Tradition to Trends: Koroba Braids Redefined in 2024

2024 began with a surprising twist as Koroba made a comeback, adorned with a modern flair that some call swirly or spiral braids.
Beauty
February 1, 2023
Written By
Valerie Iyun
In this Article

In the symphony of trends echoing through the world of beauty, there's a quiet crescendo—a hairstyle making a bold return, not just as a trend but as a statement about cultural roots and personal expression.

Last year, we witnessed a wide range of braiding styles, from knotless braids, French curls, and stitched braids to goddess braids. However, 2024 began with a surprising twist as Koroba made a comeback, adorned with a modern flair that some call swirly or spiral braids.

The Koroba hairstyle traces its origins to the Yoruba tribe in West Africa, with some also linking it to Madagascar. In Yoruba, 'Koroba' translates to 'Calabash,' and the hairstyle mimics the appearance of an inverted calabash, starting from the center of the scalp down to the sides. Those familiar with this style from childhood may recall the tension it places on the head, even if its allure is undeniable, especially when adorned with beads or jewels.

What excites me about its comeback is innovation within the stylist community. Many hair artists are transforming the conventional 'all-down' Koroba into dynamic styles, incorporating other braiding techniques, and adding playful swirls to the tips.

As we trace back the trend, three individuals stand out. Helena Koudou (@slayedinbraids), a prominent hair artist on Instagram, notably showcased the 'Cicely' updo as she named it as far back as 2021, influencing the swirly style. South African model Kayra Theodore and Haitian influencer Ashley Lazarre also embraced the swirly braid look in 2023, with the latter showcasing a style remarkably similar to the Koroba braid. Since then, the trend has taken root, with countless women donning variations of this revived hairstyle.

Though the Koroba hairstyle may not be my personal favourite, its resurgence aligns with a broader celebration of black beauty and heritage. It serves as a symbol of resilience and pride, embodying a global revival that extends beyond mere fashion trends.

Amid global beauty trends, the Koroba hairstyle stands out, not just as a fleeting fashion statement but as a testament to the enduring beauty of cultural heritage in Africa.

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