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Today the whole world celebrates the beauty of diversity where cultural identity has become very important. One such beautiful aspect of cultural identity is hairstyles, which create a variety of history, traditions, and personal choices. Hairstyles often go beyond boundaries, shaping trends and promoting a sense of identity and belonging. Among numerous hairstyles, box braids give a classic look, originating from African cultures and going beyond borders to captivate hearts worldwide.
Box Braids are a popular type of Mexican Hair braiding. It is not just a hairstyle rather it is a form of art. The hairstyle with its rich historical roots has garnered widespread popularity among different communities around the globe. However, when it comes to the question of whether Mexicans can wear Box braids, the talk becomes more touching upon cultural appropriation, appreciation, and empowerment. So, Can Mexicans Wear Box Braids? This article will discover the connection of Box braids with Mexican culture. Starting from the origins, and the deep-rooted cultural practices the Mexicans symbolize, I will help you to find a balance between appreciation and appropriation of box braids for Mexicans.
The Origin of Braids
Braids have its origin in African culture. Its history originates almost three millennia when pre-colonization African tribes made braids on hair as a reflection of their personality, wealth, and social status. The history dates back to 3500 BC. During the next centuries, some slaves used the hairstyle as a reflection to survive. They did it in the form of designs of braids which could take them one step closer to freedom. African American women put a lot of effort to keep their hairstyle and stick to their traditions. At the time of Emancipation, there was a tendency to leave all the memories of such a tough period. Black people moved to New York and Chicago and carried out the jobs out there. Since that time, braids were considered a sign of backwardness. For fitting with the rest of society, Blacks were forced to straighten their plaits and cornrows. Even in today’s culture braids are worn, and appreciated in many ways. People now prefer less perfection and more relaxation while wearing braids. Braids are a regular hairstyle that is used as a protective style rather than merely for fashion.
Can Mexicans Wear Box Braids?
Braids are taken as a part of Mexican culture. It has been prevalent since a long time ago among the ancient Mexican tribes and continues in this modern period. The Mexican irrespective of their gender wear braids. It is a part and parcel of traditional Mexican art. The traditional Mexican braids don’t include hairstyles like box braids. While Mexicans had a deep connection with braids for these facts.
- Mexican women had long hair which would come in their way as a barrier since they used to spend most of their days outdoors.
- Mexican climate is extremely hot and braids became a perfect way for them to secure hair and give protection from extreme heat.
The simple answer to the question, “Can Mexicans Wear Box Braids” is yes. Women with thick or thin hair can create stunning Latina box braids. They do it by sectioning off various sections of their hair. Thin hair will make your locks appear thicker, while thick hair may help keep your locks enclosed for a fashionable and elegant look. Box braids are so common in Mexican culture, but still, it is not considered to be culturally appropriate. The braids have a rich history and have been a part of cultures over the world. But because of being a unique hairstyle for Black people, box braids turn out to be culturally inappropriate.
In the end, Mexicans like any other race are free to wear any hairstyle of their choice. They just need to pay proper respect to the historical significance of box braids and the deep struggle of Black people regarding their hairstyle.
Why is Wearing Box Braids Culturally Inappropriate for Mexicans?
Cultural exchange is a nice idea in this globalized world. While it often comes at the expense of marginalized groups. If you are not an African, wearing box braids on your hair can be considered culturally inappropriate for Mexicans. It is because of the following reasons.
- Special Symbolic Meaning: Box braids hold a special symbolic meaning which is of African culture. The hairstyle is a great way for African women to reclaim the cultural symbol which was banned for decades. While holds no symbolic meaning for Mexicans.
- A Lot of Trauma: Many Black people discontinued the wearing of box braids due to shame and mourning after Emancipation. But the Mexicans didn’t pass through the trauma of breaking cultural ties in the way blacks did.
- Easily Switching Off: The Mexicans can wear box braids overnight and then remove the hairstyle the next day, unlike the Black people. While the Blacks cannot easily switch off from their culture so easily.
- Culture, Identity, and Equality: Other cultures like Mexican culture could criticize the culture, symbol as well as the identity of Blacks. Black people had fought for equality which would be hard for others to prioritize.
9 Amazing Braids for Mexican People
There are 9 amazing braids hairstyles other than box braids that the Mexicans should try out! Let’s know in detail about the hairstyles.
1. Single Braids
This is the most common braid which Mexican women wear. The style is easy and fast to do which keeps you cool in the scorching heat. It is a single, long braid that used to fall the backside. The hairstyle look was considered as one of the staples and as a reflection of that, many women still wear it. The single braids being versatile can be worn on both thin and thick hair. This basic plait offers countless opportunities for creativity. It’s a blank canvas waiting for you to create your design, from barrettes to bows. Colorful ribbons or flower weaving over the length of your box braids.
2. Double braids
Double braids are another hairstyle that never goes out of style and which Mexicans regularly wear. For starting the hairstyle, they would part their hair in the center of the head. After that, they created a long, tidy plait by braiding the hair on both sides. Double braids is ideal for keeping layered hair in check while you go somewhere or exercise. In a similar way to the single braid, the braids frequently had ribbons or flowers woven into those to add a splash of color.
