Black History Month: Hair Icons Then & Now

Black History Month: Hair Icons Then & Now
ESSENCE.COM Feb, 27, 2012

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Grace Jones popularized the square-cut, natural hairstyle in the late 1970s. Today, the Noisette’s lead singer, Shingai Shoniwa, also sports a high-drama, angular cut that recalls Jones’ flattop.

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In the ’70s, Pam Grier made a name for herself while sporting a super-big, sexy afro. Today, jazz musician Esperanza Spalding is a proud wearer of her perfectly round, kinky ’fro, too.

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Lena Horne’s elegant updos were partly why she became of one the biggest on-screen sirens of her time. Nowadays, the equally talented Alicia Keys has been known to rock the red carpet in stunning updos, too.

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Tina Turner became a household name in the late ’60s not only for her rock-n-roll hits, but also for her standout, wild wigs. Today, pop star Rihanna has also made a name for herself as a hair chameleon, and most recently debuted a Tina-esque blonde ’do.

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In the ‘90s, Toni Braxton rose to fame sporting her signature, sexy cropped cut. Nowadays, Eva Marcille’s low-cut coif has become her trademark look.

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When Lauryn Hill came on the scene, she was one of a few who sported locs in mainstream entertainment. Today, Ledisi has adopted a curly, crimson loc updo as her signature look.

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Every little girl dreamed of having big, flowing hair like Diana Ross when she captivated audiences as one-third of the Supremes in the ’60s. Fast-forward 40 years, and her very own daughter, Tracee Ellis Ross, has become our modern-day hair crush with her shiny, bouncy curls.


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