All Articles Tagged "box braids"

Working While Black: When Your Boss Isn’t “Comfortable” With You Wearing Box Braids

November 5th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
Share to Twitter Email This



When I think of hairstyles that one might deem a little too…let’s just say “colorful,” I think mohawks. I think extreme dye jobs. I think any style that sits up too high, is too bright or is just way too distracting and would probably be frowned upon in the workplace.

But what about box braids?

If you ask me, box braids, which can be pulled up, worn down or twisted and turned into a whole host of tame styles, are not distracting at all. They should be suitable for any workplace. My sister is currently wearing some, and she’s a physical therapist. And you couldn’t keep my other sister from wearing them at the prestigious accounting firm she works for.

But according to my friend’s boss, they’re inappropriate.

My friend doesn’t work in your typical office environment. In fact, she doesn’t work in an office at all. She works in a showroom for an anal-retentive woman who sells and creates luxury home decor. Some clients come in to order things, and others call in, but my friend is the one who usually has to deal with all parties. Does she need to look well put together? Sure. Do box braids fit an interior design showroom? I guess not.

While chatting near the end of the workday last week, my friend told her boss that she was ready for a change in hairstyle. She regularly wears a TWA that is cut low on the sides, and when she wants a little excitement, my friend throws on a wig. But to prepare for the cold weather, she showed her boss a picture of some braids and said she was thinking of trying something different. Not braids in a bright color, just something simple. Her boss’ response?

“Ummm. I’m not comfortable with that.”

Comfortable? Why wouldn’t one be comfortable with some simple braids?

And that’s what my friend was trying to figure out. Feeling a bit slighted by her employer’s statement, a boss she has hasn’t always had a good rapport with, my friend turned up her eyebrow and simply said, “Okay then.”

Realizing that she may have said something ignorant, her boss tried to clean up her words. But she only made things worse by insulting my friend’s appearance and saying she didn’t want her to even try the style because it wouldn’t look right.

“I don’t know. It’s just that, you know, I don’t know if it would look the way you’re expecting. Those kinds of styles are more for people with long, slim faces. Yours is a little wider. They might drown you out. You know what I mean?”

Despite a sorry attempt to clean up her statement, my friend’s boss never changed her tune to say that the braids would be okay for the showroom. Nor did she try to explain why the style wouldn’t work for selling fancy pillows and such. But as the owner of the interior design business, that’s just what she gets to say and do.

Still, it sucks. And it’s somewhat discriminatory.

Discriminatory in the same way that it was prejudiced for the Pentagon to try and tell female service members that they couldn’t wear twists, “thicker braids” and most other popular protective hairstyles worn by women of color. While it makes sense if the styles are keeping the helmets of service members from fitting properly, if they’re not, it’s just flat-out discriminatory. Hence, the uproar over the statute, and hence, the reason the U.S. Army reversed their decision on Regulation 670-1.

My friend never said that she planned to do anything elaborate with the braids, and if her boss was worried, she could have at least told her to try and keep them pulled back and neat. But to just shut her down and not allow braids because they make the woman “uncomfortable”? Because they don’t fit with what one considers normal? Because they might distract or bother stuffy, wealthy White folks coming in to buy equally stuffy products? That’s unfair. And it’s an unfair reality for way too many people.

Protective ‘Dos That Pack A Punch: Braided Styles To Try This Summer

June 17th, 2015 - By LaKrishia Armour
Share to Twitter Email This

#natural for two years. #hair #healthy #growing #braids or #senagalesetwist ???? #love #pic

A photo posted by Milani/Ms. Jones (@miss_milani) on

Summer weather means summer travel, which also means summer hair. And who wants to pack a separate bag of hair supplies for a getaway? In fact, who wants to deal with their hair while on vacation? Braids and twists are easy, they keep your hair protected while you’re on the go, and they provide you with the opportunity to try all kind of styles. They are a must!

Take a look at these hairstyles to inspire your braided and twisted ‘dos this summer season.

