With modernization and Westernization, the traditional African hairstyles seem to be fading into the history books. As with other parts of the world the styles have names. From what I can remember from somewhere in my childhood these names included plats, weave, mat, shuku all done by hand, and other styles like songaps, tie tie, and puff puff which were done with thick black thread made in China. I don’t know who invented the idea of tying your hair with industrial strength thread. The Lord knows how much your head hurt after just getting your hair freshly done (especially with thread), but all the pain would dissipate once you threw on your school uniform, socks and sandals and was looking all cute like candy at school the next day. If you were lucky, your hair style might last a few good weeks, sparing you from feeling the pain all over again, way before it was fair.
In this day and age weaves of another kind rule the heads of black women and they generally orginate from India, Brazil, Peru, Malaysia and some other destination miles away from the USA, the UK and parts of Africa. It was interesting to find that all is not lost and somewhere out there in the general population are some girls and women who still embrace these traditional hair styles. Here are a few I couldn’t help, but capture. The last one is with an old “mama” with her hair all out in an afro. After seeing the hairstyles and being reminded of how painful they used to feel, her look represents the sigh of relief I used to feel as a kid when my plats, braids, tietie, we let loose. Enjoy!