African Hair as an art

I love hair, natural hair in particular, and it might not come as a surprise for those who personally know me, to be posting about the dynamics of African hair. There is so much that can be done with African hair and a lot of it is unappreciated. There has been a recent fascination about African textured hair and there appears to be a growing appreciation for it. For some Africans a choice of hairstyle can be deemed as a political statement, perhaps a form of self-expression and identity.  For me personally I chose to maintain natural hair because I think it’s beautiful, unique and versatile. I just personally think there is so much love about African hair. It’s an art in itself.

This post is inspired by a book called Hair in African Art and Culture. It explores artwork ranging from combs, hairpins, beads, headrests to some contemporary African barbershop signs that aim at portraying the implications of hair in various African cultures. In most African cultures hair can be associated with social status, religious belief, a symbol of authority, a traditional aesthetic element or even for many like me a statement of contemporary style. If you think you’ve got funk and your hairstyles are cool, take a look at some of these intricate traditional hairstyles. Pure talent, I don’t know how they even began to get their hair looking like that.  Some of them are a bit too bold for me but I must say they are impressive nonetheless.

traditional

I thought I should include some of today’s contemporary African hairstyles to see how today’s youth have translated these traditional hairstyles to a more modern/ contemporary style to further express themselves and explore their identity.

modern

Below are some of my personal favourite African inspired hairstyles that I would love to rock one of these days. I just need the courage, time and place to wear them.  I think they are gorgeous.

ME