Make it Werk: 15 Fab Ways To Style Your Long Box Braids

August 26th, 2014 - By Rich
Share to Twitter Email This

The long box braids trend is on fire right now and we totally get it! These lengthy thick plaits are not only super versatile but they often create a very fashion-forward, exotic appeal to the wearer. If you happen to be rocking these braids right now or heading to the salon soon, get ready to screenshot some of these ultra fab ways to rock ’em!

All images courtesy of individuals on Pinterest

Make it Werk: 15 Fab Ways To Style Your Long Box Braids

Whip It!: 10 Stars Rock The Extra Long Box Braids Trend

July 18th, 2014 - By Rich
Share to Twitter Email This

Extra long box braids have become quite trendy in recent seasons and we gather it’s because they make an instant statement as well as give the hair a break from everyday styling. Not to mention that everyone is still rocking a top bun like Ms. Bey. Speaking of Beyonce, see how she and countless others rock this 90s classic trend.

Whip It!: 10 Stars Rock The Extra Long Box Braids Trend

Try These: 13 Colorful Box Braid Styles for Summer Fun

June 4th, 2014 - By Rich
Share to Twitter Email This

Anything but black. This summer, try a little color in your protective braiding hairstyle. Ever since singers like Reggae queen Patra and Janet Jackson rocked their long and large box braiding hairstyles it has continued to become increasingly popular. Director John Singleton recently told Essence magazine how he came up with the concept for Jackson to wear braids in Poetic Justice.

“That was a collaboration between myself, Janet, [dance choreographer] Fatima Robinson and a dancer named Josie Harris. Josie had the braids in Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time” video, which I directed. I brought her and Fatima and a couple of other dancers over to hang out with Janet and they all became friends. I said, “Why don’t we try and do Janet’s hair like Josie’s hair?” We got the hairstyle from Harlem and just put it in a West Coast movie.”

Browse these images for color inspiration!

Try These: 13 Colorful Box Braid Styles for Summer Fun

That Baby Hair Is Laid! Celebrity Men Who Spend More Time In The Shop Than Women

September 5th, 2013 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
Share to Twitter Email This

We are all very aware of the type of time, money, and care that women put into their hair. But every once in a while, you’ll find a man, especially in Hollywood, who works just as hard on his mane if not harder. Way back in the day, James Brown and Little Richard kept their hair very laid despite sweating up a storm in their shows, and since then, many men have rocked hairstyles that could put some of us ladies to shame. Even box braids. BOX BRAIDS. Don’t believe me? Check out some famous fellas whose hair always stays (or stayed back in the day) laid. Sometimes a little too laid…

Milli Vanilli

men's hair

Say what you want about their past singing abilities (or lack thereof), but Milli Vanilli and their box braids of yesteryear were killing the game. When they first were signed, the advance they were given by their manager was used to secure some of the most unique clothing, and some of the freshest microbraids and box braids money could buy. And while their musical legacy is marred in lip-synching scandal, they definitely set a trend with their hair. Too bad it really didn’t last though. There’s something not all that masculine about a man whipping around the same braids as me…*Kanye shrug*

Miss Keri Baby Shows Off New Flowing Box Braids In ATL

August 6th, 2013 - By Clarke Gail Baines
Share to Twitter Email This

Keri Hilson


When Keri Hilson first stepped on the music scene, she was known for changing up her hair every time you saw her. Mushroom cuts, long asymmetrical bangs, highlights and curls. But after her No Boys Allowed album in 2010, she changed her hair blonde, let it grow out, changed it to a dark brown and kept it like that since. But as Hilson slowly but surely tries to make a reappearance back in the R&B (she’s already working on new music), she’s coming back out with a new look. At least for now. The beauty stepped out in Atlanta at Krave Lounge with waist-length box braids that definitely stood out next to her white gown. She usually has a bang or curls surrounding her face, so it’s nice to see her with her locks pulled back so that she can show off her great features (including those cheekbones!). Are you loving it though? We sure are! Check out more pictures of the singer swangin’ them “thangs” in the ATL and let us know what you think!

