ATWBeauty Hair Braiding Peru

Peru is one of my favorite places in the world. From the dancing, to the textiles, the people and of course the music. The beauty of Peru doesn’t just exist at Machu Picchu but in all the sacred land of Pacha Mama translated as Mother Earth. In Peru Mother Earth is celebrated by the indigenous people of the Andes who use it as a connection to the universe and also all their beauty needs.

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On this weeks beauty adventure I’m uncovering the signigance of hair braiding in the Inca culture.

Throughout Peru, you will see the native women of all ages wearing long braids.  Long, braided hair represents much more than just a hairstyle to the Quechua; the braids signify the marital status of Peruvian women.

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Two braids reveals that a woman in the tribe is married, while one or many braids mean that she is single.

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While in the Andes I visited a Quechua tribe in Patabamba (Sacred Valley) and One of the elders insisted on braiding her own hair for me to observe how its done.

Your hair needs to be wet before you start braiding. Just like a French braid, you start at the crown and work your way down. You then use the rest of the hair to tie a knot at the end. Perfection!!

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The Quechua Challenge is that you need to finish each braid in less than a minute.

Long, virgin hair is considered beautiful in Quechua tribes and is a symbol of health and well-being.

Of course it was my turn to get my hair braided,but I told her I wasnt  married and didnt want to jinx it by getting two braids.They assured me  I would still find the one.

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They also shared with me their natural shampoo that comes from a plant root. They smash it into a rock to get the liquid soap and mix it with water to wash their hair and the Alpaca Wool.

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When women start losing hair due to aging, they incorporate yarn into the braids to lengthen and thicken the hair. Braids among the tribe is a tradition that has been passed down by many generations and continues to grow and evolve as time goes on.

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Make sure to watch the episode and subscribe to my youtube channel.

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Beauty & Love,

Stephanie Flor

 

Foot Reflexology

The ancient Chinese practice of reflexology, is a manual therapy focusing on the feet, and hands.

For 3,000 years. Chinese practitioners have used reflexology to re-balance Qi (the life force flowing through energy channels) to treat a number of conditions.

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Reflexology is based on the Chinese principle that certain areas on the soles of your feet or hands – known as reflex zones – containing millions of nerve endings, correspond to other parts of the body.

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By applying pressure to certain points in the hands and feet it stimulates organs, nerve endings and energy pathways to promote health.

The Chinese believe that reflexology stimulates the body into healing itself by improving circulation, reducing stress, pain and restoring a natural balance.

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I tried foot reflexology in my new Around The World Beauty Adventure in Chinatown . As ticklish as Iam I did not burst into laughter instead I was incredibly relaxed. The therapist added pressure to certain points and focused on my level of comfort. You never think about the feet and how much they need a little loving too.  He started by cleaning them with a warm/wet towel and then applied aloe vera lotion. He started at my ankles and worked his way to my toes. Using both hands he created circular motions and would stop at certain pressure points adding a little bit more of a push on his fingers.

Reflexology helps with

  • Sport Injuries
  • Headaches
  • Arthritis
  • Insomnia
  • Stress
  • Hormonal Imbalance

If you havent already make sure to watch ATWBeauty Adventure in Chinatown.

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Peru: The Cultural Significance of Braids

The Quechua are a group of indigenous people scattered throughout areas of South America.  I was fortunate enough to spend time with a tribe in Peru and experience their culture.  The first things that stood out when visiting the tribe were the women’s unique clothing and style of hair.  One of the most significant aspects of the Quechua woman’s look and culture is her hair.

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Throughout Peru, you will see the native women of all ages wearing long braids.  Long, braided hair represents much more than just a hairstyle to the Quechua; the braids signify the marital status of Peruvian women.

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Two braids reveals that a woman in the tribe is married, while one or many braids mean that she is single.

I traveled through the Andes and visited a Quechua tribe in Patabamba (Sacred Valley).  I asked them: how do you make the perfect braids?

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One of the elders braided her own hair for me to observe and then insisted upon putting braids in mine. I really wanted two braids but explained to her that I wasn’t married. This caused the women to laugh and I worried about bad luck,  but they assured me that it wouldn’t ruin my chances of finding “the one.”

Steps for Creating the Perfect Braid:

First, you need a bowl of water and a brush. Your hair needs to be wet before you start braiding. Next, separate your part and then section it right down the middle. Just like a French braid, you start at the crown and work your way down. Quechua tip: Try to finish each braid in less than a minute. A woman in the tribe swiftly braided 2 pieces in less than 2 minutes. she then used the excess hair to tie a knot at the end.

Long, virgin hair is considered beautiful in Quechua tribes and is a symbol of health and well-being.

IMG_6073 When women start losing hair due to aging, they incorporate yarn into the braids to lengthen and thicken the hair. The yarn is attached into the braid where the braid ends so it is difficult to tell the difference.

ATWBPeru9Braids among the tribe is a tradition that has been passed down by many generations and continues to grow and evolve as time goes on.