Thoughts On Braiding

FROM THE PRE-SPRING MAGAZINE

Braiding implies ritual, intentionality, and intimacy.

Although a person can braid their own hair, to complete more complicated styles or to first learn how to braid, one braids another’s hair. I have always been interested in the tradition of braiding, of sitting down and brushing someone’s hair like preparing fibers for fabric-making, gathering the bulk of it together like wheat, then finally portioning it to plait. Soft, loose, well-worn braids suggest a lack of self-consciousness, utilitarian beauty, and a full day of work or play without time to address one’s appearance.