Waist beads are a traditional body jewelry originating in Africa. It is believed the oldest evidence of waist bead wearing is in ancient Kemet, known today as Egypt, where the women wore several layers of waist beads called girdles. Today, they are popular in most West African countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Senegal, and many others.


Waist beads have many uses and meanings. They can be worn for waist shaping, weight monitoring or just for fashion. They can also symbolize feminine beauty, sensuality and sexuality; spiritual protection; and body positivity.

All of our waist beads are made by hand in Accra, Ghana. They are authentically African. 


Waist beads are traditionally worn on the hips along the panty line under your clothes. In fact, in some African countries it is taboo to have your beads showing in public. Here in the US, a lot of women prefer to wear them along their natural waist, so that they show when wearing a crop-top or bikini. How you decide to wear them is up to you!

Traditionally African women tied their waist beads on, which means they are worn permanently (while bathing, sleeping, swimming, etc.). Tie waist beads are a great options for those who want to wear their beads at all times and especially for those wanted to monitor their weight.

Clasp waist beads give you the option of taking off and putting on your waist beads as you please. This would be great for women who only want to wear them on special occasions, with special outfits, or who love to switch their style up often. They are not meant for permanent wear like tie waist beads and should be removed for bathing, swimming, etc. to avoid damaging the clasp.

To tie them on, you simply place them around your waist, decide where you want them to sit, remove the excess beads and tie 3-4 knots. Once you are sure the beads are secure, cut off the excess string and beads.

To measure, use a string or tailors tape measure and measure around your waist where you want them to sit. Make sure you account for room to breathe, bend and sit. Then record the measurement and purchase the size range that works for you. Use this quick video as a guide (link). If you don’t have anything to measure with, you can use our printable tape measure here (link).

Tie waist beads can be cut and re-tied to fit if you lose a substantial amount of weight. Just be sure there is enough string to make 3-4 knots.

Clasp waist beads come with a 3-inch chain for adjustability. If you plan on losing weight buy the size that will allow you to size down (ex. If you have a 46 inch waist purchase the 43-46 in. size waist beads)

Waist bead are traditionally worn low and loosely along the hips. If you want to track weight loss you would start your beads up higher on your waist, with the goal of them dropping down to your hips. You do not need to wear them tightly to gauge your progress. If they are worn too tightly they will pop from the constant pressure.

You can wear as few or as many waist beads as you feel comfortable in. Most women wear about 3 strands.

Traditional tie waist beads are semi-permanent and can be worn while bathing, swimming, sleeping, etc.

Clasp waist beads are made with a metal clasp so they can be taken off. They should be taken off while bathing or swimming to protect the gold plating.

Everyone who has worn waist beads knows there is a moment when they will eventually pop due to stress and wear, but with proper fit and care they can last many years. Our beads are made with the best materials to ensure long wear. Make sure they are not too tight, so that they do not break when you bend or sit (or after you eat too much). I personally have worn the same set of waist beads for up to 5 years without taking them off.