As we predicted earlier this year, natural hair texture has become one of the biggest trends in salons—and on the red carpet. Of course, black women have been boldly flaunting their twist-outs, bantu knots, and Afros for quite some time now. (After all, you can’t go natural in a day.) Now, we just have an excuse to round up our favorite styles.
To be clear, the trend isn’t just a hairstyle choice. It’s a movement. It’s a declaration that you’ve embraced what you were born with and have stopped conforming to “traditional” beauty expectations. During Black Girls Rock!, where BET honors black women of all ages and professions for their contributions to entertainment and society, Amandla Stenberg, the 17-year-old actress-and-feminist who actively and proudly encourages the rejection of the status quo, confessed during a speech:
“I remember looking in the mirror when I was a little girl, and looking at all that hair and being like, ‘Why is that there?’ I wanted it to go down so much. I remember suppressing it and brushing it, and being so frustrated that it was so big and so bold. I felt like I took up too much space. But because of those women [who raised me], I have learned that my blackness does not inhibit me from being beautiful and intelligent. In fact, it’s the reason I’m beautiful and intelligent.”
Below, we celebrate women who’ve embraced their natural tresses (and calmly put down the scissors, as we are SO not ready for the big chop yet).
Host for the evening, Tracee Ellis Ross, changed her hairstyle almost as many times as she changed her outfit. On the red carpet, her voluminous curls gave us a distinct Diana Ross vibe. Those are some very good genes to have.
Stenberg, who was honored with the Young Gifted and Black award sporting a vibrant Moschino suit, pinned and slicked back her curly do with pomade.
Honored with the Star Power award, Walking Dead‘s badass Danai Gurira, represented for the short-haired women of the world with a sculpted afro and a deep-side part.
Yara Shahidi, the host’s TV daughter on Black-ish, took a break from her usual braids and updos for thick glossy curls.
Soul singer Corinne Bailey Rae’s hair has grown so much since her 2006 single “Put Your Records On.” We’re so envious of how long her hair is even in twist-out mode. sigh #transitiongoals
Fellow soul singer Marsha Ambrosius went the Solange route, brushing out bantu knots for a wavy, semi-crimped look, creating natural waves.
__Teen Vogue: Black Women Share Their Hair Stories ft. Amandla Stenberg
Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage (3), Bennett Raglin/BET, Gary Gershoff/WireImage, Nicholas Hunt/BET