As we approach the year 2020, we can’t help but reminisce about the Black beauty moments that influenced the culture over the past decade. The period was marked by ground-breaking beauty launches that served as a call to action to diversify the beauty industry a la Fenty Beauty, and bossy beauty moves, that inspired companies to change their rigid standards of beauty, like that time when model, Maria Borges, walked the Victoria Secret runway flaunting her natural hair.
In fact, over the past ten years, Black hair has influenced everything from the runway to the red carpet to mainstream media and politics. And while some may deem cornrows, box braids, and kinky curls a new phenomenon, our hair has always had the power to inspire.
So to say goodbye to the ‘10s, we decided to roundup up the top five hairstyles from the decade that left us all inspired.
01. In 2016, Solange performed “Cranes In The Sky” on SNL with her hair braided into a heavenly halo.
And at that moment, the world got to see how magical Black hair really is. Artist and braid extraordinaire, Shani Crowe created the iconic look that took fifty hours, five thousand Swarovski Crystal beads, one hundred feet of braiding hair to make. Crowe blessed us with this memorable hair moment at a time where braids were being exploited in the fashion scene. And SNL was the perfect stage to remind the world that braids are intrinsic to traditional Black art.
02. Beyoncé brought the world “Lemonade Braids” with her sixth studio album.
When Beyoncé released her second visual album “Lemonade” in 2016, it featured dynamic looks that showed off the versatility of natural hair, including waist-length cornrows, that stretched around Queen Bey’s crown, and down to her waist. The style created by Beyoncé’s longtime hairstylist, Kim Kimble, was coined “Lemonade Braids” and inspired protective styles for summers to come.
03. Janelle Monae decorated her ‘do in craft stickers, and it changed the hair accessory game for good.
While making press runs for the Oscar-nominated film “Hidden Figures,” Janelle Monáe started a run of her own as the Queen of decorated ‘dos. We spotted the singer and actress in unconventional hair accessories like safety pins, wire, and googly-eyed craft stickers, and since then, red carpets and runways haven’t been the same. Season after season, Monáe and her hairstylist, Nikki Nelms, who is a self-proclaimed hair MacGyver, showed us unique and beautiful ways to adorn our crowns.
04. Nicki Minaj’s took hair extensions to new lengths.
Over the past three years, there’s been an uptick in the number of women rocking long hair extensions. And Nicki Minaj’s floor-scraping strands may have played a part. The five-two rapper shook up the beauty world when she debuted a forty-inch (best guesstimate) hair weave at the Daily Front Row’s 3rd Annual Media Fashion Awards in 2017. The sleek hairdo inspired many of us to jump on the long hair train, and we’ve been on the ride ever since.
05. Maria Borge’s big chop inspired a movement.
In 2015, Maria Borges broke beauty boundaries in becoming the first model to walk the Victoria Secret runway in her natural hair. The the bold beauty move paved the the runway for models like Herieth Paul and Jourdana Phillips to follow suit while working with VS and other brands.