22 Bold and Beautiful Celebrity Afros That Helped Define Black History

Amanda Williams
22 Bold and Beautiful Celebrity Afros That Helped Define Black History
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Photo: Getty Images/Allison Kahler

Women of color have long been encouraged to adopt European beauty standards instead of embracing the versatility of their natural hair. And in an era where celebrity culture still plays a large role in the decisions we make regarding personal appearance, we’re grateful for the famous ladies who rock their coils and curls unapologetically.

MORE: The Best Celeb Natural Hair Moments of 2018 (So Far)

Sure, we love experimenting with weaves, wigs, and extensions, but no hairstyle embodies black girl magic more boldly than an Afro. From the era of Studio 54 to present day, these are the celebrity Afros—of all shapes, sizes, and textures—that have helped shape black beauty history.

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STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Diana Ross
Diana Ross

In a 1975 black-and-white portrait photo shoot, musical icon Diana Ross flaunted a voluminous, meticulously shaped Afro. Throughout her career, she wore them in different styles, shapes, and textures.

Photo: Getty Images
STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Tracee Ellis Ross
Tracee Ellis Ross

Ross's daughter, "Black-ish" star Tracee Ellis Ross, also experiments with her natural curls but frequently lets her curls flow freely.

Photo: Getty Images
STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Erykah Badu
Erykah Badu

Erykah Badu is no stranger to Afro styles. In 1997, the singer even released a song called "Afro," expressing how she loves the boldness of her look.

Photo: Getty Images
STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Jill Scott
Jill Scott

At the 59th Annual Grammy Awards, singer Jill Scott wore her Afro with a black jeweled accent and a pair of dangling earrings to match.

Photo: Getty Images
STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Solange Knowles
Solange Knowles

Like her older sister Beyoncé, Solange Knowles isn't afraid of expressing herself through her hair. She often plays with different styles and textures, including the classic Afro.

Photo: Getty Images
STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Angela Davis
Angela Davis

Former Black Panther and activist Angela Davis’s natural hair is not only a physical extension of the work she's done to promote black pride; it's also just plain old fabulous.

Photo: Getty Images
STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Uzo Aduba
Uzo Aduba

The "Orange Is the New Black" actress has never shied away from flaunting her kinky coils and wore her boldest style yet at the 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards.

Photo: Getty Images
STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Nina Simone
Nina Simone

The boundary-breaking singer and activist led the charge in embracing black beauty on a global platform in the ’60s and ’70s.

Photo: Getty Images
STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Viola Davis
Viola Davis

The Oscar- and Golden Globe–winning actress has been embracing her natural hair in recent years. Her latest Afro moment happened at this year's Golden Globe Awards.

Photo: Getty Images
STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Marsha Hunt
Marsha Hunt

Singer and writer Marsha Hunt posed for multiple high-profile shoots, including this 1969 Vogue feature, in her trademark Afro.

Photo: Getty Images
STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Lupita Nyong'o
Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong'o often takes the red carpet with not only breathtaking gowns but unforgettable hair as well. The "Black Panther" star recently made an appearance on "Good Morning America" in a TWA.

Photo: Getty Images
STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Nathalie Emmanuel
Nathalie Emmanuel

The "Game of Thrones" actress wears her natural hair throughout the series and on the red carpet.

Photo: Getty Images
STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Pam Grier
Pam Grier

Blaxploitation legend Pam Grier got her start in a signature Afro that she rocked throughout several films, including "Scream" and "Blacula."

Photo: Getty Images
STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Yaya DaCosta
Yaya DaCosta

The model-turned-actress has worn a larger-than-life Afro for most of her life, but we weren't introduced to it until her stint on "America's Next Top Model."

Photo: Getty Images
STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Corinne Bailey Rae
Corinne Bailey Rae

Corinne Bailey Rae has always flaunted her natural hair. Whether her kinks are short or very long, the British singer and songwriter wears it unapologetically.

Photo: Getty Images
STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Amandla Stenberg
Amandla Stenberg

This actress knows how to pull chic hairstyles out of her back pocket, from full curls to a completely shaved head. She debuted her newly grown curls at the Hollywood Reporter’s 2017 Women in Entertainment Breakfast.

Photo: Getty Images
STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Iman
Iman

Iman has always been a fashion icon. At Interview Magazine's 30th anniversary party in 1999, the former high-fashion model showed up to the event with a striking fiery 'Fro.

Photo: Getty Images
STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Hill

The singer and songwriter has worn Afros of varying sizes, but our favorite has to be the big and beautiful one she sported while performing in 2005.

Photo: Getty Images
STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Ebonee Davis
Ebonee Davis

The model and activist has long said that her natural hair is a form of protest against unfair beauty standards throughout the fashion and beauty industries.

Photo: Getty Images
STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Imaan Hammam
Imaan Hammam

You'd be hard-pressed to find the top model deviating from her signature voluminous curls on and off the runway.

Photo: Getty Images
STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Selah Marley
Selah Marley

Like her mother, Lauryn Hill, the burgeoning singer and model rocks her natural coils wherever she goes.

Photo: Getty Images
STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Zendaya
Zendaya

The singer and actress is one of today's biggest and best hair chameleons. Her Afro at the InStyle Awards is one of her fiercest looks to date.

Photo: Getty Images

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Look How Fast These Celebrity Kids Grew Up

Look How Fast These Celebrity
Kids Grew Up
  • STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Diana Ross
  • STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Tracee Ellis Ross
  • STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Erykah Badu
  • STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Jill Scott
  • STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Solange Knowles
  • STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Angela Davis
  • STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Uzo Aduba
  • STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Nina Simone
  • STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Viola Davis
  • STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Marsha Hunt
  • STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Lupita Nyong'o
  • STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Nathalie Emmanuel
  • STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Pam Grier
  • STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Yaya DaCosta
  • STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Corinne Bailey Rae
  • STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Amandla Stenberg
  • STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Iman
  • STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Lauryn Hill
  • STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Ebonee Davis
  • STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Imaan Hammam
  • STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Selah Marley
  • STYLECASTER | Memorable Celebrity Afros | Zendaya

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