Slayedinbraids Founder, Helena Koudou is quickly gaining the attention of the world with her braiding expertise. For every lover of African hairstyles, her Instagram is all the inspo you need before hitting the salon. Heavily influenced by the roots of braiding here in Africa with styles and treatments that particularly cater to rich-textured African hair.

In a recent Vogue feature, Helena sheds light on how she found herself in the hair braiding business as well as why rocking braids means protecting your crown.

She was born into the braiding community with aunties who had migrated to the States from Ivory Coast and started  Alima’s Hair Braiding in Brooklyn.  Now only 23, she is the inspiration behind the short film The Hair Appointment which is about the African hair braiding community in the US.

A scene from The Hair Appointment

Helena tells Vogue that she loves rocking braids. She adds that there is a special relationship between her and her clients.

To me, rocking braids means protecting your crown. The beauty of African braiding and the community surrounding getting your hair braided in a salon versus doing your hair at home. The stylist-client bond is such a beautiful connection. We talk about everything in the chair.

Click here for the full feature on Vogue.

Photo Credit: Vogue US