With trends like Cottage Core, Quiet Luxury, and Mob Wife Winter, TikTok influenced many women to cosplay nostalgic events relative to their history or the images seen in pop culture. With a costume or any outfit, hair design is more than an accessory—it’s considered a crown, especially for Black women. Period piece stories like “ Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, Gilded Age, and Black Cake” center Black women in “higher society” despite their adversities. These shows depicted Black women wearing their natural coils in a quaint and elite manner—which transformed into high fashion and everyday life.
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Editorial hairstylist Sarah Sango creates sculptural afro-textured hair on and off the camera. Like many young Black girls, Sango struggled to find the right products for her mane. Before she produced Lush Cosmetics’ textured, natural haircare line, the U.K. native worked in an elite Black salon while braiding her younger cousin’s hair. Raised in a West African and European household, Sango’s curly hair routine challenged her to become an Afro hair enthusiast. Sango applauds her Black elders for introducing her to essential ingredients like shea butter and aloe vera gel to moisturize her curly hair. Even though her mother helped her embrace her curls, Sango experienced “microaggressions” within her mixed-race family.
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To break the curse, Sango wanted to break barriers in the fashion industry as she witnessed Black models neglected during shoots. After 23 years, Sango continues to promote inclusivity and diversity while assisting stellar fashion campaigns like Vogue, Balmain, and Bottega Veneta. With her expertise in multidimensional hair design, Sango’s creativity shines through constructing natural hair. Sango gives Naturally Curly tips on redefining nostalgic looks.
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Black entertainers like Josephine Baker revolutionized short hair with her sleek pixie cut. The hairdo became a popular and liberating hairstyle for women looking to rock short hair. Sango suggests using a hard gel and spraying the hair with Got 2b glue for a “solid set.” She recommends cleansing the hair to remove product buildup and maintain a healthy scalp. SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo clarifies the hair while promoting moisture.
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From Jackée Harris in 227 to Sanaa Lathan in Love and Basketball, the feathered wrap is a timeless hairdo dating back to the late 70s. The silk press is a reinvention of the voluminous style, without harsh chemicals. However, Sango is an advocate of Afro-textured hair and believes Black hair has been conditioned to “conform to society’s expectations.” With this look, she recommends not pressing the hair but stretching it to showcase its natural texture and dimension. Add velcro rollers or rods to give the hair a soft and volumizing look.
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The Harlem Renaissance popularized this elegant ensemble. Now, the vintage hairstyle exuberates elegance and beauty. Pin curls require heat. Sango suggests roller setting the hair and spraying heat protectant before using a blow dryer and curling iron. For a more defined look without heat potential damage, insert Curformers to minimize tension in the hair.
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Over 30 years ago, the 90s solidified its stance on iconic braids. From Brandy to Sade, Black girls celebrated these role models by repurposing their version of long braided plaits. Braided buns are sophisticated with an edge. Sango is an advocate for length and a slick back bun. She suggests not to “hold back” when adding hair extensions. For a sleek look, slick the edges with Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Edge Gel.
Classic Pinned Coif
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Whether the hair is coily, blown out, or draped with locs, a simple, effortless pinned updo screams elegance and timelessness. Sango believes “less is more,” especially for this style. She recommends structuring the hair with bobby pins while keeping its “natural shape.” Accessorize the updo with barrettes or clips for a romantic night out or special occasion.
Like Sango, many Black women experiment on their hair at a young age. Also, using clean products protects a child’s growing hair. For educational purposes, check out ways parents can style their child’s hair in a creative but timely manner.