3. Side Braids
This side braided hairstyle consists of four medium braids with bright pink highlights. For a cool appearance, you must start the first braid on one side at the level of the temple. Redheads from Mexico will look gorgeous in this hairstyle.
4. Crown Braids
This hairstyle has similarities with double braids. For creating the hairstyle, part the hair straight down the middle, and then the hair on either side results in braids. After that, you need to wrap the box braids around the head. It will gradually form a halo and well secure the braids in place. The braids are decorated with bright colored flowers or ribbons which gives an attractive hair look. If you are tired of wearing long hair down, create loose and thick Mexican crown braids with faux flowers on the top. This hairstyle is ideal for formal events or laid-back beach weekends.
5. Radiant Ribbon Braids
A traditional yet classic choice is two low braids. You can brighten up the braids by adding rainbow ribbons to the plait. There are several ways to bring variation to your appearance, including the quantity and color of ribbons to match any clothing, whether formal or casual. Double knot a ribbon at the base of one, two, or all three strands of the braid to achieve this look. Then weave the strands together as usual. As you twist, make sure the ribbon stays on top of the strand. If not, the top strands of the braid will hide it.
6. Modern Space Buns
Modern Space Buns is not a culturally significant braid. It has upside-down braids as accents, which are excellent for managing loose hair and keeping those off the back of your neck. Try making tiny braids out of each strand of hair if your hair is very long or thick, then weaving those all together to form a larger braid. You should set your space buns with bobby pins and hair ties, and then embellish each with lovely, matching scrunchies to give extra hold and a splash of color to the hairstyle.
7. Looped Ribbon Braids
Looped ribbon braids is very famous among little girls. It is a perfect choice for a night party. For creating the hairstyle, you need to start with low pigtails. Tie those close to the top of your ear. Make two strands of hair into a thin ribbon with metallic or glitter accents. Then make a braid into the ends of your hair. Trim the ribbon carefully to match the length of the rest of the hair. The braid should then be looped up and tucked beneath the ponytail holder at the braid’s base. Finally, use bobby pins to secure the hairstyle.
Chingons are a special type of bun that can be created on both loose or braided hair. Gather the hair and make a twist to give the shape of a bun. Wear the braids at the base of the neck or on the top of the head. Finally, secure the hairstyle with hair clips. You can also decorate it with flowers or colorful ribbons.
9. Side Pancake braid
Side pancake braids is ideal for excessively thick hair. To achieve a unique aesthetic that doesn’t look overly complex, it carefully embraces the unruliness. Create a single, broad braid over your shoulder and, beginning at the bottom, carefully pull each part to loosen and smoothen it. Any plait type can benefit from using this method to give it a more casual appearance.
1. Can Mexicans have dreadlocks?
Yes. Mexicans can have dreadlocks. There is no issue of cultural appropriation as dreadlocks are not any hairstyle of specific cultures like African, Sub-Saharan, or West African blacks.
2. Are box braids healthy?
Box braids are typically created to preserve the texture of your natural hair. While if the braids knots are made too tightly, it has increased chances of causing breakage or hair loss. So, there are no negative effects if you maintain your box braids for a reasonable amount of time with loose knots.
3. Is box braids fake hair?
Box braids are single plaits that are sectioned by little squared boxes or parts. The braids can be of any length or width. While maximum women usually add synthetic or natural hair to the braid for getting length, thickness, and fullness.
4. Is it OK to shower with box braids?
It is a very common question and the answer to the question is yes. It is ok to shower with box braids.
5. Why do Mexicans put ribbons in hair?
Mexicans putting ribbons in their hair is very common. They do so for managing the unruly hair while cooking, cleaning, and doing other chores. Ribbons are a good hair accessory to maintain hygiene and keep hair in place.
The unique box braids hairstyle has transformed the modern world and its sense of community. Box braids include Latina box braids which Mexicans create by sectioning off various sections of their hair. So, Mexicans are free to create the hairstyle box braids of their choice while they have to pay proper respect to the historical identity and significance of box braids.
You have already come to know about the potential of adopting Box braids in the Mexican context. As cultures evolve, there will be talks regarding cultural expressions. Box braids are considered to be culturally inappropriate for non-black people due to a few valid reasons. While Mexicans can try out 9 amazing braids hairstyles other than box braids namely single braids, double braids, side braids, crown braids, radiant ribbon braids, etc.
- Braids have its origin in African culture. Its history originates almost three millennia when pre-colonization African tribes made braids on hair as a reflection of their personality, wealth, and social status.
- The traditional Mexican braids don’t include hairstyles like box braids.
- Mexican women with thick or thin hair can wear Latina box braids paying proper respect to the historical significance of box braids.
- Braids have a rich history and have been a part of cultures over the world. But because of being a unique hairstyle for Black people, box braids turn out to be culturally inappropriate for Mexicans to wear.
- Wearing box braids is culturally inappropriate for Mexicans as it holds special symbolic meaning, Blacks went through a lot of trauma, and Mexicans easily switch off and criticize the culture, identity, and equality for which the Blacks fought.
- Mexicans can try out braids other than box braids, such as single braids, double braids, side braids, crown braids, radiant ribbon braids, modern space buns, etc.