Singer Christina Milian has joined in on the box braids trend with a new “Poetic Justice” look, which she debuted on Instagram. In addition to posting her new look, the ex-wife of megaproducer The-Dream tweeted: “Yes yes yes yay! I’ve been wanting to get individual braids since I was like 12! Finally did it! Thank you @instagr.am/p/UNifToMWhk/”
Box braids have made a resurgence in recent months, with high-profile fashionistas from Beyonce to her sister Solange, and even Shaunie O’Neal rocking them. “The hair style is making a comeback amongst the [young, black and fabulous] chicks,” opines the popular YBF blog about these braided extensions.
What could be behind this adoption of a style that was popular in the ’90s? Some believe it is the overall return of ’90s chic. The film Poetic Justice, which stars Janet Jackson in the title role, exemplified much of this era’s style for women, particularly her long, braided ‘do.
“Between the reemergence of ’90s fashion and that inescapable Kendrick Lamar/Drake collab,” states the black female lifestyle destination Vibe Vixen, “Poetic Justice continues to be relevant well into the 21st century. Besides the chemistry between Janet and Tupac, it’s Justice’s box braids that have an enduring impact on pop culture.”
Modern versions of “Poetic Justice” braids are very similar to period looks according to leading style site, Fashionista.com. “This time around, not a whole lot has changed: Women are still wearing their braids in pretty much the same way, piled high atop the heads (wrapped with a bandanna for an ultra ’90s vibe) or down their backs with a sleek middle part,” the outlet relates. “One major difference for modern day? The welcomed absence of those slicked down edges or ‘baby hair’ in the front.”
Specifics aside, it is telling that individual braids seem to be evolving from a throwback choice to a timeless classic for black women (and others) looking for a way to vary their coiffure. If you have not worn them since the ’90s, would you try box braids this time around in a fresh take for 2013?
Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on Twitter at @lexisb.