Black History Month: Old School Naturalistas

Though the natural hair revolution is clearly in full swing, present day naturalistas are far from the first to embrace their natural kinks and curls. Here a look back at our hair history.

Crystal G. Martin Feb, 18, 2014

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The Queen of Soul rocked an afro in the 70s, a notable departure from the bouffants she wore the decade prior.

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This Big Bird Cage and Foxy Brown star is the consumate 70s beauty icon.

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As a star on “East Side/West Side” in the mid-60’s, Oscar-nominated actress Cicely Tyson was the first Black woman to wear cornrows on TV!

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Even in the 1970s, a decade known for its aesthetic excess, Jones' androgynous look—highlighted by her cropped cut—ruffled feathers.

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Political activist Angela Davis popularized larger-than-life hair when she proudly rocked her afro in the ’60s. Her iconic ’fro inspired Black women everywhere to ditch their hair straighteners and go natural, sparking a revolution in Black beauty and style.

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On her first solo tour of Britain, Diana Ross rocked a head full of voluminous kinks — a real departure from the structured Supremes bouffants of the ’60s.

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Makeba, who popularized African music globally, wore a short afro throughout her life.

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The Peaches and Herb singer rocked beaded braids in this 1978 photo.

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Simpson looks lovely (and in love) wearing micro braids in this picture from the 1970s.

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With her micro-braids, multi-colored beads and hair accessory flourishes like chopsticks and feathers, “Forget Me Nots” singer Patrice Rushen was one of the top tress trendsetters in the early ’80’s.

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Best known for her role on "Good Times," Rolle's petite fro with its teeny gray patch became a signature look.

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In the late ‘60s, few afros were as powerfully majestic as Marsha Hunt’s. The singer, actress and model lit up the stage in skintight buckskin pants, belly-baring halters and that awe-inspiring cloud of hair.

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On her first album cover, a young Whitney rocked a slicked back natural hair.

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Before there was the signature wild hair of the 80s, Patti wore a simple fro, as in this 1974 portrait.


# Natural


# Natural