In this day and age of #BlackGirlMagic, mainstream media continues to catch (and capitalize) on how big a role hair has plays in identity and culture. Allure seems to be getting it right with its first ever “Culture Of Hair” issue led by editor in chief Michelle Lee with Lupita Nyong’o starring as the glossy’s cover girl.
[SEE ALSO: The Top 11 Hair-Defining Moments Of 2017]
The Black Panther star poses it up for the ground-breaking issue in a series of hairstyles visioned and crafted by her go-to stylist Vernon François. Her hair look inspirations included African beaded braids and kinky coily updos.
“Lupita and I wanted to show that coil-y or kinky hair has many strengths and can be worn in lots of different ways, celebrating its beauty and versatility,” Vernon told the glossy. “Loving your true texture is important.”
Inside the “refreshing spread”, Lupita talks about her journey toward loving her hair, what inspired her first big chop and the language of hair.
On big chopping her relaxer:
.. I was once asking for some more money to get my hair done and my dad joked, “Why don’t you just cut it all off?” And a few months later, I thought to myself, Why don’t I? I went into the hair salon, and I said, “Let’s cut it off.” It was almost a dare to myself: Can I live without hair? He shaved it right off. It was so scary but so liberating because I went completely bald..
On what she prefers to call her natural hair:
“I like the term “kinky.” Some people don’t like that term, but when I think about my hair, I think of it as African kinky hair. But I’m not really in deep with the politics of it all and the language choice. I speak just from my own experience or my own preference. Curly hair differs so much.”
Click through to check out more images from the spread.