Joy Bryant has always struck me as the carefree type when it comes to beauty, usually going to events with minimal makeup and fuss-free hairstyles.

I can dig that approach because she is a beautiful woman and can carry the look off with ease.

I did come to an impasse upon seeing her at this week’s Coach Benefit Event in Santa Monica. And what I couldn’t look away from were her micro braids.

Though I still see the braided style while out and about, I’ve since grown a distaste for them with the popularity of weaves and the option of going natural like I chose to do. Both those styles seem so current while braids are conversely yesteryear.

Micro and box braids came up in a conversation I had with my mother yesterday in which she decided that getting the style would be appropriate since she wants to grow out her pixie haircut à la Halle Berry. I had to give her the side eye. “Micro braids mom? This isn’t 1999. Please get a weave.”

Solange Knowles and Chrisette Michelle are two other stars who have been switching between natural fros, afro wigs and braids.

Solange even rocked long Cleopatra-esque box braids (the girl group not the Egyptian pharaoh). I understand her desire to bring back the 1970’s, but I definitely will not be trying the trend anytime soon.

Micro and box braids seem so ancient and quite frankly, I am not looking to bring back the Moesha era. Speaking of Moesha, Brandy has always been a champion of braids (even wearing them this year), but she has opted for a weave for the better part of the last two years, giving her signature style a much needed rest.

Even women with edgy style like Vashtie Kola and Jada Pinkett Smith chose to rock braids. Vashtie tried them out last year and stated, “There is something I always wanted to do as a kid, but my mama wouldn’t let me at the time…extension braids!” Jada has always gone against the grain and her hairstyles are as edgy as her daughter Willow’s so her braids aren’t much of a surprise.

Though braids have been esteemed for centuries and were passed down through generations by our ancestors, they’re just not the trend I’m feeling at the moment. When I see women on the street wearing them, it just seems that they are out of touch.

Who could forget Angela Bassett getting her groove back with waist-long braids or Janet Jackson rocking them in the 1990’s? Theirs are the associations I have with braids and though they were hot then, I am not so sure that they are hot now.

What do you think? Are you over micro and box braids or do you love and/or rock the look? Was it a trend that is over and done with now or a lasting hairstyle that will never grow old?

- Faith Cummings

  • vivafashiondiva

    I’m going on vacation in May and I def plan to try out box braids. I’m transitioning and I figured braids are the easiest way to manage my natural hair.

  • ARosenBklyn

    I vote box braids over weaves. Just my opinion of the product here, and not a judgment of the women who don them, but I DETEST weaves.
    I like box braids tho. Although I don’t wear them myself (I have this weird self-conscious thing about wearing fake hair) I’ve always liked how they looked, in all eras (Poetic Justice, I Wanna Be Down, Menace II Society, etc.).
    But I will say, Chrisette Michele’s look a hot mess. They look like she had her 7th grade home-girl hook her up.

  • TellyLongLegs

    I think micros and box braids are a mainstay. I love them. They’re versatile, convenient and easy to manage. I’ll pick them over weaves any day. I’ll wear them whether they’re in style or not.

    Also, Brandy looks much better with the braids than the weaves. I wish she would stick to them and leave the lacefronts alone.

  • http://passionistaplace.blogspot.com jenna pearle

    i think the nineties are back as a whole. so, why not box braids? i think those who have chosen to go that route look great (well, not so much chrisette). i won’t be doing it for awhile because i haven’t forgotten the pain (the annoyance pain, not pain pain) it was to put in and take out the braids. (plus, i have locs now anyway) i am not yet on board with the micro braids. i’m sure that’ll change with time, too.
    ps. my take on braids
    http://passionistaplace.blogspot.com/2011/01/braids-dont-call-it-comeback.html

  • http://somelikeithotbooks.blogspot.com Black Velvet

    I also don’t like weaves. In fact I hate them. While I’ve heard people rave about them, I don’t find them comfortable and liberating at all. I’ve had weaves several times and every time I’ve had one I’ve had to take it out in two to three weeks because I feel like I’m wearing a helmet. Same goes goes for wigs, although I can wear them easier because I can always duck into the bathroom and let my head breathe. I prefer micros (I do them every summer for two months at a time with a month breather in between each braid out) and box braids. That’s versatility for you. you want an up do, go ahead, want a pony tail to the side, check; want to rock a fishtail braid, alrighty. But with weaves and wigs there is that self conscious feeling of what if I didn’t secure it tight enough…will someone see something…with braids I don’t even have to pretend.

