Hairstyles can make or break a look, and a popular hair do that never goes out of style is the braid. A braid is a complex structure or pattern formed by interlacing three or more strands of flexible material such as textile yarns, wire and of course, hair! Compared with the process of weaving, which usually involves two separate, perpendicular groups of strands (warp and weft), a braid is usually long and narrow, with each component strand functionally equivalent in zigzagging forward through the overlapping mass of the others.

In other words, completed braids resemble a criss-cross hair pattern!

Popular Types of Braids:

  1. Box Braids: Hair braids which are characterized by boxy or square shaped hair divisions. They are typically created by adding synthetic braiding hair. This hairstyle is a means of protective styling.
  2. Cornrows: An ancient traditional African style of hair grooming, in which the hair is braided very close to the scalp, using an underhand, upward motion to produce a continuous, raised row. Cornrows are often formed in simple, straight lines.
  3. Crochet Braids: Also known as latch hook braids, this braiding hair type involves crocheting synthetic hair extensions to a person’s natural hair with a latch hook or crochet hook.
  4. Fishtail Braids: Also known as the Herringbone, this braid includes a weaving of separate strands where the finished braid resembles the tail/bones look of a fish.
  5. French Braids: This braid includes three sections of hair that are braided together from the crown of the head to the nape of the neck.
  6. Standard Braids: Two or three sections of hair are overlapped, creating the standard, twisted braid.

Happening types of hair braids that are easy to be made!

Braid Fun Fact: The oldest known reproduction of hair braiding may go back about 30,000 years; the Venus of Willendorf, now known in academia as the Woman of Willendorf, is a female figurine estimated to have been made between about 28,000 and 25,000 BC. It has been disputed whether or not she wears braided hair or some sort of woven basket on her head. The Venus of Brassempouy is estimated to be about 25,000 years old and shows a braided hairstyle.

The braided hairstyle began growing in popularity around the world. During the Bronze Age and Iron Age many peoples in the Near East, Asia Minor, Caucasus, East Mediterranean, North Africa, Ancient Egyptians, Ancient Greeks, Babylonians, Amorites, Hittites, Mitanni, Israelites, Persians, Medes, Chaldeans, Armenians, and more are depicted in art with braided hair.

Long or short, here to there, look spectacular and splendid with braided hair!

Braiding is traditionally a social art. Because of the time it takes to braid hair, people have often taken time to socialize while braiding and having their hair braided. It began with elders making simple knots and braids for younger children. Older children watched and learned from them, started practicing on younger children, and eventually learned the traditional braid designs. This carried on a tradition of bonding between elders and the new generation.

Cornrow Braids Fun Fact: Depending on the region of the world, cornrows are often worn by men and women and are often adorned with beads or cowry shells. Cornrows are easy maintenance, as rows can be left in for weeks at a time if maintained through careful washing of hair and regular oiling of the scalp.

Braid Not So Fun Fact: Braids pulled too tight or worn for considerable lengths of time can cause a type of hair loss known as traction alopecia.

Crochet Braids Fun Fact: While crochet braids are a hybrid of traditional braids, they’re considered to be more similar to weaves. The natural hair can be twisted or braided, but is most commonly styled into cornrows before affixing the synthetic hair. Using a latch hook or crochet hook, the synthetic hair (in the form of loose bulk) is then attached. Parts of the hair extensions are grabbed by the hook and pulled through the underside of each cornrow, working from the front of the hair to the back at a 90 degree angle.

Whether your braid preference is box, crochet, cornrow, fishtail, standard or French, no matter which braid you step out in, be assured you and your hair will look and feel your best!

Braid Fun Fact: The Dutch braid and the Fishtail braid are both variations of the gorgeous French braid!

“The length of your hair is spectacular, it goes almost to the floor.”

“Shorter haircuts are beautiful also, sometimes less is more.”

“I see you braided your hair; it must have taken hours to do.”

“A professional hair stylist made my braid; I sat in a chair, she made the do.”

“The type of braid is exquisite with a different braided look than I know.”

“This here is the fishtail braid. When I walk it swings too and fro.”

Braids: A trendy, well known hairstyle that works every time…mile to mile!

Nancy Mangano is an American beauty/fashion/style influencer, fashion journalist, screenwriter and author of the Natalie North murder mystery book series. Visit Nancy on her global online fashion/style/beauty magazine Strutting in Style! at http://www.struttinginstyle.com, her Facebook page Nancy Mangano at  https://www.facebook.com/nancymmangano/  Twitter @https://twitter.com/nancymangano and her author website http://www.nancymangano.com


Regarding simple pleasures in life, diamonds and chocolate make the list. While diamonds are revered and beautiful in various forms of jewelry, and chocolate candies and flavorings are adored by the taste buds, mixing the two together to create chocolate diamonds is a definite win!
Chocolate (brown) diamonds are the most common color variety of natural diamonds. In most mines, chocolate diamonds account for 15% of production. Although brown diamonds don’t glimmer as shimmery as their clear diamond sisters, in Australia and the United States, brown diamonds have become valued gemstones and have taken on the appetizing name chocolate diamonds.