Keri Hilson II


Keri Hilson ATL NightSpots


Keri Hilson III


Did They Do Poetic Justice Braids Justice? 14 Celebs Who Rocked Box Braids And Looked Cute (Or Not So Much)

November 27th, 2012 - By IndigoBlack
Share to Twitter Email This


If this year has taught us anything, it’s this my friends: Box braids/Poetic Justice braids/ Patra braids are back! Woohoo! For those of us out in these streets looking to whip some hair that’s not itchy and will help us protect our strands from harsh weather (if you don’t get them too tight, they should protect your hair in general), the return of box braids has been welcomed with open arms. Especially by the African women who sit on 125th street in Harlem looking to put some braids on a fro they assume you want to hide. And while we love box braids here at MN, so do the celebs. From the ones who made the look hot years and years ago to the ones trying to keep it hot in the present, they’re everywhere. But who is rocking them right and who isn’t? Let’s take a look!

Are You Feeling Their Look With Or Without Braids?

September 28th, 2012 - By MN Editor
Share to Twitter Email This


From StyleBlazer

In the past few months Poetic Justice braids or Box Braids have been popping up in the heads of some of our favorite celebrities. Solange’s fashion forwardness made the 1990s style popular again and everyone from her sister Beyoncé to VH1′s Basketball Wives reality TV producer and star Shaunie O’Neil have been rocking braids. But are braids for everyone? Do you prefer these celebs with or without braids?

Read more at StyleBlazer

More on Madame Noire!

Breaking Down the Point of a Protective Hairstyle: What Exactly Should You Be Protecting?

July 30th, 2012 - By Jouelzy
Share to Twitter Email This

Protective styling is a term every natural hair woman, or pretty much every woman, hears on the daily. It’s said that protective styling is the way to go when focusing on healthy hair growth. But what exactly qualifies a hairstyle as protective? Does a weave qualify as a protective hairstyle? And do all protective hairstyles have to look so…boring?

A true protective hairstyle is at its base simply a style that protects the ends of your hair, helping to decrease tangling, shedding and breakage. A protective hairstyle hides your ends from exposure but should leave them in a detangled state. For example, once you have properly detangled your hair and pull it into a ponytail, you can then twist down your ponytail and pin it into a bun. This helps to promote hair growth as the idea is to actually retain your length rather than the very ineffective idea of speeding up hair growth.

A bun or braids easily falls into the protective hairstyle category. And yes, at its core, so does a weave. But without careful installation and maintenance those can go horribly awry. Some will debate that pulling hair tightly back into a bun and slathering on a pound of gel does NOT qualify as a protective hairstyle, although your ends are tucked in and “protected.” The amount of tension you are placing on your hairline and the product buildup is counter-intuitive to what you are actually trying to achieve. The same can be said for braids or extensions that are installed too tightly and wear on the hairline. Remember that the root word is protect, and so while the hairstyle should take good care of your ends, it needs to protect all aspects of the hair ensuring that you have strong follicles to promote retention of length.

A lot of people, myself included, have often been dismayed at the idea that in order to promote healthy hair growth, we have to be relegated to boring protective hairstyles. The school teacher bun ‘do or the pinned up twists can be a bit dull for the bevvy of women who like to showcase their hair in a bigger manner. Protective styling eliminates the idea of blow-drying or adding direct heat to your hair, but you can still get creative with protective styles by adding a bouffant (à la Janelle Monae) to your pinned up ‘do. Or switch up the braided style with fishtail braids. There’s plenty of tutorials on YouTube for both looks. If you are going the braids/weave route, make sure that your braids aren’t too tight and you hair is properly moisturized. Box braids are a great alternative to micros, as they don’t put as much tension on your hair (and they take half the time to do). Do NOT keep your weave/braids in over more than two months at a time, because your hair does need time and space to breath.

Here’s a definite quick tip for protective hairstyles: bobby pins are a girl’s best friend, especially for those who don’t know how to braid.  Just remember that you’re goal is to decrease tangling and eliminate breakage by enclosing your ends in a detangled state. If you keep that in mind, you and your protective style should be all good to go!

Jouelzy offers tutorials on all aspects of Black hair care via her YouTube channel, focusing on women with tight budgets. You can also find her daily hair tips and inspirations on Facebook.

More on Madame Noire!