Miss Petaluma On…Beads


When LL Cool J described an Around the Way Girl needing “beads”, I don’t think he meant Stevie Wonder beads.  Now I’d like to consider myself both an ‘Around the Way Girl’ and a fan of Erykha Badu.  Badu revived the headwrap (watch this space for a post on that), dreads and giant afros after all.  Her latest do, however, has left an exasperating after-taste in my mouth …. fringed, beaded braids.  I will hold my hands up and admit, once when I was 10, my mum let me have beads.  I enjoyed the weight of the glass beads allowing me flick my hair around.  BUT…i can and will leave that style in my childhood.

Erykha Badu visits the Wendy Williams Show with a new hairdo

You see I know Alicia Keys tried to bring them back in the noughties, but the Williams sisters eternally squashed any notion of beaded braids looking stylish in my mind.  Step back to the 70s and 80s and you get, of course, Stevie Wonder and Rick James, to name but a few, who chmpioned the fringed, beaded braids look.    Until Badu’s trip to the Wendy William’s show, I only had to see the faux pas hairstyle on beaches, when holidaying Brits or Americans would dabble in afro-centric beachside dos like Bo Derek.  The novelty completely wearing off, quicker then their tans, they moment they reached home turf.

'Super Freak' Rick James championed beaded braids

Stevie Wonder in the studio, flashing a smile and shiny beads

Bo Derek, poster girl for all holidaying girls

Now don’t get me wrong, I love braids and respect the history of beads in braids.  I’ve been to Eritrean weddings, marvelling at the intricacies of age-old handiwork and the beauty of the hairstyles.  But, the 70s long braids, fringe and a few beads on the end combo – ain’t for me.  Erykha, the rest of your outfit rocks!  The hair – even you can’t pull off…NEXT!

Alicia Keys temporarily resurrected the trend in the noughties

The ancient Egyptians famously braided their hair

Those who still rock beaded braids a la Da Brat, can't help looking a little Ghetto fab

The Williams sisters - need I say more?

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