100 Years of Black Women’s Hairstyles


Black women’s hairdos have constantly created an impression — purposefully or accidentally. Furthermore, it’s anything but difficult to make sense of why, on the off chance that you consider that simply existing as a black individual in America has truly conveyed its own arrangement of political and social ramifications. Hair is a significant piece of black culture, and in the course of recent years, we’ve seen such a large number of changes, not just in the haircuts (which happens in any case over the long haul) yet in addition, the conception towards black hair. Black women have gone from straightening their strands so as to fit in with Eurocentric benchmarks of beauty, to shaking full-on Afros to challenge most society’s negative emotions and prejudices about natural hair.

However, even fashion styles are always changing as time went by, one thing always stayed consistent: that cool factor. Regardless of whether they were shaking short, cropped finger waves slicked down with pomade, or setting out their baby hairs in exquisite designs, black women have been putting themselves on fashionable styles and making new trendy patterns. Patterns that just so happen to inspire individuals from various backgrounds.

Be that as it may, black women’s regularly changing haircuts speak to far beyond hair fashion. They have and keep on speaking to the social and political atmosphere in our general public, this is a sign of how far we’ve come and how much further we have to go with a specific end goal to achieve true equality. There is no doubt that this is the capability and mission of black hair.

Here, let’s take a flashback to a couple of prominent haircuts that slanted for black women throughout the most recent century. They not just demonstrate the adaptability and versatility of black hair, moreover, regardless of the different styles, black hair has always been gorgeous.


Short, flapper-esque haircuts, Marcel waves, finger waves, and wigs were popular.
1920 hair style

1920 hair style1


Straightening, short hair with curls, waves, or finger waves lived on. Switches(hairpieces) and wigs were also used to mimic straight styles.

1930 hair style1930 hair style


Hair was kept short and straight, with added curls. The croquignole curl was particularly hip. Women also wore pageboys and wavy hair.

1940 hair style 1940 hair style


Black nationalism slowly started to bubble back up, and straightening black hair was a topic for debate.

1950 hair style

Straightened, mainstream styles remain popular due to society’s eurocentric beauty ideals.

1950 hair style


Natural hair became politicized during the civil rights movement as a rejection of Eurocentric beauty standards.

1960 hair style

The Afros of activists like the Black Panthers became an inspiring symbol of rebellion.

1960 hair style

People were still straightening their hair, though.

1960 hair style


Afros started to become more of a fashion choice.

1970 hair style

Black celebrities like Diana Ross and Pam Grier rocked Afros in style.

1970 hair style

In 1973, Cicely Tyson appeared on the cover of Jet magazine with a stunning, traditionally African hairstyle.

1970 hair style


The Afro became less ubiquitous, but curls were still in.

1980 hair style

People gravitated toward looser-textured curls or Jheri curls.

1980 hair style

Asymmetric haircuts, like those seen on Salt-N-Pega, were also hot in the streets.

1980 hair style


Straight hair was still popular, but black women were also wearing braids, styling their baby hairs with gel or pomade.

1990 hair style
Box braids worn by Janet Jackson in Poetic Justice remain an iconic’90s look.

1990 hair style


The rise of online communities and YouTube facilitated a natural hair “revolution”. Straight styles were still fashionable, but more black women looked for ways to style their natural kinks.

2000 hair style

Cornrows, sometimes braided in intricate patterns as seen on celebrities like Alicia Keys, were popular.

2000 hair style


Demand for relaxers continues to drop and natural hairstyles have become more popular than ever……glamorized by YouTube hair gurus and celebrities alike.

2010 hair style

2010 hair style

Braids, twist-outs, Bantu knots, locs, and curly Afros are just a few of the many styles black women play with these days.

2010 hair style

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