Afropunk Brought the Natural Hair Renaissance Back to Brooklyn this Year, Here Are Some of My Favorite Looks.
“A celebration of Black joy and a testament to the resilience of the Brooklyn community”—that’s how we all know and love Afropunk Brooklyn. And this year was no different. It wasn’t just a music fest; for many of us, it was a living, breathing canvas of Black and natural hair artistry.
Beyoncé might have left town last month, but the spirit of creative rebirth lingered. Check out my top Afropunk hairstyles sure to inspire the feeling of being “cozy” with who you are.
1. Bubble Pony’s and Butterfly Clips
Starting off with an ode to the 90s and childhood hair clips nostalgia. BRB buying butterfly clips and gold wire!
2. Embellished with Shells
Twists, elegantly woven with seashells and embellishments, this look feels like a living archive of our collective histories and aspirations.
3. Architectural Spider
Model, creative, and natural hair icon Kayra is known for innovative and intricate hairstyles that could inspire a fish (or a spider) to fly. Everytime Kayra steps out it’s a compelling case for hair as a structural marvel.
4. Disco Meets 1930’s
If the classic modesty of the 1930’s veil hats and the disco glam hair of the 1970’s had a baby, it would be this. It’s more than a look; it’s a proclamation of joy and creativity.
5. Slicked Back and Laid Edges
If nothing else, always remember to lay your edges before leaving the house! Immaculately laid edges is a silent way to tell the world, “I’ve got everything—including my hair—under control.”
6. Bantu Knots With a Twist
You can’t have an Afropunk hair inspiration without beads, locs, bantu knots, or mohawks— so shoutout to these attendees for multiple classics in one look!
7. Beaded Space Buns
These space buns spoke in frequencies of futurism and fun. The sunlit beads shimmered like mini-planets orbiting long braids, offering a nod to both nostalgia (xenon is that you?) and adulting.
8. Effortless Wash n Go
There is something so effortlessly cool and modern about this look. This style was all about celebrating natural texture in its purest form. If “I woke up like this” and still look good was the vision, she nailed it.
9. Cultural Crown Ponytail
The hair embellishment matching the beaded necklace made this high-pony look a walking, talking artifact, whispering stories of diaspora and pride.
10. Floor Length Sparkly Braids
I love this look SO much. Hair gems are not new, but these were a radiant spectacle. They flowed like a river laced with twinkling lights, each strand telling the world, “I’m here, I’m fabulous, and my river runs deep.”
Afropunk Brooklyn 2023 was more than a festival; it was a reaffirmation of Black joy, resilience, and unparalleled creativity in the language of natural hair. And hey, if your hair can be a canvas, a storybook, a playground, and a crown, then you’re pretty much unstoppable, aren’t you?
Feeling inspired? Let me know your fave looks below! Keep that Renaissance going, Brooklyn. ✌️💫
Afropunk Brooklyn 2023 was a manifesto of Black joy, community, and creative ingenuity, all wrapped up in the language of natural hair. The variety of hairstyles celebrated not just the diversity within the Black community but also the individual’s power to self-define. So, what’s your pick? Sound off below! ✌️💫