For decades, hip hop hairstyles have set the tone in both music and movies. There have been dreadlocks, wigs, hair dye and a lot of shaving. Some are weirdly wonderful, some regrettable, but all are beautiful for those times.
During the golden era of hip hop, Black boys and men were all about reinventing personal appearance. One of the most iconic hip hop hairstyles that emerged during the 1980s was the hi-top fade.
With precision, Black barbers sculpted geometric designs into a flattop box-like shape. The Hi-top, which is also commonly called the flattop fade, was one of the first defining hairstyles of hip-hop.
Hip Hop Hairstyles
Stylized black hair communicates a certain power and pride. In the decade preceding the birth of hip-hop, the afro advanced the fist-clenched black power aesthetic. Below we’ve compiled a list of some of our fav hip hop hairstyles and who wore them.
Busta Rhymes’ High Ponytail
Before some big artists today were even on the music scene, Busta had all eyes on him. Long dreads tied up to sit as a high ponytail on the top of his head. And get a load of those sideburns.
Grace Jones’ Fade
You may think of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air when talking about this angular ’80s cut. But the style was actually made popular by supermodel Grace Jones in 1980. In the 2010s, the fade came back as a fierce throwback style that also signaled healthy natural hair. Jennifer Hudson and Leslie Jones both sported the haircut, paying tribute to the eternally chic Grace Jones.
This hairstyle goes back to ancient Indian gurus. Also associated with Rastafarianism due to its resemblance to the mane of a lion. Is it no wonder, then, that Bob Marley popularized the look in the 1970s. The trend was solidified by Whoopi Goldberg and continues to be rocked by stars and every day people.
Diana Ross’ 1970s Afro
We can’t really talk about hairstyles from 50 years ago without mentioning Diana Ross’ 1970s afro. While she is widely known for her music, her hairstyles were and will always be iconic. The afro made its debut in the 60s where the ‘black is beautiful’ era began. It was a political and social statement at the time but slowly graduated into a retro, low-maintenance style.
1970s Big Loose Curls
The 70s screamed volume. Disco queen, Donna Summer was known for her amazing style and was placed comfortably in the 70s hair trend. This hairstyle in her 1977 album cover ”Once Upon a Time” was one of the most iconic of her time. The big loose curls were achieved using larger sized rollers and a little bit of fluffing.
Many of the hip hop hairstyles from 50 years ago are still very popular today. Particularly various types of braids. Get your retro ‘do going by booking your appointment today.