This kind of spoils the end of this little piece, but it's important. The first published version of this article made mention of Beyoncé's Creole heritage intended to reference the texture of her natural hair, which even then, could be well explained by her having a curled blowout. Following feedback from the NaturallyCurly community, I can see that it was ambiguous and too easily read as me saying ONLY black women with some degree of non-black ancestry are capable of growing long luscious locks, which is an all too common and all too irritating misconception. I'd like to thank everyone that came forward about it, and thank y'all as always for reading. Now on to the main event...
What's the deal with Beyoncé's hair?
Specifically, what's the deal with her Muhammad Ali Legacy Award presentation hair? Word on the street is that that's her naturally grown curly crown, and as per usual, we're all weighing in on what the truth of the matter is. But should we?
I mean yeah, it's not THAT out there, Beyoncé's a celebrity—everything she does is going to be under scrutiny because...it's profitable (and also kinda fun). I might live under a cinderblock when it comes to many of our famous folks, but I can't pretend to be completely immune to the draw of puff-piece news and Beyhive musings, and now that you've clicked and gotten this far down, neither can you, dear reader. My question though isn't so much about whether her curly ponytail was grown on her head or someone else's, but rather: Why should we insist that it couldn't be?
Is it really that much of a stretch to say this look with real black hair is possible?
I've always been one to invoke the 'YES this hair is mine, I BOUGHT it.' curly girl corollary, a famous addendum to the 'YEAH it's real. Real EXPENSIVE.' curlista proof when I have twists in that look nice and ambiguous, and Mrs. Knowles-Carter has never exactly been shy about her protective styling.
She didn't get the nickname 'Beyaki' for nothing after all.
But it's kind of strange that, even considering all our intra-community talk of hair growth products, care methods, and salon ratings, we're immediately skeptical of all of this money and effort on our part and on the part of the professionals actually working. Sure, getting your curls cute isn't always as easy as just asking someone with hair to die/dye for what they use and who they go to since our textures are all very different despite being equally fabulous. But we ask because we see those methods WORKING. Despite her talent and vision, Beyonce is actually a human being, why wouldn't some of the same things in our special-event curl arsenals work in hers? Rudy Huxtable...okay, fine sorry, Keisha Knight Pulliam, was rocking that yard long blowout WAY before the 'Ethnic Care Aisle' even cropped up to have debates about, so is it really that much of a stretch to say this look with real black hair is possible?
Then again, the mark of a real pro is making things look easy.
It's the same reason why we all assume that we can pole dance, or go a round in the octagon with little effort. Spoiler alert, unless we've had some high level of parallel training, we absolutely cannot. But if something LOOKS perfect and easy, then that means there must be some kind of trick to it, and when it comes to hair/beauty, that means 'it's fake', and that by extension (pun very much intended) the wearer's personality is fake as well; ergo, the whole person is dismissible. It's a trail of specious logic, and one we could all stand to journey down a little less.
In any case, it's literally Beyonce's job to appear 100% flawless at all times, so I'll leave deeper analysis on THAT aside for another article about us non-A listers. Suffice it to say for now though—weave, wigs, or homegrown, there's substantial reason for the Queen Bey to look too good to be true. As of writing this, there are actually 350 million good reasons, before we even speculate about any personal ones she might have. More than enough for me.
So do I think Beyonce's award hair is the real deal?
Well...yeah. Why not? The woman has access to every hair care treatment imaginable and, I imagine, a dedicated mini-mansion for all of her stylists—all of whom probably have a golden 'Bey Phone' and private champagne-fueled jets to reach her whenever she needs them. Why shouldn't her hair look like it does? Moreover, I know people like to "massage" the truth a little to further their careers, but in stylist Neal Farinah's case, could you fathom telling as big a lie as 'I worked on Beyonce's real hair, and she presented this prestigious award to a revolutionary patriot wearing only what her creator and I came together to collaborate on'...and getting away with it scalp intact? I sure can't. Then again, the consensus among some of our editors was that her edges and up were natural, but her ponytail was a transplant. I wonder: does half and half count when we're doling out natural hair "points"? Does color lifting or heat stretching invalidate the results? Curiouser and curiouser...
Why not? The woman has access to every hair care treatment imaginable, and I imagine, a dedicated mini-mansion for all of her stylists—all of whom probably have a golden 'Bey Phone' and private champagne-fueled jets to reach her whenever she needs them.
On a personal note...
When I start earning Beyonce Money™, quite honestly, my actual hair will never be seen again outside of a special occasion or some sort of live 'dip your hair in liquid platinum for charity' type stunt, I know that for 100% certain. As much as I love them, I go about a week making sure I've got my coils prepared for the weather, twisted up at night, protected, styled, and so on before I'm ready to put all them up again. Throw shows, flights, workouts, and rehearsals into that mix? Pssssssh, y'all better learn to love the funk I'm faking. I'll make it so darn easy to love.