  • Jessica

    I think micros and really any type of braid will always be a mainstay. Its a great option to have a rest from doing your hair but still look nice for 2-r months. I plan to get some this summer bc its just too hot in Houston to be wearing my natural hair out.

  • Robin

    I love them, in fact I have some now(well Senegalese twists). I just needed a break from doing my hair, plus like Jessica said, the weather is crazy in Houston lol. I like being able to put them in a ponytail, high buns, etc…very versatile. I don’t see it going out of style anytime soon.

  • binks

    braids in general is a classic hairstyle espeically for the spring/summer months so I can’t see them going out of style. As long as they are kept up nice and it looks great on the woman I say rock it.

  • Tifani

    I guess my opinion is in the minority. Athough I like the look and the idea of braids, I don’t think they should be revisited!!! This is 2011 and Box braids were huge in the 90’s so to me they seem a little dated!

  • lola

    Braids are fine. The problem is Joy and Chrisette’s braids look janky and aren’t neat. At least have a good braider do them, Brandy’s braids are always gorgeous. Joy’s “look” would work if she took better care of her skin and teeth. Her look comes across as just not caring about what she looks like to me.

  • angel

    but whats wrong with braids though? how can they be outdated just because they were most popular during the 90s? afros were popular during the 70s, are they outdated now?– no, not necessarily.

    if women can wear weaves with a texture clearly not their own, how can u say that wearing braids which is native to a more African culture, is outdated or less stylish? since when is wearing a yaki/chinese/brazilian/spanish/italian/russian/polynesian/brazilian etc weave as a black woman, “better” than a style such as braids which compliments an afro hair texture more than the typical weave?

    styles and inspirations from previous decades are always revisted, why not give a predominantly black hairdo some more time to shine?

    disclaimer: im not opposed to weaves, i wear them and i also got braids similar to solanges late last year and i really enjoyed it. i didnt feel outdated– in fact, i felt more stylish

  • http://www.ishea.blogspot.com South Loop Social Light

    Anything that has been “over and done with” at some point has come back around. I think the reemergence of braids (micros, box, etc) is super cute on some people…. just like they were cute on some people 15 years ago. I think that it’s a great option for when you don’t want to be bothered with your hair, but much like a weave you need to invest in getting it done by a good stylist. There’s nothing worse than a bad weave or bogus looking braids lol.

  • RebeccaSimone

    Box braids may be a little 90’s retro, but if they’re done neatly and kept up properly they’re still stylish. Also braids with synthetic hair are much, much easier to care for than a weave from my experience. They are my go-to style for a beach vacation, even in 2011.

  • Nakia

    I just took out my waist long senegalese twists and i loved them. An so did tons of people. About a year ago I decided to stop the Relaxer madness and went natural. I’ve weaved it, wigged it, blew it out… And fell upon the twists. They didn’t seem out dated. I did remind me of poetic justice… But it was managable. And I don’t go with the grain as it is.

  • Daria

    As with karma, the same is true for fashion: What goes around, comes (back) around. I think these braids are such a staple in hair arsenals of many women and they aren’t going away any time soon. I have no idea how old the author is, but I am early 30’s and when I see a trend that I wore in high school in the 90’s (like black tights under denim cutoffs or belly button piercings) I have a tendency to turn up my nose too. Like, oh been there DONE that…next! I have to laugh at my own elitist attitude sometimes and realize that some things never really out of style and come roaring back with a vengeance.

