Why African Braiders Braid Super Tight

Home and abroad African braiders braid hair tight if not too tight. 

For Africans, super tight braids last longer, look lovely, and stay neat. While this may be true, it also leads to bumps and hair loss. Outside hair loss, the painful process has made foreigners (mostly women) into thinking that African women hate on them to braid so tight and careless about their edges.

We were in a conversation where African Americans complained about how they think African women jealous them for their hair. And for them, that translates to Africans hating Blacks, a kind of racism they say.

We decided to share more light on this article. 

It is believed in Africa that tight hair braiding is the best way to go about your hair especially during the humid weather. It has somehow translated into a culture in most parts of the continent.

Growing up, kids get their braids done with the same super tight painful process. They sometimes cry and still get spanked to toughen up. They say the beauty is in the tightness backed up with the “no pain, no gain” philosophy.

As a result, many African women over time develop poor edges. In the Diaspora, African braiders maintain that culture as a business model to keep their clients’ braids tight in order to appear sharp and to stay longer before coming for another hot seat.

They don’t mind to pinch half an inch of one’s hair to get it done. Little children even cry before the process begins. Adults would sometimes make comparisons between braiders, and choose a braider who cares to care about the painful process. 

Cap: African dad helping his daughter to undo her braids.

With that culture established, African braiders fear that less tight braids wouldn’t speak well of their skills. Since they make ends meet by recommendation, they believe tight braids staying longer and neat will always advertise their work to attract more clients.

By Elijah Christopher

Elijah Christopher
Elijah Christopher is a journalist at A New Touch Of Africa, is also a creative writer, a poet, and an IT enthusiast. He contributed to the collaborative poem written in celebration of Edwin Morgan Centenary, the first Glasgow poet laureate and Scottish national poet from the University of Glasgow. He loves meeting people and learning about new places, cultures, events, and lifestyles.

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