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PRINCE

Trisha, Prince and more: Jason’s Closet’s fave on-screen black hair moments


TextJason's Closet

Miss Jason reflects on the hair icons that have inspired him throughout his life

Welcome to Rooted, a campaign celebrating the power of black hair and the launch of ‘Tallawah’ – an exhibition by photographer Nadine Ijewere and hairstylist Jawara Wauchope. Here, we explore what the beauty of black hair is all over the globe, from Jamaica to London and New York to the screens of Nollywood films. 

My mother is a qualified cosmetologist – hair is her everything. Aunties, family friends, even my friends would come over and I’d watch her transform their lives (before being forced to sweep up the hair scraps like Cinderella).

The trends, the trends, the trends! The endless Google image printouts of Rihanna’s new album or new hair phase. I grew up obsessed with black hair in showbiz and throughout the years, film and TV saw black hair styling as a form of sorcery. The magic of wigs, sew-ins, that good-good Jerry curl, the Oprah press, braids, cornrows, dreads, ponytails – we saw it all. Not to mention the endless list of fabulous looks worn by the likes of Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, and Pam Grier. 

As an unofficial seasoned hair trend expert, here I round up, here I round-up my top five favourite black hair icons from film and TV. 

PATTI LABELLE 

Nobody, not a single person can do architecture like Miss Labelle. Her hair genius is still incomparable. In hair-terms we’re talking sculpture, volume and prestige, paired with her powerhouse voice – she always has the largest stage-presence in any room she graces.

It was at a music event in 1990 where she officially made me gag like no other. She created a crown with her hair that literally must have caused a hairspray/Spritz/Nyxon gel drought worldwide afterwards. We’re yet to see a successor pull off a stunt quite like it and I live

HALLE BERRY

I’m sure everyone can agree, Halle Berry in James Bond (Die Another Day) started a global phenomenon. The short cut to end all short cuts! In my household, I remember sweeping up more hair than ever before. Everyone wanted to do the big chop, if not to their own hair, then to a wig that would give the same effect. The scene on that beach with her pixie cut and soft curls – I’m still infatuated. 

FLOELLA BENJAMIN

For me, this is all about the high poof pony. I would have chosen M People’s Heather Small, but I had to go with consistency. Baroness Benjamin of Beckenham has rocked the same hairstyle for 30+ years with such class. Usually fashioned with a ribbon tied into a bow or some form of floral hair accessory, Floella proves that having a simple signature look can make you unforgettable. 

PRINCE 

I still believe that Prince is my biological father. Yeah, I said that. I personally don’t see how this statement can be untrue, when we look the same (if you read that four more times, you might see it too). The look (H2T) is very alike to yours truly and he did every hairstyle I’ve ever wanted in my life. Every tour, all 40 albums, every music video – the mane was always top-shelf. The way hairstylist Kim Berry used to assist every cut (ugh!). My fave phase of all time – still to this day – has to be June 15, 1991, at the MTV VMA’s. That sexy pompadour with a soft bounce. I get shivers.

TRISHA GODDARD  

Mother Trisha from daytime television. Before my obsession with HRH Wendy Williams, there was Trisha. Growing up, her talk show was the anthem to my summer holidays. Her being the only black female British talk show host made her a constant point of conversation in my household – especially her hair. Now, Trisha didn’t always get it right, but there was something so human and endearing about her mistakes. For me, it was like she was unafraid to try out different looks that may (or may not) have suited her. There’s something in the idea that hair can be a tool to express yourself and find out what suits you and I loved Trisha for doing that.

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