The Story Behind These Box Braids Is So Important

Black hair isn't just around to keep our heads warm. Even the most basic ponytails and messy buns have history. There is history weaved into our curls, kinks, and braids. Jasmine Brown, a YouTuber with over a million subscribers and nearly 668,000 followers on Instagram, set out to explore those hair stories in the video above.
Brown, who has a Black father and a Mexican mother, isn't a stranger to braids. She says that her mom used to give her half-cornrows and French braids every week growing up. In a FaceTime conversation, Brown's mom admitted that she struggled with figuring out how to care for her daughter's hair in the beginning. "Half of my friends were Black," she said. "They would always teach me about how they would grease their hair and scalp, and products that they'd use." Eventually, Brown's mom found a winning combination that'd worked for years.
Despite years of maintaining her gorgeous head of hair, the influencer still hadn't tested out protective styles. To fix that, she visited Dr. Kari Williams of Mahogany Hair Revolution to get schooled. "Protective styles are great for giving your hair a break and preventing damage and breakage," Dr. Williams explained. "Often times, women have concerns about length retention and keeping the hair healthy. When your hair is in a protective style, you're truly protecting your hair from damage from the daily elements. Hair is just one less thing you have to worry about. With protective styles, you can literally just get up and go."
Of course, the benefits also run deeper than hair health. "It's no mistake that when your hair is braided, you start to feel like a queen or that we acknowledge each other as queens and kings," Dr. Williams said. "Because truly, that's what these braids represent."
Watch the video to see Brown's finished look.
In Refinery29's Skin Deep, Refinery29 teamed up with Google to explore the realm of beauty and culture, examining the influences that shape how we talk about beauty today.

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