Ghana braids are a form of cornrows. Ghana braids originated in Africa and date back to 500 BCE where they could be seen in hieroglyphs and even the sphinx.
The hairstyle reappeared after enslaved Africans were taken across the middle passage as a way of expressing identity while also remaining in line with demands that their hair be kept neat.
Cornrows traditionally could denote religion, familial affiliation and marital status with the more intricate patterns being added as an act of resistance during slavery, according to Naturally Curly.
Ghana braids are straight back cornrows that are usually longer in length and include braids of various thicknesses. The braids are usually started with the client's natural hair, then braided to or past the nape of the neck. Unlike cornrows, Ghana braids typically start with more natural hair up front, with the extensions being added as the braider goes further back.
Ghana braids are a protective style that can be preserved by wearing a scarf at night and using a braid spray or root stimulator to keep the hair moisturized. Washing the hair is not recommended with Ghana braids.