Afropunk Brooklyn 2022 created a much needed space for Black folx during NYFW and highlighted a Renaissance for Black hair 

Afropunk Brooklyn, “A celebration of Black joy and a testament to the resilience of the Brooklyn community” came back after a three year hiatus last weekend. The festival brought beautiful Black people across the diaspora together for a music festival, but more importantly, for me at least, we experienced a natural and Black hair renaissance.

Beyoncè did warn us that a Renaissance was coming, and after attending Afropunk I don’t think she was only talking about her album. As soon as I walked through the gates I saw a Black woman dressed as a fairy, hair covered in flowers on my right, and supermodel Ebonee Davis styled by Moshoodat, to my left. Both women effortlessly exuded confidence and joy, and their distinct hairstyles felt like a tribute to the space Afropunk created for them. A space where Black people are not only safe to experiment with their natural hair, but encouraged to. Where alternative hairstyles can lead to a feature in Vogue and pastel purple dreads can get you written up in Essence (or NaturallyCurly”> ;”>

Surrounded by other Black people who wore their hair in both intricately made and natural styles, wearing my hair in its most natural state felt less a symbol of diasporic resistance (as it often has in the workplace and many public spaces”> and more like an easy belonging.

From makeshift kitchen salons to the local shop owned by a family friend, hair salons have been one of the few places Black women could bring their full selves, and wear their natural hair without judgment. But what happens to Black hair and creativity when we have more spaces to experiment? More spaces to exist without judgment and to belong? Afropunk gives us a preview of this, and it looks a lot like a renaissance for Black hair.

At a festival where the Roots and Burna Boy are headliners, it makes sense that Black creativity would thrive at Afropunk, especially when it comes to hair. Here are 10 hairstyles from Afropunk that feel like Black hair is experiencing a Renaissance.

1. Ebonee Davis with a long weave mixed with locs style

10 Looks from Afropunk that Feel Like Black Hair is Experiencing a Renaissance

2. Black women with red hair is having a moment

10 Looks from Afropunk that Feel Like Black Hair is Experiencing a Renaissance

3. A natural afro will always be a revolutionary style

10 Looks from Afropunk that Feel Like Black Hair is Experiencing a Renaissance

4. Locs are an ode loving your Blackness.

10 Looks from Afropunk that Feel Like Black Hair is Experiencing a Renaissance

5. If any hairstyle represents a Renaissance of Black hair, these Purple and pink locs with half-up half-down space buns might be it.

10 Looks from Afropunk that Feel Like Black Hair is Experiencing a Renaissance

6. Waist-length braids with loose ends, you will always be famous.

10 Looks from Afropunk that Feel Like Black Hair is Experiencing a Renaissance

7. Bandana under a cap? Say less.

10 Looks from Afropunk that Feel Like Black Hair is Experiencing a Renaissance

8. UNIQUE. Three friends. Three hairstyles.

10 Looks from Afropunk that Feel Like Black Hair is Experiencing a Renaissance

9. 90’s Clips in natural hair>>>

10 Looks from Afropunk that Feel Like Black Hair is Experiencing a Renaissance

10. Besties rocking distinct, dyed styles

10 Looks from Afropunk that Feel Like Black Hair is Experiencing a Renaissance

All photos taken by Kiana Tipton for NaturallyCurly

Kiana Tipton

Currently in ATX pursuing a masters in media studies, Kiana's research surrounds digital technologies and its intersections with race/gender/sexuality- Which is an academic way of saying she went back to school to study Black twitter. Kiana is passionate about criminal justice reform, media representation, and finding innovative ways to protect the marginalized. Kiana is friendly as long as you don't try and touch her hair, so leave her a comment/message and she'll make sure to respond.

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