Kwena Baloyi is known for her constant hair and style evolution. As a freelance stylist in Johannesburg, she defines hair as a form of self-expression, resulting in her always pushing the boundaries and experimenting. ‘I wear my crown on my head’, says Kwena, which represents her hair platform- Afrikan Krowns. @afrikankrowns which showcases unique and memorable natural hairstyles resembling crowns from different cultures. More hair and style inspiration can be found on her personal Instagram account @kwenasays.
‘Embrace your individuality through your Crown/Hair’, describes @ownurcrown. The platform owned by Nikiwe Dlova, showcases creative natural hairstyles experimenting with colour and shapes. The page is dedicated to hair street culture and an alternative way of ‘owning your crown.’ Nikiwe recently worked on her first hair exhibition, which was a series for Women’s Month called ‘Betty Evolves’. Benny and Betty is a threading hairstyle that was done when Nikiwe was young, now she is evolving [it] for the modern, grown woman. Her website can be found at own-ur-crown.com.
Laetitia KY is an Ivorian artist, creator and aspiring fashion designer, who foundered the natural hair platform - @laetitiaky. The page showcases natural hair styled into abstract and everyday objects, such as bicycles, light bulbs and ornamental headdresses to name a few. Her content inspires many and is a great platform to follow especially if you are a lover of dreadlocks and braids.
Medina Dugger is a photographer and curator from California who is currently based in Lagos, Nigeria. Her Instagram page showcases amazing natural hair portraits in colour and black and white. Although, Dugger’s page is still growing, her work has recently been showcased on the CNN Africa Instagram page. Dugger has been working on a hair portrait series called, Chroma: An Ode to J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere. The series showcases and celebrates women’s hairstyles in Lagos and is inspired by colour and the late photographer J.D. Okhai Ojeikere. Ojeikere documented and photographed different hairstyles in his time, which has influenced Dugger. More information and inspiration can be found on her website www.medinadugger.com
@Crowezilla is a platform owned by Shani Crowe. Crowe has worked on events for natural hair, showcasing braids in an artistic way and celebrating the art of braiding. Her Instagram page is made up of personal images, showing her creative personal hair styles as well as various works. This is a great page for a lover of braids, as she is truly breaking boundaries. Her website can also be found on Shanicrowe.com. Crowe studied towards a Bachelor of Arts at Howard University, and has been published in the Huffington Post, The New York Times, Fusion and Refinery 29- to name a few. Crowe has exhibited images of her braid work which is currently on view at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts in Brooklyn. The works emphasises the importance of self-love within black women, and the importance of what they feel within.
"Whoopi Goldberg looked like me, she had hair like mine, she was dark like me. I’d been starved for images of myself. I’d grown up watching a lot of American TV"
Representation is important and these women are embodying it through their platforms. Managing natural hair while finding great styles has been regarded as hard, luckily now we can find inspiration at the click of a follow. These are just a few pages that are celebrating and representing natural hair and styles.