Edgy Black Hairstyles
While African-American women don't have exclusivity when it comes to edgy hairstyles (remember the beehive?), some of the most outrageous "dos" have been worn by black celebrities like Grace Jones, Patti La Belle, Erica Badoo and Whoopi Goldberg, whose dredlocks though fairly common now, were once considered edgy.
Remember Patti LaBelle's wild 'do' when she was in LaBelle? Her spiked locks spawned a whole range of similar hairdos. When African-American celebrities like Mary J. Blige go platinum, so do their fans. Rhianna recently sported a bright red hair color. which can now be seen on many young African-American women. These celebrities and others have popularized edgy styles.
Recording artists and other stars, including TV and movie stars and models, often wear edgy looks on stage, sparking new hairstyle fads. The Mohawk, popularized by Mr. T and Grace Jones, among others is another edgy hairstyle worn by some African-American men and women. Other types of cuts that involve intricate designs also offer the edgy look some people want to achieve.
However, some of the edgiest black hairstyles are created in the numerous black-owned and operated hair salons in African-American communities. These salons are incubators for new hair designs unique to the demands and possibilities of black hair. Often the stylists look to Africa, the Caribbean and their slave ancestry for new ideas.
Edgy black hairstyles, originating in Africa, are part of the culture. In Africa where hair is woven into a fan by some tribal women while others wear huge plaits on the right side of their head to denote royal lineage, edgy hairstyles are used to distinguish tribes and class.
Sister locks, similar to dredlocks (made popular by Jamaican Reggae star, Bob Marley) with braids interspersed with "dreds," are very popular with many African-American women. Twists, similar to braids, consists of two strains of hair twisted together, single twists or comb twists. Bantu knots which originated in Africa, as did various types of "twist" hairstyles, are little "knots" of hair formed after hair is parted into small, symmetrical squares. They are very similar to styles worn by slaves.
However, African-Americans choose hairstyles to reflect their own personal style, to emulate celebrity looks and even to make a political statement. All of these can be achieved with an edgy style that makes the wearer stand out from the crowd and makes people turn their heads for a second look.