The Art of Hair Braiding

You will not sit on the beach in Jaltemba Bay for long before you’ll be approached by a vendor with a book illustrating the type of hair braids you can have done very inexpensively. You can have your whole head done in tight braids and beads or braids done around the crown of the head.

If you buy into their sales pitch, they retreat to a shady spot and usually an assistant appears and both work away while the rest of the world is enjoying the beach! I find it particularly sad to see a child subjected to this really boring experience for several hours, hardly being allowed to move a muscle. I have had it done but find the braids too tight, my scalp itches and it takes far too long.

A note of caution: It is advisable to use your own comb and clean water for spraying each plait. This past year I saw this little girl with her hair done in what looked to be a plastic trying cord – maybe one of the local hairdressers can comment?

by Ken & Bea Rauch

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2 Reviews on “The Art of Hair Braiding”

  1. :

    I am not a hairdresser... but I COULD be. Ja ja ja. ick... this shot could have used less sharp focus and less contrast! A couple of years ago, our friend Mariah came back to Casa Libertad with her hair tightly braided all over with big plastic beads. No matter what, I always try to be supportive because Mariah is a special-needs person. She likes to be pretty. This was not pretty. She was convinced that it was. I am not sure exactly why, but I have always been offended by this beach braiding, especially on the very white, blonde girls. There is something cross-cultural, gone very wrong here. I have never thought it was pretty or attractive. (A good analogy fails me... Like having your grandfather show up at the beach wearing a pair of tiny Speedos?) Anywho, Mariah was resolute that it was gorgeous. But later, in the middle of the night, she wanted help to take out the corn rows. With her head on the pillow, it was too uncomfortable and painful to sleep. The next morning, her hair was all frizzed out and she could not get a hairbrush through it. Thankfully, she did not need convincing that this did not look pretty, so we took her to a hairdresser. Melissa Harris-Perry? HOT Bo Derrick with the same 'do? Not so much Tom

    1. :

      In response to Tom: My life is very cross-cultural and for me I don't see anything wrong with braids. It is a very convenient style for me as I've got the hair for it, easy care for sports, style varieties, up or down. If properly done and maintained, a good braid-up can last and look good for a month (for mine, even more). I'm thinking this was not a good choice for Mariah, or perhaps the person doing it wasn't very skilled. A good analogy for your attitude is somebody who always eats the same thing for breakfast every day of his life. Satisfying, and for you, not boring. Life doesn't have to be that way, IMO...

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