Chocolate Diamond Fun Fact: A significant portion of the output of Australian diamond mines is brown stones. A large amount of scientific research has gone into understanding the origin of the unique brown color. Several causes have been identified, including irradiation treatment, nickel impurities and lattice defects associated with plastic deformation; the latter is considered as the predominant cause, especially in pure diamonds. A high pressure, high temperature treatment has been developed that heals lattice defects and converts brown diamonds into yellow or colorless stones.
Baumgold Bros., a popular diamond cutter and fine jewelry importer in the 1950s and 1960s, rebranded brown diamonds in order to hike sales. Names included champagne, amber, cognac and chocolate. Other companies followed the Baumgold Bros. lead and named different shades such as clove, coffee, caramel, cappuccino, mocha, espresso and cinnamon.
Whatever name you prefer to use, the chocolate diamond makes gorgeous jewelry in any style you choose!

Chocolate Diamond Fun Fact: In the year 2000, the fine jewelry company Le Vian trademarked the term “chocolate diamond” and introduced a new brown jewelry line. Le Vian worked with the supplier Rio Tinto and partnered with the retailer, Signet Jewelers. The brand heavily advertised the ‘chocolate diamond’ line including a massive television media spend. The campaign was a success; in 2007 virtually no one was searching for ‘chocolate diamonds’. By the year 2014 the search number jumped to 400,000 times a year.
If chocolate and diamonds are a girl’s best friend, I suggest chocolate diamonds! The allure never ends!

Diamonds occur in various colors including blue, yellow, green, orange, various shades of pink and red, brown, gray and black. The Argyle mine, with its 35 million carats (7,000 kg) of diamonds per year, makes about one third of global production of natural diamonds. 80% of argyle diamonds are brown.

Natural Chocolate Diamond Fun Fact: The majority of natural brown diamonds don’t show any characteristics of absorption peaks. The brown color relates to the plastic deformation.
Synthetic Chocolate Diamond Fun Fact: Synthetic diamonds are created by compressing graphite to several gigapascals and heating to temperatures above 1500 C. Nitrogen in these diamonds is dispersed through the lattice as single atoms and induces a yellow color. Nickel is added to graphite to accelerate its conversion into a diamond. The incorporation of nickel and nitrogen into the diamond induces the brown color.
Chocolate or brown…when dolled up in chocolate/brown shimmering diamond jewelry, you’ll rock the town!

Notable Chocolate Diamonds:

  1. The Golden Jubilee Diamond is the largest cut diamond in the world. It was founded in 1985 as a rough stone of 755.5 carats in the Premier mine in South Africa, which is operated by De Beers.
  2. The Earth Star Diamond was found at another South African mine of De Beers, the Jagersfontein Mine on May 16, 1967. The diamond came from the 2,500 foot level of volcanic diamond-bearing pipe. The rough gem weighed 248.9 carats and was cut into a 111.59 carat pear-shaped gem with a strong brown color and extraordinary brilliance. The diamond was purchased in 1983 for $900,000.
  3. The Incomparable Diamond is another African diamond, one of the largest ever found in the world (890 carats). In 1984 a young girl discovered it in a pile of rubble from old mine dumps of the nearby MIBA Diamond Mine, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  4. In 1974, American actress Elizabeth Taylor wore a chocolate diamond ring and earrings to the Oscars. The jewelry was a gift from Richard Burton for their tenth wedding anniversary.

Chocolate diamonds…yummy and delicious to the eyes! Dress in elegant chocolate diamond splendor and be fashion wise! You’ll sparkle lovely…no surprise!

Heat Treated Chocolate Diamond Fun Fact: The concept that the brown color of chocolate diamonds might be related to lattice imperfections has led to a technique to convert brown diamonds into light yellow or even colorless diamonds. The diamond is subjected to high pressures of 6 to 10 GPa and temperatures above 1600 C that heals those defects. The technique has been demonstrated in several research laboratories in Russia and the United States. Since 1999, several companies around the world have adopted the technique and use various brand names for the processed diamonds.
Chocolate Diamonds: Alluring, appetizing, appealing and amazing!
“I’m aching to eat some chocolate but I’ve started a no sugar diet.”
“I’ve got another way for you to get your chocolate fix that will cause a fashion riot.”
“Are you suggesting I dangle delicious chocolate squares on my ears?”
“I’m saying wear chocolate diamond earrings…the finest diamond in years,  I hear.”
“That is a marvelous idea. Would you like to buy me a pair?”
“Certainly. Let’s treat ourselves…chocolate is scrumptious to wear!”
Chocolate diamonds: A sure cut above, my fashion diva love!
Watch for Nancy’s next book in her award winning murder mystery series, Deadly Decisions – A Natalie North Novel, coming to online and retail bookstores on February 24, 2017!
Nancy Mangano is an American fashion journalist and author of the Natalie North murder mystery book series, A Passion for Prying and Murder Can Be Messy. Visit Nancy on her author website http://www.nancymangano.com, Twitter @https://twitter.com/nancymangano, her fashion magazine Strutting in Style! at http://www.struttinginstyle.com, and her Facebook fan page Nancy Mangano https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nancy-Mangano/362187023895846