  • Veee

    I actually think brandy looks really pretty in braids and should stick to them

  • http://www.alamodelove.blogspot.com Antoinette

    Braids are a lot versatile then weaves. Although I don’t care what people do with their hair but braids are not 1999, yes the box braids are old school but theres different type of styles you can do with your braids now-a-days. but don’t go bashing braids just because you don’t like them. I don’t believe braids has ever gone out of style but hey everyone is entitled to their opinion whether it’s wrong or right.

  • Rachel

    This article was very disrespectful and unnecessary. If you prefer weaves over braids then GOOD FOR YOU. Thinking a woman is out of touch is rude, don’t you think? Just because you like a certain style does not mean that other styling preferences should be cast out. If you like patting your head every 5 minutes after you have that weave in for a week, then great! I think braids are classic and timeless. Matter of fact, good luck keeping those tracks in securely without some braids. I hear glue works and it rips the hair right out. Go find something else to write about. Thanks

  • Robin Nicole

    Is this a recent pic of Chrisette Michelle? Smh Chile’…. LOL!

    I am not a fan of micros. I never have been and never will be, but I can get down with Janet Jackson poetic justice-esque box braids. As many of the ladies pointed out fashion comes in cycles, and we are in a 90’s revival now. Love it or leave it alone.

  • marquita e.

    Hairstyle with a purpose. Not only are braids beautiful, they protect the hair while allowing it to rest and grow. . . . ..but if you took the time to learn that before judging or insisting that wearing braids is a trend you would’ve known better. A hairstyle with benefits like those is bound to be a classic, Doll. Try some; I bet you’ll look and feel just as cute!

  • http://www.brittanderson.tumblr.com Brittnee

    I’ve never been much of a braid girl, but because I am out of the country, I’ve been exploring the many styles I can do with braids. I had box braids up until two days ago and I loved their ease and versatility. I really love Solange’s look too.

    Micros…I’m not really a fan of them.

  • Leela

    This sounds like a person that doesn’t do anything but follow trends at all times. I haven’t worn braids in a while because I can’t find a style I like but as soon as I do they will be going in. I don’t see the problem with any woman rocking them as long as the look good. I don’t see the difference between telling someone to “please get a weave” over braids because in essence they’re both weave and wont be your real hair anyway

  • hehe

    I love box braids! I use to wear them and got so many compliments but now I don’t because on my hair it caused too much damage plus it took a long time to put in. My hair is long enough that I can protective style using my own hair. Although it was fake hair I would never compare it to weaves because weaves to me is a more euro-centric hairstyle and braids had the power to make a black woman look regal.

  • Raven

    I agree. This article is both tactless and inane. Many people still get their hair styled in braids and it remains a “staple” style within the African/African-American community. When did braids become outdated? This is news to me. Why even open this topic up for discussion when it is clear that your mind is made up?

  • Melody

    I am not understanding your argument. I mean, things are constantly going in and out of “style,” and some things never go out of style. Today, we are wearing headwraps, turbans, jumpsuits, wide leg trousers; many items which are rooted from way back when. For me, braids will never be outdated. I can not wait to get my waist length Poetic Justice braids in the coming weeks, I am tired of my hair.

  • Melody

    1. This article does not sit well with me. Why would you write in the way you did? If you have an opinion, that is fine. But to be disrespectful, no. It is not a good look.

    2. Braids have never gone out of style. Ever. There are many different types of braids, personally for me box braids are the best looking. I can not wait to get mine done; I think I will go for the Solange look.

    3. I guess you use glue with your weave….

    Anyway..

  • Rachel

    ….basically it is the author of this post who is “out of touch” (as she would say).

  • lilkunta

    Rachel, Raven, Melody : I agreewith you 3.

    Faith Cummings( author) The problem IS YOU. Braids (own hair on scalp) & Braid Extensions ARE TIMELESS.

