At African Adornments, the complete satisfaction of our customers is our top priority. Check out some of our frequently asked questions:

What is the tradition of African waistbeads?

Waistbeads has been an African tradition for centuries. The oldest documented image of waist beads can be seen on hieroglyphics dating back to the ancient Egyptians. It is commonly used among many African countries, most popularly in Ghana and Nigeria. Waistbeads symbolizes femininity and sensuality. In certain African cultures, it is gifted to girls by the mother as a right of passage. It is often used during traditional ceremonies as a form of body positivity and adornment. Nowadays, it is commonly used as an effective way to monitor non-scale victories. If the waist bead rolls up, gets tighter, or even pops, it means the person is getting bigger and if the waist bead starts falling lower on the waist from when it was first placed, that means the person is loosing weight. Regardless of someone's intentions, the important thing is that anyone can wear waist beads to feel and look beautiful in their own skin.

What material is your waistbead made of?

Our waistbeads are made by women in Ghana and Nigeria. Those made in Ghana are traditional tie-on waistbeads made of cotton threads that come about 55 inches in size and can be adjusted accordingly. Those made in Nigeria are made of non-stretch plastic strings that come with a twist clasp on the end so women have the option to easily remove and put back on.

How do I adjust my waistbeads?

Step 1: Wrap your waistbead around your waist visualizing in front of a mirror where you would like for it to be positioned (e.g. waistline, high hip, hip). 

Step 2: Make sure to push all of the beads together and position the beads so that the strong is in front of you to easily see.

Step 3: Pull the excess beads off the string. (Tip: You can use the excess string with beads as an anklet).

Step 4: Tie the string three times making a knot. Try not to expose any string when tying. (If you are trying to tie a clasp waistbead, you would need to make the knot after the clasp making sure to tie the string close to the clasp.)

Step 5: Cut the excess string leaving about a 1/2 inch as to not cut too close from the knot. Turn your waistbead around so the knot is in the back.

To watch videos on how to wear your waistbead, check out our Facebook and Instragram pages. 

Can I bathe, exercise, and sleep in my waistbeads?

YES!! The traditional tie-on waistbeads are made to stay on unless you cut them. You can certainly exercise and bathe in them. Sometimes waistbeads can break due to not being mindful they are on and using excessive force while dressing or using the restroom. This can happen more often among women who are not used to them or those who are new to wearing them, so be mindful sis! The clasp waistbeads can be removed and put on again whenever needed.

How can I best care for my new waistbead?

The first thing is to be mindful that you now have a waistbead around your waist. Some women who are new to waistbead wearing can forget they have it on and use excessive force during dressing or using the restroom. Just try to be mindful during your everyday movement. For after exercise care, just wipe down the bead with a damp towel and then dry with a clean dry towel. For after bathing or showering, make sure to also use a damp towel to clean the bead from any shampoo, soap, lotions, oils, etc. and then dry with a clean dry towel.

Do colors have different meanings?

Yes and No. In West Africa, colors can be associated with tribes and colors of the country's flag. During wedding ceremonies, women may wear white or black colored waistbeads or in tribal colors for their partner. We've asked some of the women who hand make them in West Africa and they have said that other colors don't have specific meanings. We want to be mindful to use the waistbeads while preserving their traditions. Therefore, we have noticed that those who may get colors that align with chakras are not a traditional usage in Africa. Chakras are energy centers based on Hinduism practices and it does not align with the usage and traditions of waistbeads originating in Africa.

What are the payment options?

We accept all major credit cards, including PayPal.

What are the shipping and delivery processing times?

We use USPS First Class to ship our inventory. Our normal shipping times are between 3-4 business days but can take as longer during holidays or peak shipping days during the year. Delivery times vary depending on location, typically USPS delivery times are 3-5 business days. A tracking number will be provided so you can track your order once it is shipped.  We are not responsible for products that read delivered on the USPS tracking information or products that were mis-delivered due to an incorrect or incomplete address provided to us. A claim can be filed with the United States Postal Service. If your package is returned to us due to incomplete or incorrect address there will be a re-shipping fee charged to the payment on file to ship it again.

What is your return/exchange policy?

Due to the intricate handmade product provided that is unique to each of our customers, we have a no return policy. If items are received in a damaged state or the wrong item is shipped, we will happily exchange it. Please email africanadornments@gmail.com immediately upon opening the package with an image of the product.