We Love Braids! And not only in Sandals. A chat with hair braider Soya Marega.

We Love Braids! And not only in Sandals. A chat with hair braider Soya Marega.

by Cristina Simoes

Braiding is a beautiful and timeless art form that transcends cultures and generations. It's more than just a way to style hair or create beautiful objects using this technique; it's a form of expression, creativity, and bonding.

For many, the love of braiding starts in childhood, with family members passing down techniques and traditions. The act of braiding can be a shared moment, fostering closeness and connection. It's a skill that, once learned, stays with you for life, allowing you to create intricate patterns and designs that reflect personal style and heritage.

Braiding also offers a sense of accomplishment and pride. Each braid, whether simple or complex, is a testament to patience and precision. The rhythmic, repetitive motions can be meditative, providing a calm and focused way to start or end the day.

From practical uses, like keeping hair neat and manageable, to creating stunning, elaborate updos for special occasions, braiding is a versatile and cherished practice. Whether you're braiding your own hair or someone else's, it’s an act of love and care, weaving together strands of hair and moments of connection.

We met with Soya Marega, to chat braiding and our mutual love for this craft..

She explained to us how she started braiding and how she learned this beautiful art form.

How did you start braiding?

I started braiding professionally after I did my best friends hair for a festival back in 2019. I really didn’t think much of it at the time. As time went by, people started asking her who did her hair and started seeking my services, and that’s when I realized I had a natural talent for hair and that I was a visual learner, from just sitting around my cousins and aunts while they did hair or spending my days at my stepmothers salon. 

Do you normally do your own braids? How long did it take?

Yes! I am a self braider, it’s the best way to enhance your skills as a hairstylist and to also experiment with new techniques, hairstyles, hair extensions and products.

When it comes to doing my own hair, it could take from 1h to 1 day, it truly depends on the style in question. And considering that I’m doing it myself, it is always more time consuming.

Best tip to keep your braids healthy and beautiful the whole summer?

The best way to maintain braids not just during the summer, but throughout the year, is to make sure you sleep with a silk scarf and/or a bonnet. Having silk pillow sheets also helps maintain your braids or any other hairstyle or hair type. It is truly the healthiest. 

Make sure your scalp is oiled up and hydrated, depending on the type of braids you have on, it is important to have them moisturized. 

What is your dream braiding job and who’s hair would you love to braid?

As a hairstylist, one of my main goals is to do hair at fashion shows, whether it’s Paris, New York or Milan. It’s definitely at the top of my list as a goal that I know I will achieve. I don’t necessarily have a person who I dream of doing their hair, I truly enjoy working with artists and want to continue doing so. I’ve been blessed to work with amazing brands and platforms out there and want to continue pursuing that. 

I'm now working with a new hair brand called @hairwithoutharm who have created plant based non-toxic hair.

This is the first time I have seen a brand come up with a solution for people who tend to have allergic reactions to hair extensions.

It is also a brand that worries about people with alopecia. People that have a hard time with heavy hair will love how light LAB’s hair is and how it feels on their scalp. 
Hair extensions or braiding hair can be quite heavy and irritating on the fingers, specially after long hours of doing the same movements. After a while it burns and even cuts. And the LAB hair is so soft and light which allows the braiding process to be more comfortable for the hairstylist. So it's amazing to see a brand not only care for the people that will be wearing the braids,  but also care about those providing the service. 

You can follow Soya on Instagram @soyamarega & @local.hair.fairy