Braids in Egypt have always been a part of our culture; from the pharaohs to the women of Upper Egypt, to the beauties of Nubia, all the way to the well-known school braid we all had in middle school.
By the time, however, braids started losing their cool.
Luckily, the heat-free, natural, curly hair movements have been taking over, and braids are finally making a strong comeback.
We’re not just talking about regular braids, but also protective hairstyles and braids as well. Box braids, in particular, have been popular recently.
The History of Braids in Egypt:
Now for those politically correct people who are unsure of whether it’s appropriate for Egyptians to rock box braids, the answer is; it’s appropriate.
We’ve seen several celebrities *cough* Kardashians *cough* have been called out for culturally appropriating braids and black culture in general.
This is understandable; however, braids and box braids in particulate, have been a part of Egyptian history since ancient Egyptians.
Fun history lesson: Archaeologists discovered a woman buried in Egypt more than 3,000 years ago with an elaborate design of 70 weave extensions attached to her hair.
“Many of the other skulls Bos analyzed also had hair extensions.
One skull had extensions made of gray and dark black hair suggesting multiple people donated their hair to create extensions,” –Discovery News.
Even looking at Egyptians’ old images, braids were old involved in one way or another. Only after the invasions and the whitewashing of our society did braids become a no-no.
Why the comeback?
Okay, I hate to admit it, but a significant part of why braids, in general, became popular does come from Kardashian’s use of braids. There, I said it!
This isn’t the only reason, however. With everyone jumping on the heat-free, natural hair wagon, braids, and box braids, in particular, are great options.
With endless styling and colour-combinations possibility, anyone can easily make a unique statement with all sorts of braids, while still protecting the hair.
Styles can last from days, weeks, or even months. On top of that, braids, even with extensions, are very cheap.
Ironically, though, braids, Rasta, in particular, have been getting more and more popular with men for a few years now. Rasta in Egypt has been a thing for quite some time, including cornrows and deadlocks.
Cost and duration
Regular braids in Egypt can cost an average of 200 to 400 EGP; depending on whether you use extensions or not, and how complicated the style is.
Cornrows cost from 300 to 600, again depending on the use of extensions, length, and style. Whereas box braids in Egypt, cost the most, with an average of 900 to 1300, depending on length and thickness.
Even with the most expensive option, it’s still almost the same price of two or three hairdresser visits, yet it’s more cost-efficient, since box braids if done and maintained right, can last up to 3 months.
It is important to remember that no matter how good your braider is if you don’t take good care of the braids, they’ll be a mess and won’t last.
Do your research; read several articles, watch youtube videos, ask your braider, and get all the information you can before doing them.
Maintaining braided hair is more or less the same as maintaining curly hair. You need to know about some basics and stick to to make sure they always look fresh and last longer.
- Don’t wash your hair too much; once a week is ideal.
- Always sleep on Satin or Silk pillows and try to wrap your hair in a silk scarf, or better yet, buy a silk bonnet.
- Moisture is your BFF. Make sure your scalp is hydrated with water and oils.
- Have edge control gel with you at all times. They’ll be your worst enemy!
- Don’t pull them too high. This is something I’m personally guilty of doing. It just looks better and gives you an instant facelift. This, however, is a recipe for disaster as by the time your hair, especially baby hairs, will start snapping.
Which hairstyle is better for you?
There are almost unlimited options when it comes to braids. There are several protective hair influencers, and interest is drowned in various hairstyles to find the right one for yourself.
Pick the styles you like, and if you’re getting them from a pro, make sure to discuss the style with them first as it might not fit your hair type.
If you’re getting it done yourself, make sure to know the style’s name and do your research about it first. You’ll probably find various youtube tutorials about it.
We recommend some Instagram accounts to follow for braided hair inspo, though.
Nara Hair Braiding
How and where to get them:
You have two options; get them done at a professional, or do them yourself. Of course, having them done by a pro is the better option, especially for the first time. But if you’re feeling adventurous, you can do them yourself.
Doing it yourself:
After researching and finding the perfect style for yourself, look up tutorials for it on youtube. Before you invest your time, practice on small parts first to make sure you can do it.
Trust me, they look easy, but they are way more complicated than you think.
If you want to buy braiding extensions, you can find some at Boustige Group in Mohandeseen, Samir William in Mohandseen and Masr el Gedeeda, or you can have a trip to Al-Moskey were you can buy them for the lowest price.
If you’re looking to buy them online, you can sometimes find them on Jumia and Souq, or off Rasta Studio on Instagram.
Getting them done by a pro:
Note: We have only tried two places, Dafayer and Her Braids. The other two places are listed based on what they are providing on their social media.
Whether you’re looking for regular french braids, cornrows, box braids, or anything in between, Dafayer is your go-to place.
Our Experience: Dafayer was the one who took my braiding virginity. I wasn’t just happy with the results; I was pleased with the whole experience.
I got the braids at Aya, one of the owners’, house. We went to the studio for the braiding, and it was incredibly calming with chillout music.
Made me feel like I was a hippie in Sinai for the hour I got my braids in.
Pros and Cons: I’m struggling to list any pros and cons with them since there are barely any cons. If I nitpick, I would say that they’re in Nasr City wasn’t great for a Mohandeseen person like myself. And maybe the fact that it takes a couple of days before getting your appointment.
However, neither I nor any of my friends who went there took too long to get our appointments. It was usually from 3 to 10 days wait, depending on the season.
Speciality: Her Braids owner, Nour, has to be one of the craziest and most fun people I’ve met, and that shows in her work. If you want crazy yet fashionable and colourful braids, Her Braids is your go-to place!
Our Experience: For transparency’s sake, when I got my braids from Her Braids, it was a free-braids for a social media shout out a deal.
I didn’t pay for anything, and because of that, I went there without anything particular in my mind. Given that I was getting a free service to promote her, I wanted to let her do whatever she wanted.
Surprisingly, Nour insisted that I should pick what I want, and got me tens of hair extensions and colours to choose from and we kept bouncing ideas until we both got something we loved.
The girl was so nice, and she was even more excited than I was about the braids. It was an overall positive experience, and I was happy to know Nour.
Pros and Cons: Her Braids offer their services in Mohandeseen and Maadi, a pro. A con might be that they can sometimes have back to back appointments, and if the person before you were late, you might have to wait a little bit.
I don’t think it’s a big deal since you can wait in a regular hairdresser, but it might be an issue if you’re impatient.
Speciality: Based on their Instagram account, we would say box braids.
Experience: We haven’t tried them.
Pros and cons: They sell braiding hair if you want to do it yourself, as well as home service. Again, we don’t know or tried them to guarantee anything.
Twins Rasta Salon
Speciality: Based on their Instagram account, they seem diverse. They are pretty good with dreadlocks, though. Not particularly braids, but it’s still a protective hairstyle.
Experience: We haven’t tried them.
Pros and cons: They offer dreadlocks. Again, we don’t know or tried them to guarantee anything.