Hip Hop culture is black culture which therefore means some of the most prominent Hip Hop Hairstyles include,
- Braids & Cornrows
- High top Fades
- Buzz Cuts with Designs
To understand these reoccurring hairstyles in hip hop will require you to understand black culture first. The list above culturally represents hairstyles worn by African Americans for protection, to communicate race pride or to showcase unique designs.
This should explain why Hip Hop artists stick within these parameters whether conscious of it or not!
Our editorial will look at each style and how it’s been worn within the culture.
We have listed all the Best Hip Hop Hairstyles
Braids & Cornrows
Black artists choosing to style their hair in braids can be seen across genres and generations especially in Hip Hop. What’s even more interesting is the dominance of the hairstyle back in the early 2000s. Artists such as Ludacris, Snoop Dog & Bow Wow made braids their signature look.
The hairstyle trend would eventually lose its influence towards the late 2000s until the introduction of rappers such as Asap Rocky and Travis Scott!
Why was this style so popular? Aside from being a protective style great for hair growth it also looks great and can be styled in multiple ways.
As a result of Hip Hop being broad and diverse inherently means we have representation of every dreadlock style such as Wickes, freeform, semi freeform, traditional, bleached, braided and 2 strand twists.
J Cole is an example of someone who chooses to have his dreads free formed whilst offset keeps his dreads traditional and neat.
The variety is endless, and this can be seen in our rappers with dreads editorial.
High top Fades
(Notable rappers with the hairstyle in the 90s: Kid n Play hair & Will Smith)
Prior to the faded High top young African Americans were predominantly styling their hair in Jheri Curls throughout the 80s due to the influence of Luther Vandross, Lionel Richie, and Michael Jackson. That was until we were introduced to Will Smith, Kid n Play & Big Daddy Kane.
The influence of 90s faded high tops continually presents itself with modern rappers styling their hair this way from Blueface, Yung bleu & chance the rapper to name a few.
Buzz Cuts with Designs
The buzz cut may be one of the most popular hairstyles in the world for men.
Best known for its function over fashion, as it’s been a staple look for men in the military but what makes this style hip hop? The styles and patterns shaved into heads, that’s what!
Hip hop is about taking something and giving it new meaning. For example, once the artists started wearing timberland boots it was no longer simply a construction boot for workers but a fashionable item.
Hip hop has applied the same magic to the buzz cut. Adding lines, side partings, patterns and logos give it that unique edge.
The effects of the civil rights movement were showcased very early on in Hip Hop culture through the music and videos. Artists such as public enemy used their music as a platform to speak on issues affecting the community.
During the 60s and 70s the afro hairstyle became a powerful political symbol which reflected black pride and a rejection of police brutality.
Outside of its political meaning it’s also a cool standout hairstyle which hip hop artists have worn frequently once taking a break from their usual protective styles.
Do you now see why you must understand black culture to get full context of hip hop hairstyles? They go hand in hand.
Unconventional Hairstyles worn by rappers
Now that we have covered the most prominent hip hop hairstyles, we will look at some of the more unconventional styles.
Kanye messed up hair
On the drink champs podcast Kanye explained his patchy hairstyle as being art and wanting it to be seen that way.
This is not the first Kanye west hair style that has shocked the world, at this point it wouldn’t be Kanye not to create unconventional hair moments, this just happens to be one of them.
While there are several different male balding patterns, in Coolio’s case he began thinning at the crown of his head with his hair still in box braids at the sides. Unconventional? We think so
Wigs (Tyler/Nicki/Andre 3k)
Wigs in Hip Hop have always been used to help exaggerate the artists alter ego and persona.
We have seen this in multiple artists, especially Andre 3000, Tyler the creator and Nicki Minaj
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