  • lilkunta

    @lola : What is janky?
    Yes in the left/1st pic Joy’s braids arent neat. In the 2nd/right they are.
    Joy’s skin/teeh are fine, what are you talking about?

    I too am surprised that Chrisette’s went to an event w her hair like this. But she is real. Perhaps she wasnt expecting to be in public for a while so did she let a friend do her hair.

    Get ready to laugh: I havent had my hair done in 3 yrs. Im getting it done in May and I asked my friend to burn my ends. She tried to come throught he phone and smack me. She said ends aren’t burned anymore, they are dipped in warer!

  • AOA

    I agree with most of the other comments. I think braids regardless of size will always be a mainstay. I personally think weaves are gross, especially for those of us who exercise or play sports. Allowing your scalp to breath and protecting your hair is best accomplished with braids over weave anyday.

  • http://www.hairspiration.blogspot.com natural belle

    Braids are a part of our culture, and like our naturalhair will always be around. I love that the obvious braid style is back (as opposed to micro braids and weaves, that are meant to inmate European hair), I love kinky twists and yarn braids as I love the fake loc look. but I think box braids are so regal and symbolic of our African heritage, I’ve been a long time wearer of braids however I have only just got back into doing them after a two year break but I have been rocking braids on and off for over 15 years (due to the fact I braid my own hair!) when they are done well they suite all women joy looks just lovely (she also rocked waist length extention conrows in honey and she looked lovely!)
    just remember not to tight or to much hair and take them out when the time comes!!!!!

    xoxoxo

  • Lo

    Microbraids are dreadful. Leave them behind after you graduate from high school. They have never been cute. Joy Bryant looks terrible; It might not be the braids themselves, but the way they are styled. If she was going to do a part down the middle she might look better if her hair laid flat and slick on her head. The braids loosely tied back looks SOO dated. Its a granny hairstyle.

    Larger box braids like the ones Solange have or senegalese twists are sort of chic though. The 90’s are “back” and have been for a little while, if youre going to borrow from that era choose wisely!

  • Jaki D

    Did the writer just have nothing to say so she pulled this ish outta her caboose? Braids have been around for centuries and will be around for centuries. Done.

  • http://www.abarbiedefined.com kearea’

    im not a fan of braids on myself, probably because i wore them from age 8 to about 13 and always got teased for them in school. they were never considered “in” or “cute” where i grew up. but i think theyre cute on young girls now. and we all know brandy has always looked good in braids. however in the instances of chrisette and solange i dont think they look flattering.

  • Alexandra

    Well the backlash of this article is warranted. Like seriously, Black Women and Braids (braided hairstyles) have been going on for forever. I doubt it will be over, and it is a mainstay. It’s cultural. How about long Asian weaves be over? Unconvincing wigs? Colorful weaves?

    Unlike short cuts, hair color, etc; I think braids are apart of every Black culture around the world. It’s something that remained with Blacks despite the forced cultural influence they experienced. People should be glad that it’s something they kept.

  • Stacy

    I think this is a valid question that many black women have been discussing for the past two years. As much backlash as there have been for weaves, natural hair and the like, the question also has been asked about whether or not braids are still “in”. Of course, one doesn’t have to follow the trends, but we can’t sit here and pretend like it isn’t something that is constantly being discussed. The article isn’t really offensive, it’s just bringing to light things that black women have been discussing of late. Look around and see how many women you see with box or micro braids and then think to yourself whether or not we’re choosing other ways to wear our hair.

  • Tami

    Braids are indeed a part of our culture. They will never go out of style.

  • Keisha Green

    I agree with Faith for the most part. When I see women with micros or box braids I do feel like its a blast from the past and usually not in a good way. I respect Solange’s look out of all of them just because she made it her own but the the I just can’t do it anymore.

  • Nikki Green

    I have been wearing mircos for several years, and I love them. Although, lately I have been thinking about making a change. Braids, weaves, wigs, natural, I think whatever makes you feel your most beautiful you should rock!

  • Tifani

    Like styles change my opinion changed lol!!!!! I think braids are ute and cultural, I just don’t wear them. But I’m open to giving them a chance!

