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What are waist beads? How are they worn? How do I measure for my waist beads? Do kids wear waist beads? Answers to your Who, What, When, How, and Why’s are below in our list of most Frequently Asked Questions.  Select a question below to learn more about waist beads, Waist Beads by Ayodele, and Duafe products. Can’t find your question? Enter your inquiry below.

What are waist beads?

Waist beads are an adornment of beads, strung with thread, wire, or natural cords, and worn low around one’s waist. Waist beads particularly worn by women & girls is a popular custom believed to have originated in the Old Kongo Empire in the central region of Africa. They are worn by all ages & sizes from birth to transition, as a symbol of femininity, beauty, and protection throughout the continent of Africa and beyond. Traditionally, they are adorned with special beads made of clay, glass, wood, crystals, gemstones , & colors thought to have healing powers. Today, waist beads are becoming more popular than ever as women across the globe continue to embrace African social cultures & grow to love & adorn their bodies regardless of shape or size.

Where should my waist beads lay?

Everybody’s body is not the same, so how waist beads lay on each body can differ. Waist beads are meant to be worn low to the waist line, below the navel, and under the belly and clothing. Depending on your figure, your beads may be more comfortable when fitted around your upper waist or stomach. Its up to you to decide what fit is most comfortable for you.

How do I measure my waist for waist beads?

Use a string or thin rope to measure your waist under your navel and allow room for the string to rest comfortably against your skin and above your hips or center curve lines without falling down past your backside. If you have a high back line, your beads are likely to settle above the dip in your back (sacral curvature). In this case, measure from the lowest area in the dip of your back and curve your string under your navel. You can tie your string and do a pull test to make sure your beads will not fall off. Once you are sure about your desired fit, remove string and measure it with a ruler or tape measure.

What clasp is best for me??

Customers who place an order online, but wish to have their waist beads fitted in person via a face to face appointment, can select “loose ends.” At their scheduled appointment, beads are fitted and tied on, the remaining string is cut off, and the ends are burned, permanently sealing the waist bead closed. Customers who select “burned/permanently sealed” waist beads are experienced beaded customers, who have the ability to  place and remove their beads over their heads. All remaining customers will have their beads sized to their selected measurements, and clasped with a sterling silver or gold-filled clasp. Customers can choose a clasp based on personal preference, color, price, or skin needs.

Will my beads show through my clothes?

Because waist beads are worn low to the waistline, they can easily camouflage in your natural crease lines created when you wear  dresses, skirts, pants, or long shirts. For a smoother look when wearing fitted clothing clients wear spanks or body shapers. When doing so, shapers should be placed over your bead, and your beads should be placed in your natural waist line grooves under your belly.

How long will my waist beads last?

Your waist beads have the potential to lasts for several years+, even with daily wear, if cared for properly. Because waist beads are worn low to the hips, you are likely to tug at them when removing your garments daily, or engaging in interactive/body contact sports or activities*. Nylon strung waist beads and beads made with beading wire can both last for years. They can break prematurely if exposed to products with chemical properties that can break down or alter these materials. If you are planning for a spa day, remove your beads before sinking into that mud bath. Nothing muddy is fun to clean. Often, women forget their beads are on their body as they as they become adjusted to weight of the beads. Thus, you must be mindful of your beads, especially when going to the bathroom – feel for your beads first before you pull down to protect from sudden breakage.

Is there a fee for waist bead parties?

A small fee is required to confirm your party reservation. The fee is calculated based on your location and distance from us. The party host will receive a credit that can be used toward the purchase of their waist beads on the day of the party, as well as additional host benefits and credits. Please contact us for a quote.

What age is too young for waist beads?

Traditionally, waist beads are worn to celebrate every woman’s journey from birth to transition, therefore, there is no minimum or maximum age. For your precious and young princesses, celebrate babies “firsts,” milestones, birthdays, achievements, and first menses with waist and body beads. Teach them about their sacred bodies, modesty, and positive body image. Tell them they are beautiful, and to treasure their bodies. Prepare them for their body to change as they transition into womanhood. Tell them you love them, and that true love starts with self-love. Start early to build our princesses up to becoming strong, wise, and confident Queens, for they are Our Legacy in the making.

Do the waist beads colors have meaning?

Yes. Each color has meaning of great depth related to the cultural, chromatic, mental, health, and physical attributes of colors and gemstones.  Duafe Designs created a chart that outlines such attributes and chakra relations. You can view the color chart in the “Education” category in our page menu. Or click here.

What happens at a Waist Bead Party?

Waist Bead parties by Ayodele begin with a historic introduction to waistbeads. Guests will learn about waistbead origins in Africa, their cross cultural connections, various traditional reasons where/how/why they are worn, the relevance/meanings/ medicinal properties of colors and gemstones, social culture adaptations, and more. The informational segment is followed by an overview of my personal and one-of-a kind designs and pricing per waistbead. Guests can participate in a question and answer period and share their own personal knowledge and or experience with waistbeads. Guests will then have the opportunity to peruse the collection of the day, select ready -made strands of their desire, and have them tied onto their body. Clasps and charms in stock will be made available as well. It is encouraged to have food, music, games, and/or additional entertainment to help make your event a well rounded, enjoyable experience.

Can I make a personal appointment?

Personal appointments are welcomed, and available to clients able to meet in the East Bay, Northern CA, or during Duafe Designs visits to other states. Common states/areas of annual travel may include Houston,Texas,  Atlanta, Georgia, Maryland, Washington D.C., and New York, New York.

How many waist beads are recommended for wear?

Comfort is most important when selecting your beads. We have customers that are fine with wearing one strand around their waist, and others who have as many as 60 or more! Yes, 60 and more.  The great thing about Waist Beads by Ayodele, is that most are light weight, enabling one to wear several beads at a time without feeling like they weigh you down. In most cases, people forget they are on, encouraging them to wear even more. Many clients choose to wear more beads to achieve their desired look or disguise scars resulting from surgery or C-sections.

Do you waist bead boys or men?

Waist beads by Ayodele are designed and made for women to celebrate their transition and rite of passages throughout womanhood. We offer custom and pre-designed beaded jewelry for men worn around the neck, wrist, or ankle.

is there a minimum or limit to how many guests should be at my Waist Bead Party?

A party is 6 or more.  Group appointments of 5 or less can be made in lieu of a full party. Parties of all sizes are welcomed. Please note if you plan to have several guests, please make sure your party time block is adequate to serve everyone.

Can I buy a gift certificate?

Gift certificates are available at any denomination. Gift certificates are sent soft copy via email and customized with the recipient’s name. To redeem your gift certificate, please contact us for your order instructions.

what happens if I break my beads or lose/gain weight?

Your waist beads can be repaired, so before you throw away your beads, contact us for your repair and resizing options. A fee for your repair will be applied.

How many times does my waist bead wrap around my waist?

Waist Beads by Ayodele are made to wrap once around the waist for every sized woman or girl. Make sure you enter the correct measurement for each waist bead when ordering for more than one person.

How long does it take for my order to ship?

Most orders will take up to 5 business days to be completed and shipped; however, customized orders may take up to two weeks to ship depending on product demand. This shipment date is calculated based on the approximate number of days required to create, process, and package your item(s). If there is any delay in shipment for any reason, Duafe Designs will communicate status updates to the customer using their contact information provided.

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