Hairstylist shares how to braid hair at home during the pandemic

KANDIS MASCALL and JACQUELINE LAUREAN YATES
·2 min read

Between the pandemic and frequent winter storms, many people haven't had the privilege of getting their hair styled at a professional salon.

Thanks to skilled experts such as Detroit-based hairstylist Niani Barracks, there are online offerings available to help you style your strands safely from the comfort of your own home.

Barracks, founder of "A Safe Space for Black Girls That Never Learned How to Braid," started her platform at the beginning of the pandemic.

"We always assume it is something that we all have to know how to do," she told "Good Morning America." "And then the rest of the world assumes it is something that we all know how to do."

PHOTO: Hairstylist Niani Barracks has been hosting online hair tutorials during the pandemic. (ABC)
PHOTO: Hairstylist Niani Barracks has been hosting online hair tutorials during the pandemic. (ABC)

As Barracks began teaching classes, she found that women were signing up for another heartfelt reason: To bond with their children.

"They wanted to join the class because they felt a disconnect with their children because they did not know how to braid or style their hair," she said.

One parent, Michelle Brandt, shared with "GMA" that she was scared of being judged. "I was like, man, I'm black. And the stereotype is that black women just know how to braid hair. But I didn't know," she said.

Brandt is now a graduate of Barracks' class and said she's gained a skill to pass down to her daughter. She also documents her daughters' hairstyles on Instagram under the name Beautyandbarrettes.

"My daughter is biracial, so I am on top of making sure that she embraces her Black side and Black culture," said Brandt. "It just brings me so much pride and joy knowing that she's going to embrace this part of who she is and she can carry this down to her children one day or even teach her friends."

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Another graduate of the platform, Sebrena Grant, said that braiding with her 2-year-old has become "their time."

"He loves music. So we sing songs and we do letters and, you know, pretty much he will sit and have a conversation," said Grant. "You're not really talking about much, but he'll just sit and talk for hours."

Parents all around the world have continued to sign up for Barracks' braiding classes.

"It really hit me like, wow, this is more than just braiding," she said. "It just really makes me feel good knowing that I'm doing more than styling hair. I'm helping people."

Hairstylist shares how to braid hair at home during the pandemic originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com