This year was a celebration of black womanhood (and girlhood) in so many ways. We saw several photographers, creatives, and publications pay tribute to our awesomeness in the most beautiful ways. Black hair, of course, was the subject of much of this praise.
Here are our favorite celebratory moments centered around black hair.
Braids by Shani Crowe
When Shani Crowe first debuted her photography exhibit titled Braids in Chicago, we knew she was destined for success. She showcased braids as majestic works of art that resembled royal adornments.
She went on to be featured by several publications, her work was displayed at the MoCADA in Brooklyn, and she was tapped by Solange to create a braided wheel that she rocked during her performance on Saturday Night Live. Well deserved for a young woman who has re-imagined the art of hair braiding through the lens of our ancestors.
Artist Pierre Jean-Louis paints nature in black hair
Artist Pierre Jean-Louis spent part of 2016 creating stunning paintings of the night sky, galaxies, flowers, trees, and gorgeous terrains atop the manes of black women.
As he shared them on his Instagram page the internet took note and praised him for his vision.
His work was yet another reminder of how wondrous our hair is, whether realistically or imagined.
ELLE Canada’s Tribute to Black Hair
ELLE Canada did a great beauty spread for their September issue featuring black models rocking. Bantu knots, twists, and baby hair.
The six models featured in the beauty editorial titled “Natural Anthem” shared their personal stories about hair and being a part of a shoot featuring all black women.
Agency: Dulcedo Management
Discovered: Three weeks before our shoot at a Beyoncé concert in Toronto. “I got stopped by one of the agents. I got her card and I emailed her. This is my first shoot.”
ON BEAUTY IN 2016 “I grew up in Toronto in a predominantly black community. Everyone had my hair…. I think our perception of beauty is changing. [The acceptance toward] sizes are changing, heights are changing. The look is changing. It’s really nice to see. It’s good to live in our time.”
FAVOURITE HAIR PRODUCTS “I wash my hair every day. I use SheaMoisture. I comb it with my fingers. [After my shower] I leave a little bit of conditioner just on the ends. Then, I use coconut oil on the top of my hair and leave conditioner on the bottom so it keeps up that curly. I scrunch it up and let my hair air dry.”
Agency: Dulcedo Management
Discovered: When she came to Canada to study four years ago.
ON BEING PART OF A SHOOT FOCUSING ON NATURAL HAIR “It’s amazing. We are getting there; diversity is what we’re fighting for. [We need to do] more things like this.”