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

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