When I think of some of my favorite childhood memories, I’m often transported back in time to our small apartment in north Kansas City. CeCe Winans’ smooth silky voice is floating from our stereo. Dad is in his office hunched over at his drafting desk working on a new design, and I’m sitting in between my mama’s legs as she does my hair. Sometimes she’d do twists, and other times pigtails, but my favorite style always involved braids. When she was done, she would add berets and the brightest bobbles, and maybe a bow for the pièce de résistance (insert chef’s kiss here).
I can still smell the Just For Me hair products and the silky smooth lotion that was in the tall pink bottle. Her soft hands sweeping over my curls and textured strands. I don’t remember being tender-headed
but maybe I blocked all of that out. I just remember the way that I felt after my mama finished my hair…confident, and ready to take on the world. As I grew older, I found myself wanting to mimic the effortless ways in which my mom wore her braids. Sometimes she would have them done in a perfectly coifed bob. Other times she would have her braids done so that they were down to her waist.
Recently I found myself looking through some old photos of my mama and her braids. They brought back sweet memories of when she would take me along to her hair braiding appointments. I’d watch the braider part sections of my mama’s hair, overlapping one strand of hair with another, and then another, forming a head full beautiful braids.
For some reason, this memory inspired me to do my own braids, and 10 hours later (WITH EXTREMELY SORE HANDS), I completed my look! I wanted a style the combined my Mama’s Braids + Zoe Kravits + Zazie Beetz. I’m so happy with the style and I saved about $200+ doing my braids myself. I made a lot of mistakes but this was only my first time. Next time I’ll go a little slower and make the braids a bit smaller.
But hey, not bad for my first attempt at “Mama’s Braids” 🙂