Recently, as I was thumbing through an old issue of Ebony magazine, I was amazed at the many different hairstyles worn by African Americans over the past 40 years. And what really stood out and caught my attention was the fact that many of the hairstyles worn back in the day, are still very popular today. Hence, The Top Ten Popular Hairstyles.
10. The Sculptered Style
This style was discovered when women took advantage of the fact that their natural hair could stand up on its own when chemicals were not applied. By adding gel, women were then able to form different sculptured shapes and designs with their hair. This 1980’s hairstyle was made popular by Patti Labelle.
9. High top fade
A hi-top fade is a style of haircut where hair on the sides is cut off or kept very low and hair on the top of the head is very long. The hi-top has been a trend symbolizing the Golden Era of Hip Hop and urban contemporary music during the late 1980s and the early 1990s. The hi-top fade was common among African-American youths from 1986 to 1993, and to a lesser extent in the mid-1990s (1994-1996). The style fell completely out of fashion by 1997.
Dreadlocks also called locks or dreads refer to a particular hairstyle that is achieved naturally by allowing the hair to mat together as it grows. If combs, brushes, and scissors aren’t used on the hair, the hair will tangle together as it grows, eventually resulting in the twisted, matted ropes of hair known as dreadlocks. It’s also possible to get artificial dreadlocks, primarily through hair salons, and by having dreadlocks attached to the natural hair near the scalp.
7. The Process
A process hairstyle is when the hair is straightened by the application of chemicals. The two popular ways of wearing this style was slicked back and straight, or slicked back and wavy. This hairstyle was popular among African American men from the 1920’s to the 1960’s.
In previous years the fade haircut was worn mostly by military men, and was called the high and tight. Today this hairstyle is extremely popular and has evolved into a much trendier look. It is now very popular amongst men of all ages within the United States and the rest of the world.
5. Cornrows /Braids
Cornrows and braids are a traditional style of hair grooming where the hair is braided very close to the scalp, using an underhand, upward motion to produce a continuous, raised row. Cornrows are often formed, as the name implies, in simple, straight lines, but they can also be done in complicated geometric or curvilinear designs. Often favored for their easy maintenance, cornrows can be left in for weeks at a time simply by carefully washing the hair and then regularly oiling the scalp and hair. Cornrowed hairstyles are often adorned with beads or shells. This hairstyle is very popular with men and women.
4. The Jheri Curl
The Jheri curl is a hairstylethat was very popular in the 1970’s. Invented by and named for Jheri Redding, the Jheri curl gave the wearer a glossy, loosely curled look. To maintain the look of the jheri curl, users were required to apply activator and heavy moisturizers daily and to sleep with a plastic cap on their heads to keep the hairstyle from drying out. Michael Jackson famously sported a Jheri curl hair-do in the 1980′s.
3. The Natural / Afro
The afro, fro, or natural began in the 1960’s and really became popular in the 1970’s. The afro was originally worn as a symbol of pride and dignity. The afro, also called “The Natural”, was when an African American would let their hair grow out naturally without the use of chemicals or relaxers. Even though the afro reached the peak of its popularity in 1970’s, it’s still a very popular hairstyle worn by many African Americans today.
The bald look is very popular among African American men in sports, movies, television, and the entertainment industry. Many people credit former NBA star Michael Jordan for popularizing this style.
1. Hair weave /Extensions
Hair weaves and extensions are the most popular styles worn by African American women today. The difference between the two? Well, a hair weave is additional hair that’s either sewn or woven into your own hair. Your hair is put into tracks and the extensions are woven with them. While hair extensions are glued or clipped into your regular hair, like underneath the rest of it.