, and two baths a day on top of chlorine really does a number on dry skin.  Daija’s hair, while not as fine as Halle’s, is much, much dryer and breaks much more easily.  So in addition to not using shampoo and the satin pillow cases and the satin nightcaps, I braid the girls’ hair to help protect it from breakage.  

Curly hair, whether thick and coarse or thin and fine, is very delicate.  It is prone to dryness, and breaks easily.  The more it is combed, the more opportunity for breakage.  An easy remedy for this is braids.  Some textures of hair can be braided and not even need rubber bands to keep the braids together.  Other textures of hair not only need to be fastened at the end prevent unraveling.  With finer textures, the braids themselves tend to kink in funny directions because they are so light.  I use the beads to add weight to the braids, so that they hang straight down and won’t wound up bent in whatever direction they went during sleep.  Even braided heads can wake up with the bedhead look 🙂

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