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Don’t Touch My Hair: A Reflection Of Black Tresses

By Beatrice Porbeni 08 August 2017   |   8:10 am

Solange Knowles

This year, men with braided up dos and twist outs, accompanied by a beard made a huge comeback. These days, a haircut simply isn’t enough as men adopt the retro 60s to 90s hair trend, which seems to be spreading like wild fire. For women, beaded braids have become more symbolic in the 21st century than ever before. Although keeping up with trends is never a bad idea, the topic of black hair is much deeper than you think.

Due to notions of slavery and colonisation, black hair has always been quite significant. Classic examples of its relevance are evident in the hip hop scene, particularly in line with the idea of black Freedom, expression and often the need to identify as “African”.

Solange Knowles’ song, Don’t Touch My Hair has to be the Black hair anthem of the 21st century. While the meaning of the song is self-explanatory, the visual representation in the music video depicts Solange with beaded braided hair. According to Solange “Don’t touch my hair. When it’s the feelings I wear don’t touch my soul when it’s the rhythm I know.” For Solange, her hair is equated to her “soul” and “feelings”, a notion, which many Black girls connect with.

And if you haven’t noticed by now, pretty much everyone is wearing the beaded hair trend.

Kendrick Lamar

While many might agree that the adornment is nothing more than a trend, for many, hair plays a big part in the “African” identity. The same can be said for men who seem to have a nappy hair revolution going on.

Kendrick Lamar is another prime example. Kendrick is probably one of the most recognised “black consciousness” rappers out there and it seems like deeper he gets, the more symbolic his hair is. From dreads to twists and recently, braids he’s pretty much done it all. But one can’t help but think would their message be visually as strong if their hair played little or no significance?

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Black hair

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