So for a while there I had braids. The braids to end all braids. Big, chunky, long, box braids. And I loved them! At 28 I got braids with hair added for the first time ever. While I loved them, I must admit a lot of hair shed when I removed them and combed my hair out. I was surprised by this since they were so easy to take out. But then again, my hair sheds like crazy period, so going weeks without combing or brushing it meant there was a lot that needed to be shed. For this reason, they’re probably not something I’ll get done again.
But while they were in I did feel real “round the way.” As a kid, my cousins from DC and New York often had braids or cornrows. I stuck to flat twists, and didn’t get into those until high school. They were my style of choice because one, I like updos, and two, I did not want to add hair. Both of these remain true of me today. I still like updos and I still avoid adding hair.
There are a couple of reasons, the first and most important one being my mom. She didn’t know how to cornrow and why would she? She never wore her hair in braided styles and she had daughters what that “good” hair. Both my sister and I possessed soft, thick, long, curly, black hair. My mom hated washing it and she should have, it was a thankless job. But it was easily manipulated into pig tails and puffs tamed down by barrettes on the end and Pink Lotion. So no braids for us. We simply rocked plaits.