Go to any Afropunk Fest and you will know exactly what hair street culture is. It is all the craze amongst the youth and is a major part of their expression at festivals and in every-day life. Young people get very creative with their hair and wear all sorts of interesting styles and colours that you wouldn’t even imagine sitting in your office at work. It is difficult to trace exactly when or where urban street hair originated because a lot of it is inspired by something, a culture or heritage, an era, an art piece, anything.
Whether it’s pink ombre faux locs or a flower and butterfly filled blue afro, it’s all inspired by an existing hair style.
Locally, we have started to see more street hair styles inspired by the “Benny and Betty” hair style as well as the West African Fulani Braids. One of the people we can say is pioneering this movement is Hair Blogger Nikiwe Dlova. She started working with different hairstylists and playing with different colour wools for the Benny and Betty style, instead of the common black wool, which she has showcased in her “Betty Evolves Hair Series”. Nikiwe founded the hair blog ownURcrownand has shared her hair journey and street hairstyles over the years. We caught up with her and asked her a few questions about hair street culture. She explained that for her, hair street culture is freedom of expression which can influence identity, fashion, music and art. All these things are interlinked and one can argue that either one can influence the other.
She has always expressed herself through her hair since high school and her hair journey just gets more creative with time as sheevolves. We definitely enjoy sharing in her evolution as we get to appreciate beautiful and creative hair styles that we ourselves would possibly be too scared to try, because of the attention we would attract or even the thought of how you will have a good night’s sleep with the hair style. As some of these get pretty, how do we say, OTT… like, how do you sleep with it? Can you detach it? What if I want to go swimming? These are fair questions to ask before committing to a hairstyle right? Haha
That is one of the reasons why she started ownURcrown, to showcase different expressions when it comes to hair in order to inspire people to be bold and brave and own their identity and expression. We look forward to seeing what else she has to showcase, with her ownURcrownPop-Up Hair Salon coming soon.
Here are some of our favourite hair street styles from her.