Can Mexicans Wear Box Braids

Box braids are a highly protective Black hairstyle for those with porous and dry hair. But, the appropriation of African culture by white people is quite rampant. 

Hence, people of color have become hesitant to practice the hairstyle for fear of being criticized.  

Contrary to what you may think, Mexicans can actually wear box braids. Because box braids are also a cultural heritage of Mexican people. So it won’t be cultural appropriation if they wear box braids

In the article, we’ll discuss more on the Mexican heritage of Box braids. And when it’s a cultural appropriation to wear box braids.

What Are Mexican Braids?

Mexican Braids

Mexican braids styles reflect the convenience of wearing braids for hairstyles. Braids have been part of Mexicans’ life for centuries although not as long as the Africans. And braids were mostly worn for convenience in daily life rather than as a protective hairstyle. 

Below are some of the braid styles that are believed to be originated from Mexican heritage – 

  • Crown braids
  • Twin braids
  • Single-long braid 
  • Twin ribbon braids
  • Chignons (Braids after tying the hair in a ponytail)
  • Looped Ribbon Braids

Looking at how these braids are worn, these braids keep the hair out of your way. Which represents how these braids came to be in Mexican women’s lives. 

They used to work long hours outdoors. With how dark and thick their hair is, these braids perfectly made sense as a hairdo. 

Are Braids In Mexican Culture?

Braids In Mexican Culture

The ancient Aztecs, Mayan, and Olmec are the ancient ancestors of who we know as Mexicans. And braids have since been an integral part of their culture.

In ancient Mexican civilization, the Mayan and the Aztec men and women would keep their hair done in braids. 

Archeologists discovered that some braids were symbolic at that time. Mexican women keep their black hair long and they had to work outdoors as well in the past. 

Braids are the perfect solution to wearing their long, black hair. That way the hair would stay out of the way during outdoors and household chores. 

History tells us that not just Africans but also Mexican people have braids in their culture.

Why White Women Wear Box Braids Despite The Controversy

White Women Wear Box Braids Despite The Controversy

Besides the concern for protecting the hair, box braid is a gorgeous braiding technique. Because of the aesthetics, even white women started wearing box braids. 

They started doing it without acknowledging the roots and historical value of box braids. Which is loosely the definition of cultural appropriation. 

Regardless of the controversy, white women kept wearing box braids. Let’s look at some of the reasons behind the continued cultural appropriation.

a) Braids Were Popularized by Janet Jackson In The Early 90s

 Popularized by Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson, the diva for early 90s’ kids, remembers her from the movie ‘Poetic Justice’. She was one of the first influential black women to wear box braids on popular television media. 

Following their diva, young white women started to wear box braids without thinking too much into it. It was simply a desire to look beautiful and trendy. 

Her look inspired a whole generation of people to destigmatize and wear braids. Back then cultural appropriation was less of a concern. Because black people were still largely fighting for their rights. 

b) Taking Inspiration From Black Women

Inspiration From Black Women

Box braids gained a momentum for popularity by Janet Jackson. She was the first black woman to rock box braids on cameras. 

Black women were rejecting European beauty standards for themselves and embracing their own features and cultures. It also made box braids really famous. 

Even young white women embraced box braids, crossing the boundary of racial hate and prejudice.

c) Hadn’t Realized It Was Cultural Appropriation

Hadn't Realized It Was Cultural Appropriation

Until recently, cultural appropriation was not a generally known term. People would freely wear cultural elements of different races without giving much thought. 

Black and people of color had little power to call people out for culturally appropriating box braids. 

This gave white women a free ride to wear hairstyles that belonged to black women. And they didn’t bother to acknowledge the roots.

d) Hairstyle Has Never Been Criticized

Back in the time, as we discussed previously, people had little time to be concerned about hairstyles. Consequently, no one really criticized white women for wearing box braids. 

e) As A Symbol of Appreciation For Black Culture

Symbol of Appreciation

There were many who didn’t acknowledge the roots and the value it contributes to the history of black people. 

But there were also people, who genuinely appreciated the roots and cultural heritage of box braids. They gave credits where it was due when rocking the box braids. 

f) Common To-Do Box Braids In The Summer

For summer, many types of box braids are a common hairstyle. Because these braids hold the hair in place really well. And you don’t have to deal with sweaty, sticky hair every day!

