CLOSE
Best Natural Hair Moments Of The Decade

Source: All Images From Getty / Getty

The 2010s were the decade of natural hair. From braids to afros to twists, natural beauties truly flourished this decade, showing off their textured locs in most versatile looks the world has ever seen. Whether it was the red carpet, a gala, the runway or politics, Black hair had an influence on every major fashion moment in this last decade. And while some opted for a simpler ‘do, others went for the gusto and proudly donned their coils, kinks and curls in the most creative styles possible.

The natural hair moments of the 2010s were so bold that they created a ripple effect of confidence in wearing natural hair that extended beyond the moment itself and trickled into our everyday lives. While we owe that new-found confidence to so many naturalistas, it was these 10 natural beauties that truly set the bar for the most iconic natural hair moments of the decade, giving us the power to destroy society’s beauty standards once and for all and show up in spaces as our truest selves: bold, Black and beautiful.

1. BEYONCE LEMONADE BRAIDS

Queen Bey is no stranger to braids and afros but when she released her second visual album, “Lemonade”, in 2016, she took the natural hair movement to a new level by introducing us to “Lemonade Braids”, appropriately named for the way they were debuted. The style was created by Beyoncé’s longtime stylist, Kim Kimble, and featured waist-length cornrows that wrapped around Beyoncé’s head and fell down to one side of her face. This trendsetting look was an instant hit and a new take on protective styles–especially in the summer months.

2. MARIA BORGES NATURAL AFRO

2015 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - Runway Source:Getty

Model Maria Borges broke natural hair barriers in 2015 when she walked the runway at that year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show with completely natural hair–becoming the first model in the fashion show’s history to do so. Maria set the tone for shows to come as many of the models followed suit, embracing their natural locs on the legendary runway.

3. ZENDAYA DREADLOCKS AT THE OSCARS

87th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals Source:Getty

Zendaya walked so we could run as some would say this particular hair moment sparked the most important conversation we’d have all decade about Black hair. The young actress attended the 2015 Academy Awards wearing beautifully crafted faux locs and what was meant to be an iconic night of fashion turned into a moment of solidarity for naturalistas everywhere. Zendaya’s look was met with harsh comments from fashion critics, including former E! Fashion Police host, Guilana Rancic, who said on television that Zendaya’s hair made her look like she “smells like patchouli oil and weed.” Zendaya took to her Instagram to respond to Rancic’s comments, saying, “There is already harsh criticism of African-American hair in society without the help of ignorant people who choose to judge others based on the curl of their hair. My wearing my hair in locs on an Oscar red carpet was to showcase them in a positive light, to remind people of color that our hair is good enough.” Of course, Rancic eventually apologized to the Euphoria star and was faced which much criticism of her own, but we still applaud Zendaya for bringing awareness to the ignorance of mainstream media and showing the world the beauty and versatility of Black hair.

window.ioneAds.defineSlot( {"name":"post-incontent2","path":"\/4052\/hb.home\/desktop\/hair","sizes":[[1,1],[728,90],[5,5]],"div":"div-gpt-post-incontent2","targets":{"pos":"incontent2","sz":"1x1,728x90,5x5"},"event_render":null,"event_refresh":null,"refresh_interval":null} );

4. SOLANGE DROPS ‘A SEAT AT THE TABLE’

Saturday Night Live - Season 42 Source:Getty

Solange gave us a plethora of unforgettable hair moments in 2016 surrounding the release of “A Seat At The Table”. In addition to the artwork for her album cover and the music video for “Don’t Touch My Hair”, the natural beauty boldly proved that Black hair is Black art when she performed “Cranes in the Sky” on “Saturday Night Live” wearing a beautiful braided halo draped in Swarovski Crystal beads. The iconic style was created by artist Shani Crowe and took fifty hours, five thousand crystals and one hundred feet of braiding hair to make.

5. YARA SHAHIDI’S FIERCE CURLS

24th Annual Screen ActorsÊGuild Awards - Arrivals Source:Getty

“Grown-ish” star, Yara Shahidi is known for her natural locs both on and off screen but it was this moment that really catapulted her into the naturalista hall of fame. The TV actress and activist boldly teased out her curls and rocked them freely at the 2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards, showing the world how beautiful Black hair truly is.

6. YARA SHAHIDI’S FIERCE CURLS

24th Annual Screen ActorsÊGuild Awards - Arrivals Source:Getty

“Grown-ish” star, Yara Shahidi is known for her natural locs both on and off screen but it was this moment that really catapulted her into the naturalista hall of fame. The TV actress and activist boldly teased out her curls and rocked them freely at the 2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards, showing the world how beautiful Black hair truly is.

7. MICHELLE OBAMA ON THE COVER OF ESSENCE MAGAZINE

We were so used to seeing our Forever First Lady wearing straighter styles while in the White House that when she appeared on the cover of Essence magazine in November 2018 with her natural look, we truly lost our minds! Mrs. Obama’s beautiful, natural curls were on full display on every newsstand and coffee table in America and it was truly a wonderful sight to see!

8. CIARA ‘BLACK PANTHER’ INSPIRED BANTU KNOTS

BACARDI Presents Liberate Your Spirits With Ciara For Halloween In New York Source:Getty

“Black Panther” was one of the biggest movies of the 2010s so it’s only right that a look inspired by the movie would make our list. In 2018, Ciara stepped out for Halloween as Princess Nakia with beautifully crafted bantu knots to top off her look. “I wanted to wear something that I can identify with,” the singer explained to Refinery29. “Nakia’s fearlessness, her qualities and character go with the concepts of me being my true self.”

9. JANELLE MONAE’S HIDDEN MESSAGES

48th NAACP Image Awards - Press Room Source:Getty

During the “Hidden Figures” press run in 2017, Janelle Monae used her hair as an opportunity to make bold statements. With unconventional hair accessories such as safety pins, googly eyes, gold string and silver bows, the actress and singer showed up with some of the coolest natural hair styles to ever grace the red carpet. Her looks were the creation of hairstylist, Nikki Nelms, who told Cosmopolitan that she often visited Michael’s Arts and Crafts store as inspiration for Janelle’s most memorable hair looks.

10. VIOLA DAVIS’ AFRO AT THE 75TH ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS

75th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals Source:Getty

Viola Davis stole the spotlight at the 2018 Golden Globes when she stepped onto the red carpet wearing a stunning black gown and a halo of natural curls. Styled by Jamika Wilson, the “How to Get Away with Murder” actress’ look was called a “symbol of resistance” and helped instill confidence in Black women that we don’t have to conform to society’s standards to be beautiful.

11. SANAA LATHAN’S BIG CHOP

Special Screening Of Netflix's "Nappily Ever After" - Arrivals Source:Getty

Sanaa Lathan broke the Internet in 2018 when she did the big chop for her Netflix movie, “Nappily Ever After”, a film that appropriately followed Lathan’s character, Violet Jones, on her quest for self-discovery and self-love, including letting go the years of conditioning that beauty comes with long hair. The new look was liberating for Lathan, who described the actual moment of shaving her head as euphoric.

12. SANAA LATHAN’S BIG CHOP

Special Screening Of Netflix's "Nappily Ever After" - Arrivals Source:Getty

Sanaa Lathan broke the Internet in 2018 when she did the big chop for her Netflix movie, “Nappily Ever After”, a film that appropriately followed Lathan’s character, Violet Jones, on her quest for self-discovery and self-love, including letting go the years of conditioning that beauty comes with long hair. The new look was liberating for Lathan, who described the actual moment of shaving her head as euphoric.

More From HelloBeautiful