  • http://whitneykarnevia.wordpress.com whitneykarnevia

    I am def not “over” box braids…I only tried the “extension braids” once during a beach trip in middle school (thick, dooky ones!) and they felt heavy and made my scalp itch. I’ve NEVER been a fan of weave, but the braid style itself was pretty kool. Fast forward to now – about 2 years ago, I went natural. Now my ‘Fro is very large and during the summer, I wear box braids (using only my own hair). It looks damn good! I say, LONG LIVE THE BOX BRAID!!!! Micro, dooky, whatever…it’s one of the few “go to” styles a Black woman can rock…they will NEVER go out of style!

  • Mimi

    Since we’re discussing things we’re over I would like to mention that I’m “OVERRR” seeing every other young black woman with a full head weave! Sorry Ms. Cummings braids are here to stay…looking forward to getting my poetic justice braids this summer:)

  • http://www.ebonylolita.tumblr.com EbonyLolita

    I believe these styles can all be rotated. You have to know what works for you & how to incorporate it into YOUR fashion sense. I like the way Brandy wears it down but pulls it back in an elegant bun. THAT works for her. Joy looks……. “peasy” aka like she needs the entire front/middle re-braided. THAT doesn’t work for ME *Shrugs*

  • Jai.E

    SERIOUSLY?

    & what, pray tell, shall we do with our hair instead?

    i’m in college and i have natural hair. i braid it up all the time b/c it’s easier to maintain.
    shall I glue in hair or leave it out because you think the hair style is dated?
    i have a HUGE head. TWA + huge head = FAIL.
    in the heat of the summer, we should all just leave our hair out?

    :|

    i’ll be keeping my braids, thank you very much.

  • MsP

    Please, what a load of rubbish. People should be able to rock their hair how they want and not have others dictate whether its in fashion or not. If braids work for some and not for others then so be it. I wear braids, weave and my natural hair, and I wear it in certain styles because it looks good on me not because its in fashion or what everyone else is doing!

  • http://lifeofanaturabeauti.blogspot.com Natural Beauti

    I love my box braids and micros if it is the 90’s oh well im a 90’s person. I do what makes my life easier and what i look good with. Sew-in weaves and wigs are itchy for me I never really liked weaves but my braids and micros are my bestfriends, they work for me and thats all that matters

  • http://lifeofanaturabeauti.blogspot.com Natural Beauti

    I feel you i live in Florida and hair glue gets yucky, sew in are over $100. I work 2 jobs, attend college full-time and have 2 kids, really get a weave really. Not, Im rocking my box braids right now in 2011 and I wouldn’t care if they are in dated outdated or dated in between, lol :)

  • Ash

    BRAIDS ALL DAY! I love the revival! It’s so beautiful! Weaves are nice, but I’ve seen so many bad weaves, it’s hard to appreciate them. Also, economically, a good weave/weaver is expensive. Why not opt for the braids? You can style how you like, protect your hair, and be unique. I LOVEEEE Solange’s box braids. These ladies are all stunning in their braids!

  • copelli21

    I am with the pro-braids crowd.

    I’ve never had a weave and have absolutely no desire to try it.

    And for the record, women need to take into consideration whether all that hair they weave in is actually flattering. For example, Toni Braxton is way to petite to wear those big old weaves that look like a furbie just made it’s home on her head. It’s too much hair for her small frame. (just my $.02)

    I think braids are a classic that will never go out of style. But with ANY hairstyle be it braids or weaves, ladies need to make sure it really works for them.

  • df

    it never went away…if you are over it..then noone cares honestly…

  • http://www.youtube.com/curlychronicles curlychronicles

    I don’t like box braids on myself..just not my style. I never had micros but I never wanted to take them down so I never opted to get them put in! I might do kinky twists in the future but I don’t have a reason to wear braids..I have reasons not to wear them: take too long to put in/take down, don’t match up with my style/look, cost too much, I change my hair too often and it’d be a waste. I still think they can be pretty on other women though.

