Hair beads are nothing new for most Black women. We have fond memories of wearing the braid accessory from a very early age. Some were kept in place with tiny rubber bands, others with aluminum foil. And depending on how creative your mother or hairdresser wanted to be, you might have even showed up to school with mixed colors, beads at the root of your cornrows, or even varying lengths of beads. And now they’re back.
They’re noisy, they’re heavy, and they’re ridiculously stylish. And every few seasons they re-emerge as a major style trend. This season, many women are wearing wooden and mixed metal beads the way they were worn in the 1970s, when the Black power movement embraced artistic expressions that nodded to our African heritage, including the way one wore their hair.