While beaded clips and blinged-out barrettes that offer words of encouragement (and sometimes just rep your mood) continue to trend for the new year, we’re digging in the crates for our next hair accessory.

Black women across the country can identify a photo of their younger selves with a slew of colorful barrettes, many in the outline of animals, insects, hearts, bows, and any other shapes their moms thought were cute at the time. As a kid I was mortified when my mother piled them onto my head to finish off my look. She had an affinity for giving her girls two braids on the side, one poof in the center, and barrettes and combs until you couldn’t see the scalp.

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Back then I hated it, and couldn’t wait until I was old enough to style my own hair (now that I’m old enough, I can’t wait to get to the salon and have someone else do my hair for me). Today, I’m inspired by a shot of funk singer and bass player Adeline that I popped up in my timeline as a repost from musician April Kae.

Shot by beloved photographer Micaiah Carter (originally for Vogue), the photo shows the beautiful singer donning well over a dozen of the colorful old school barrettes when she performed solo at the Afropunk Festival in 2018. The style, executed by Irini Arakas Greenbaum, is pretty easy to achieve at home. Braid straight back cornrows into a bun and add barrettes—the more fun and colorful the better.

It’s a look that I hadn’t thought about in years, so it took me by surprise how fresh and modern it is even though it reminds me of my elementary school days. We can also add several of the accessories to our box braids and long ponytails to give them a fun and youthful flair.

When it comes to both music and style, Adeline tends to stay pretty ahead of the curve. So I’m not surprised that in 2018 she was already rocking this look that seems like a natural progression into where the barrettes trend is heading. I’m already on my way to the beauty supply store to stock up on my hearts and bows.


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