  • Ayanna

    Braids of any kind are a timeless and ancient expression of beauty…especially for the Black woman. It goes beyond what’s in or out this year or that. I believe they are here to stay.

  • Ayanna Spears

    Perhaps the style of braid you choose will effect how attractive you are, but micro braids, box braids, braids in general will always possess a timeless beauty for Black Women. Differrent strokes for different folks.

  • http://www.hooplatoyourbrain.blogspot.com Cynthia

    It’s not about bringing anything back. Upgrade ot weaves? nah. If you’re transitioning, you should go with braids. There’s more you can do, and if you’re very careful, your hair won’t tear or break. Weaves are fine, but there’s nothing wrong with braids.

    How you style them is important.

    I didn’t like this article at all.

    This girl is trippin’ so hard. Upgrade to weave . . . psh.

  • http://www.hooplatoyourbrain.blogspot.com Cynthia

    NOT TO MENTION . . . Brandy looked so much better with braids. Those lacefronts she wears nowadays do NOTHING RIGHT for her.

  • http://noirmuse.blogspot.com/ Caribbelle

    ummm, is this real?
    If it is, I’m waiting for an addendum. How is a method of haircare that’s a staple in black communities a trend? I don’t understand. Braids were, are and always will be a relevant styling option for many black women, regardless if its done with or without extensions. Last time I checked I’m pretty in touch with society, social media, fashion and the like.

    My hair was not genetically designed to hang straight, however it does curl onto itself which makes braids one of the best styling options for my type of hair.

    I’m shaking my head because this entire article is out of touch.

  • Sue

    I find this article very ignorant and biased. FYI, you can have micro and box braids with your own natural hair if it’s long enough. Is that dated too?

    Braiding hair is a TIMELESS tradition. It will NEVER go out of fashion in my opinion.It’s one of the things that allows kinky/curly hair to thrive:by styling it and leaving it alone.

  • liyah

    i love black hair :)

  • Cassie

    I find it strange that Coco & Creme would let an author post such a negative post. I understand expressing your opinion but some things the author said were just not necessary.

    Adding all these images of different women of all age shows how timeless this hairstyle really is and how there are different ways to braid your hair.

  • Katja

    THE 90S ARE BACK, BITCHES

  • rhea

    braids are better than slapping a weave in your hair so you csn pretend you have some. I have long natural hair and just want a break from the wear and tear of styling I will be trying braids.

  • Jamila

    Wow, what a narrow minded and ridiculous post. Braids are beautiful! Every one has their own tastes and should not be judged harshly in this forum simply because you do not like braids. If you do not like them then do not wear them. I am guessing you have a glue in, right? It is fine to ask an opinion of braids, but to bash others in the process is just juvenile.

  • Kai

    I workout 5 to 6 days a week. I am talking full on dead lifts, squats, bench press, db curls, etcc. I either wear my hair natural or wear braids. A weave is NOT an option. I have hair that is past my shoulder blades when straightened and puffy like cotton candy with no pattern.. YES, I said it! NO CURL PATTERN. To try and braid all of that up and then sew hair in ON TOP of that is ridiculous. Not to mention, every time I sweat and/ or try to wash the “weave” I have to sit under a hair dryer for OVER an hour b/c of how thick my hair is????? I THINK NOT! Braids will never be out of style….. not for us women who Kill It in the gym anyway…. And don’t even get me started on when I travel overseas… I am hitting Puerto Rico in 2 weeks and my boyfriend just called to remind me to get my braids done as he did not want me stressing out over my hair NOR missing out on my beloved snorkeling!

  • aziza

    Does anyone know what the difference between box braids and poetic justice braids and micro braids are?

  • t

    I think if you don’t get a trend the second time around just take the hint that you’re getting old.

  • Dee Dabs

    This article wouldve been better if you werent bashing people who choose to go against what society pushes us all to have european hair. This just screamed self hate

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