Why Do The Kardashians Wear Braids?

With their influence on popular culture, the Kardashian sisters, especially Kim and Kylie, have been seen sporting various braided hairstyles on red carpets, on social media, and in their everyday lives.

Many fans and followers have wondered about the reasons behind their love for braids.

Braids in the Kardashian Timeline: A History of Controversy and Conversation

The Kardashians and their relationship with braids have sparked numerous debates about cultural appropriation, appreciation, and influence.

Here’s a look at some key moments that have fueled these discussions:

  • 2013: Kim Kardashian sports “boxer braids” on Instagram, drawing criticism for failing to credit their origins in African cultures.
  • 2016: Kylie Jenner faces backlash for wearing cornrows, accused of profiting from Black culture without understanding its significance.
  • 2018: Kim Kardashian faces renewed criticism for wearing Fulani braids, a protective style traditionally worn by women of the Fulani people in West Africa.
  • 2020: Kim clarifies her intentions, stating she wore Fulani braids to match her daughter North’s hairstyle, but acknowledges the importance of cultural sensitivity.

Cultural Appropriation vs. Appreciation: Navigating a Fine Line

The debate surrounding the Kardashians and braids centers on the complex issue of cultural appropriation.

It raises questions about who can wear certain hairstyles and whether those styles should be acknowledged and honored for their cultural roots.

Understanding the Significance of Braids in Black Culture

Braids hold deep historical and cultural significance in Black communities worldwide. They are not merely a fashion statement but often represent identity, heritage, and social cohesion.

Braids have also served as a symbol of resistance and resilience in the face of oppression and discrimination. The Kardashians’ Impact: Awareness, Appreciation, or Appropriation? The Kardashians’ influence on beauty trends is undeniable.

While some argue their visibility has brought awareness to braiding styles, others contend that adopting them without proper credit reinforces a history of cultural appropriation and exploitation.

Moving Forward: Respectful Engagement and Dialogue

The conversation surrounding the Kardashians and braids highlights the need for ongoing dialogue about cultural appropriation and appreciation.

It’s crucial to engage respectfully with cultures different from our own, acknowledge their contributions, and uplift the voices of those historically marginalized.

Cultural Appreciation and Fashion Trends

The Rise of Braids in Pop Culture

Braided hairstyles have a rich cultural history that dates back centuries. From African tribes to ancient civilizations like Egypt and Greece, braids have been a prominent part of various cultures worldwide.

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in these traditional hairstyles, with many individuals embracing them as a form of cultural appreciation.

The Kardashians’ Influence on Fashion

The Kardashian family has an unparalleled influence on fashion trends. They are known for setting new beauty standards and popularizing certain styles.

By wearing braids, the Kardashians contribute to the growing popularity of this hairstyle, making it more mainstream and accessible to their millions of followers.

Versatility and Experimentation

Embracing Different Looks

The Kardashians are known for their ever-evolving looks and willingness to experiment with different hairstyles.

Braids allow them to change their appearance while maintaining a fashionable image.

A wide range of braided styles, including cornrows, box braids, and Dutch braids, allow the Kardashians to reinvent their look constantly.

Protective Styling

Many also favor braids because they offer several benefits for hair health. Like many other individuals with busy schedules and exposure to styling products, the Kardashians may opt for braids as protective styling.

Braiding the hair can help prevent damage from heat styling tools and reduce the need for excessive washing and styling, thus promoting healthier hair growth.

Influences from African-American Culture

Embracing Diversity

The Kardashians have faced criticism in the past for appropriating aspects of African-American culture without acknowledging its origins.

However, it is important to note that braided hairstyles are deeply rooted in African-American culture.

By wearing braids, the Kardashians may be attempting to embrace diversity and pay homage to the cultural significance of these hairstyles.

Promoting Representation

As influential figures in popular culture, the Kardashians have the power to shape beauty standards and promote representation.

By wearing braids, they can help normalize these hairstyles and challenge traditional notions of beauty that often exclude those with textured or afro-centric hair.


Various factors, including cultural appreciation, fashion trends, versatility, experimentation, and influences from African-American culture, influence the Kardashians’ choice to wear braids.

While their motivations may differ from person to person within the family, it is clear that braided hairstyles offer them an opportunity for self-expression, style evolution, and the promotion of diverse beauty standards.

Braids are more than a passing trend; they celebrate cultural heritage and individuality. As we continue to see the Kardashians and other celebrities rocking braids, we must appreciate and respect the historical and cultural significance of these hairstyles.


Which Kardashian started the trend of wearing braids?

The Kardashian sister who popularized the trend of wearing braids is Kim Kardashian. She has been seen sporting various braid styles over the years.

Are the Kardashians accused of cultural appropriation for wearing braids?

Yes, the Kardashians have faced accusations of cultural appropriation for wearing braids. Some argue that they are appropriating a hairstyle with significant cultural and historical significance to black communities.

Do the Kardashians always receive positive feedback for wearing braids?

No, the Kardashians have received mixed feedback for wearing braids. While some appreciate their fashion choices, others criticize them for appropriating black culture without fully understanding its significance.

How do the Kardashians maintain their braided hairstyles?

The Kardashians often rely on professional hairstylists to create and maintain their braided hairstyles. They may also use hair extensions or other styling products to enhance the look.

Have the Kardashians faced backlash for profiting from the braided hairstyles they wear?

Yes, The Kardashians have faced criticism for profiting from their braided hairstyles. Some argue that they capitalize on a style that has been traditionally marginalized or stigmatized when worn by black individuals.

Are the Kardashians credited with popularizing braids in mainstream culture?

While the Kardashians have contributed to the popularity of braids in mainstream culture, it is important to acknowledge that various cultures have worn braids for centuries before their influence. They have helped bring attention to the style but did not originate it.