Here are few box braids you can try – 

  1. Crochet box braids
  2. Goddess box braids
  3. Ghana Box braids
  4. Poetic Justice box braids

What Is The Correct Way To Wear Box Braids If I’m Mexican

If you’re Mexican and want to wear box braids, best to go to a hairstylist who’s specialized in box braids.

There is no correct way to wear box braids. As long as you acknowledge the culture it belongs to, you can wear box braids.

Just leave the braiding to the specialist braiding stylist and you’re good to go!

A Galaxy of Mexican Braiding

Box braid is not Mexican but an African hairstyle. But Mexicans also have many types of braiding styles that belong to the Mexican people. 

Mexican braiding techniques cater mainly to the aesthetic and functionality of braiding hair. 

To help with their daily activities, Mexican people invented many types of braids. Having strong, thick, and black hair, braids also protected the hair for Mexican women for centuries. 

a) Mexican Women’s Hair Is a Mix of Asian and Caucasian Roots

Mexican women have mild curls in their hair. Which characterizes the porosity of their hair. Caucasian women have wavy and finer hair strands.

Their hair color is also in the dark side and thick hair strands. Which is similar to Asian women. 

So Mexican hair seems to be a mix of both Asian and Caucasian hair types. They’re dark, slightly curly with waves, and have medium porosity hair strands. 

b) Braids are considered to be a traditional art form in Mexico

Despite braiding the hair for ease in outdoor and household chores, braids are a form of art in Mexico. 

Since childhood, Mexican girls are taken to hairstylists for braiding their unruly hair. Since ancient times, Mexicans have adorned their braids with flowers and colorful fabrics. 

The devotion gave birth to many stunning yet intricate braids. 

7 Best Mexican Braids That Look Totally Stunning

Let’s take a look at 7 Mexican Braids you can rock to celebrate your own heritage – 

I. Radiant Ribbon Braids

It’s a braiding technique in which a vivid colored fabric is braided along with your hair. 

II. Modern Space Buns

Modern space bun is a rendition of twin braid buns. Hair is parted in the middle section. You’ll see two thin braids on the back of the head which end in the twin buns. 

III. Side Pancake Braid

For this braid, you’ll have a single braid on the side of your hair. The hair is loosely braided, then each fold is gently pulled to create a fluffy, enlarged braid.  

IV. Looped Ribbon Braids

This is a popular braid style for little girls in Mexico. Twin ponytails are braided with 2 pieces of ribbon weaved inside the hair. 

Then the braid is turned into a loop and tied with the ponytail with the same ribbon. 

V. Braid-Wrapped Bun

For this technique, wrap your hair around a donut-shaped foam after making a ponytail. 

Then with a rubber, secure the hair around the foam and make 2 braids with the rest of the hair length. Then wrap the braids around the bun and you’re done!

This is an elegant hairstyle for a wedding event.

VI. Darling Double Braids

Darling double braid is a really useful braid to keep layered hair in control. The braid starts from the top of the head. Hence this braid can keep all lengths of hair together. 

VII. Cute-as-Can-Be Crown Braid

Crown braids will make you feel like a queen. Simply make a single braid and wrap it around your head. 

This braid keeps all the hair away from your shoulder all while giving an elegant look!

Related Articles:

  • Do Box Braids Hurt
  • Can You Redip Box Braids
  • Can You Get Box Braids With Dreads


Hairstyles are never owned by anyone. But black hairstyles have a particular, deep tie with their history of struggle. Hence you may ask ‘can Mexicans wear box braids’. 

We clarified the confusion in the article as simple as possible. Hope it helps! 

By Cindy Mahlangu

Hey there! I'm Cindy Mahlangu, a pro hairstylist with a serious passion for natural hair care. My mission? To inspire and educate others on the beauty and benefits of protective hairstyles. Through my creative writing, aim to empower individuals to embrace their unique hair texture and confidently care for their locks. So, whether you're rocking locs, braids, or twists, join me on this hair journey and let's achieve healthy, fabulous tresses together!


  1. Mexicans are not Asian. We are indigenous. Mayan, Aztec, Olmec, Apache, Mixteco, etc. If you do DNA most Mexican mestizos are more than half indigenous

    1. Indeed Mexicans are not Asian, but they can still wear box braids. Looking back at history, we can see that Mexicans are a mixed race of Europeans and Africans. Plus, braids are included in their history as symbols of cultural heritage. So, as a mixed race of Afro-Mexican, they can wear box braids without hesitation.

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