The return of the braid
If there is one thing we can conclude from watching the 2015 spring runway shows it is this: the braid is back. Today we are looking back at the history of braids and giving you an overview of some of this season’s best braided hairstyles.
Braids throughout history
Braided hairstyles have been around for as long as mankind and they are without a doubt one of the longest-surviving and most widespread hair trends in the world. Pick any point in history or any place in the world and you will find that people wore and are still wearing braids. Archaeologists have found Venus statues and rock paintings from the Paleolithic period that show women wearing what looks like corn rows and there are countless Egyptian frescos and sculptures of people wearing their hair in numerous tiny braids.
One thing is for sure: people have been braiding their hair for centuries and braided hairstyles have been in vogue all throughout history. And mankind’s love for plaits isn’t restricted to one particular part of the world either. It’s a universal thing. From the Celts and the Native Americans to some of China’s most ancient dynasties and Africa’s oldest tribes, all cultures in the world – old and new – seem to have a soft spot for braided hairstyles.
With literally hundreds of styles to choose from braids are undoubtedly one of the most versatile hairstyles around. Some of the most iconic braids are the traditional French braid and the inverted Dutch braid as well as the ever-popular fishtail braid and the twisted rope braid. But there is more to braiding than just technique. It is also about styling. Are you going to braid only a part of your hair or are you going to braid in all of your hair? Are you going to wear one big braid, just a small one or several tiny ones? Are you going to style your braid into a knot, incorporate it in an updo or wear it in a halo around your head? The possibilities are truly endless.
Spring 2015 braiding trends
Casual, bohemian and laidback hairstyles dominated the 2015 spring catwalks. This season we are seeing a lot of messy braids starting low in the neck or worn sideways over the shoulder as well as a lot of straight hairstyles with just one or two thin braids woven in for a hippie chic look. But we are also seeing some more complicated plaits and new braiding techniques this season. From complex knot braids and chain braids to braided chignons, sleek plaited undercuts and intricate five-strand plaits, this spring season we are taking braiding to a whole new level.
Our advice this spring? You can never go wrong with a traditional French braid or a fishtail braid, so if you are not feeling too confident about your braiding skills it is a good idea to stick to the classics and opt for a simple braid. Plus you can always make a classic braid look more interesting by loosening it up a bit, adding a cute hair accessory or even putting in some flowers. And if you really are dead set on trying the latest catwalk trends this season you can find plenty of online tutorials that can help you become a braiding pro in no time. All you have to do is watch, learn and copy. Good luck!
Melissa Van Roosbroeck is a style and fashion writer.