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Braid Babes: In dieser Braid Bar ist Kunsthaar Bindeglied für Female Empowerment

Es ist nicht einfach eine Frisur. Über die Chancen des Geflechts aus Kultur, Schönheitsideal und Trauma. In der „NYA Braid Bar“ ist Kunsthaar Bindeglied für Female Empowerment.

Ein pastelliges Gefühl von Sisterhood. Wer erinnert sich noch an den Vibe des Videos zu „Bills, Bills, Bills“ von Destiny’s Child? Der Haarsalon in dem Clip war ein Ort voller selbstbewusster, wunderschöner Frauen, die sich gegenseitig den Rücken stärken. Sich gemeinsam über den Dude aufregen, der einem auf der Tasche liegt. Let’s face it: Es gibt genug Gründe, sich im echten Leben aufzuregen. Aber noch viel mehr, um sich gegenseitig den Rücken zu stärken. Und genau dieser Girl-Power-Spirit aus dem Musikvideo lebt heute in Berlin weiter. Willkommen in der „NYA (Not Your Average) Braid Bar“, einem Ort, an dem Frauen nicht nur ihre Haare zu bunten Zöpfen echten lassen, sondern selbst zu einem starken Geflecht zusammenwachsen. Braids sind Frisuren, Kulturgut und Kommunikationsmittel. Yes, das knallige Kunsthaar ist ein Bindeglied – zwischen den unterschiedlichsten Frauen, Generationen und Kulturen.

Das „NYA“-Dream-Team Emily (r.) & Awa

„Es ist uns ganz wichtig, dass unser Salon neben dem Flecht-Service einen Diskurs anbietet, dass hier Gedanken, Ideen, Erfahrungen und Tipps ausgetauscht werden. Das ist für mich wirklich Empowerment.“- Emily

Alle reden von Female Empowerment, aber wie können wir uns wirklich gegenseitig unterstützen? Diese Frage hat auch die Kanadierin Emily Hale umgetrieben. So sehr, dass sie im letzten Jahr eine Braids-Bewegung gestartet hat: „Ich hatte das Gefühl, dass es einen Safe Space braucht, in dem sich Frauen treffen, die sonst vielleicht nicht zusammenkämen. Sie sollen aus dem Laden gehen, sich gestärkt und schön fühlen. Äußerlich, aber auch innerlich. Im Endeffekt machen wir Frauen doch dieselben Dinge und Unsicherheiten durch – wenn wir das mit anderen teilen, hilft uns das“, sagt Emily. „Es ist uns ganz wichtig, dass unser Salon neben dem Flecht-Service einen Diskurs anbietet, dass hier Gedanken, Ideen, Erfahrungen und Tipps ausgetauscht werden. Das ist für mich wirklich Empowerment“, sagt Girlboss Emily. Mit zum festen Team gehört Awa, die 20-Jährige ist die Braiderin im Salon – okay, wow, sie steht der Beyoncé im Video halt in nichts nach. Wenn diese smarte Schönheit in ihrem Element ist und flicht, ist sie Schwester, Cheerleaderin und Therapeutin in einem. Es kommen schnell Themen auf, die man eben mit der Freundin bespricht. „Beim Flechten entsteht so ein ganz besonderer Bund zwischen uns. Wir sitzen stundenlang in einem Raum und schauen uns an, tauschen uns aus. Ich liebe diesen Aspekt am Braiden“, so die Hairstylistin. Awa hat das Flechten von ihrer senegalesischen Mutter gelernt, da war Awa gerade mal sieben Jahre alt. Heute schlägt ihre Kunst Brücken zwischen Menschen.

„Ich habe hier reife, freundliche, respektvolle und bedachte junge Menschen kennengelernt, die meine Welt bereichern.“ – Awa

Passend dazu erzählt Emily: „Eine meiner persönlichen Lieblingslektionen ist das Verständnis für Frauen anderer Altersgruppen. Bevor ich Awa und ihre Crew traf, hatte ich keine sehr hohe Meinung von jungen Mädels. Ich sah Teenager, die laut und albern waren, und konnte nichts mit ihnen anfangen. Ich hab sie abgestempelt, ohne sie zu kennen.“ Zwischen ihr und ihrer Partnerin in Crime liegen fast 20 Jahre. „Durch die jungen Frauen hier wurde mir klar, dass ich ignorant war. Ich habe hier reife, freundliche, respektvolle und bedachte junge Menschen kennengelernt, die meine Welt bereichern. Sie lehren mich alle möglichen Dinge. Das ist die Art von Zusammenkunft, über die wir hier sprechen.“

Faux Locs, Goddess Locs, Fulani Braids, Crochet Braids – in der „NYA Braid Bar“ in Berlin wird die Vielfalt der Frauen mit der Vielfalt von Frisuren verknüft – und gefeiert.

„Ich finde es wichtig, mein Wissen über die Herkunft, Traditionen und Namen der jeweiligen Braids weiterzugeben.“ – Awa

Bei „NYA“ sind also erst mal alle Menschen willkommen, die offen sind für einen Dialog. Auch für einen kulturgeschichtlichen: „Mir ist es wichtig, dass die Kunden sich wohlfühlen, aber auch was mitnehmen“, sagt Awa. „Ich finde es wichtig, mein Wissen über die Herkunft, Traditionen und Namen der jeweiligen Braids weiterzugeben und für Aufklärung zu sorgen.“ Wenn weiße Kunden beispielsweise nach Kim-K-Braids fragen, dann bekommen sie an dieser Stelle von Awa und Emily die Erklärung, dass es sich bei Corn-Rows um eine jahrtausendealte Frisur aus Afrika handelt und nicht um Hair-Inspo der Kardashians. Eine wichtige Einordnung für eine Frisur, die in der Popkultur immer wieder häufig aus dem Kontext gerissen wird. Tatsächlich soll die Idee der Braid-Squad auch aus dem Laden getragen werden, Panel Talks und Workshops ergeben sich aus den Themen und Kontakten des Salons. Auch bei Instagram weiten die Ladys die Gespräche und Bedürfnisse ihrer Kundinnen aus. Besprechen hier mal innere Zerrissenheit, Herausforderungen im Job, ungesunde Schönheitsideale oder Schuldgefühle junger Mütter. Vermeintliche Tabuthemen gibt es schließlich wie Haare auf dem Kopf.

Dieser Beitrag wurde ursprünglich in unserer Ausgabe #7 und am 14. Mai 2019 online veröffentlicht.

Fotos: Lukas Wenninger

Mehr Inspo für Frisuren-Experimente gibt’s hier:
Hairy Fairy Tale: Color Morphing für die Haare
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Wie du deine Haare im Sommer tragen kannst

Edith Loehle
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