When Erykah Badu first blazed onto the music scene in ‘96, she was instantly crowned the queen of the neo-soul bohemian movement—and her hair, swept up into the endless folds of a mile-high headwrap, was instantly deemed iconic. We all thought the wrap was going to be Badu’s signature look, but the boho-bluesy songstress kept us guessing with a parade of afros, braids, dreadlocks and, in one memorable case, a 1960s Supreme-esque wig. In celebration of Badu’s fifth studio album, “New Amerykah, Part II: Return of the Ankh” (in stores next month), let’s take a look back at Badu’s hairstyle evolution since her early incense-waving, tea-sipping, Tyrone-calling days as a music industry newcomer.
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1999, High Hair
At the ’99 Grammy Awards, Badu hit the red carpet with a new twist on her famous wrap—she left the top open, giving us a peek at her dreadlocks.
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2000, Haute Hat
In 2000, Erykah Badu paired a Southern belle straw hat with glossy, chest-length dreadlock extensions.
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2001, Bald Beauty
In 2001 Grammy’s, Badu made headlines with her gorgeous shaved head and tribal-chic yellow makeup. One of her most striking looks!
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2002, Green Day
Badu had a Pocahontas moment at the 2002 Grammys, where she sported mile-long micro-braid extensions with green accents. Love the metallic headband!
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2003, Fabulous 'Fro
At a 2003 photo shoot, Badu paired a striking, full afro with a fresh face of tawny-toned makeup.
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2005, Bush Woman
In 2005 Luther Vandross tribute concert, Erykah wore a modified afro with freshly unwrapped double-strand twists.
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2006, Heat Wave
Erykah Badu hit the “Dave Chapelle Block Party” premiere wearing carefully molded flapper waves topped off by a striped newsboy cap.
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2006, Mohawk Mama
Badu brought down the house at the North Sea Jazz Festival with her searing song selection and her tough girl style: Shades, leather, and a fab little faux-hawk.
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2007, So Supreme
Badu was enjoying a retro ’60s moment here, with her cat eye glasses, polkadot blouse and Supremes-era bouffant wig.
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2008, Smiley Face
At the Austin City Limits Festival, Erykah rocked the mic wearing a frizzy-in-a-cute-way, shoulder length look.
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2009, Red Alert
Badu kept it short, sweet, and sleek while onstage at the Bonnarroo Music Art and Festival.
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2009, Mane Event
At an event at the Hollywood Palladium, Badu paired her chic little ’fro with all-eye-on-me fuschia eyeshadow.
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2010, Going Platinum
Erykah Badu has always kept us guessing with her collection of deliciously out-there coifs, but her new ‘do might take the cake. The singer debuted a show-stopping, platinum blonde faux-hawk at the 2010 Lollapalooza festival. It took us a minute (platinum is so…vivid), but we’re loving Badu’s retro-punky new look.