I was watching the Today Show this morning when I caught a segment on a new hair trend sweeping the nation: Braids.

Apparently, those plats your mama and ‘nem used to put into your hair back when you rocked jellies and knee socks are haute couture and women are paying big bucks for them. On the show, they profiled John Barrett, a 5th Avenue stylist, who’s jumped on the trend and opened a “Braid Bar” in his uppity Bergdorf Goodman salon charging clients upwards of $45 for braiding (and we aren’t talking cornrows here) and $125 and up for a shampoo, blow dry, and braid style.

As I watched this morning, I didn’t know whether to be upset that “braiding” is now seen as a “modern” hair trend (despite women of color braiding for centuries, and our styles not being considered ‘beautiful,’ ‘professional,’ or ‘valuable’), or to laugh at the scores of women paying $45 or more for a flat twist they could easily do at home for free.

But before I thought about it too much, I remembered it was Columbus Day. And I figured if he could get credit for discovering land people already inhabited, then white folks can act like braiding their hair is something new and trendy.

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