Have you ever thought about actually wearing art? The obvious choice would be tattoos but that is not what I’m thinking.

What about hair art? I have seen some beauticians and barbers work absolute magic with their clippers, scissors and fingers.

So for today’s “untapped art” I thought we would showcase some jaw dropping hair art. 

This picture captures a culturally significant aspect of hair art. Shani Crowe pulls off some very intricate braids on these beautiful women.

Not only does it take great talent and patience to braid hair this detailed, there is the added pressure of the cultural aspect to these braids.


Braids aren’t new. In fact, there are stone paintings from thousands of years ago depicting braided hair.

As if the cultural aspect of braids isn’t amazing enough, the braids were used to show one “belonged” to a specific family or clan. They were also used to show whether a woman was married or what her age was.

 But, in my opinion, the most significant aspect to braided hair is how it was used as a form of communication. In the times of slavery, braids were reported to be used as ‘road maps to freedom’.

It allowed the slaves to communicate right under the noses of their ‘owners’. According to Siraad Dirshe ‘the number of plaits worn could indicate how many roads people needed to walk or where to meet someone to escape bondage.’ 

As if we needed any more reason to love braids, in the times of slavery, braids were a source of pride. In fact, as a way to belittle them and strip away their humanity and cultural pride, traffickers often shaved their heads.

It is clear that braids are way more than a form of art. They are a source of pride and culture.

That is one form of art I would hesitate to try simply because of the importance and meaning behind them. The picture below is a representation of the communication used by the slaves.

You can read more about it at African Exponet. I learned that not only do the braids communicate, they were also used to hide gold and seeds, both offering the slaves a means of survival. 


I felt this topic was an important; one – because every day I’m reminded that so many people are judgmental and even racist. Recently, Sharon Osbourne is under fire for some pretty racist statements.

It is reported she stated that Meghan Markle “ain’t black”. Maybe she can take a clue from  India Arie, who said, “I am not my hair. I am not my skin. I am a soul that lives within.”

 Here at Her Blaze we support and value all cultures and races. By showcasing this amazing art form we hope to encourage others to be equally open-minded and accepting!

Now, even though this isn’t a challenge blog, we still want to see your hair art so start sending it our way! I found a quote that I loved so I’m going to leave you with it.

“Black Woman’s biggest hair problem is that they think their hair is a problem,” said by Tenoiya Carter. 

Thank You for reading Her Blaze Blog!

Leave a Reply