ELLE’s September issue, the highly anticipated annual bible of beauty and fashion, features black models in a tribute to black hair.
The “Natural Anthem” beauty shoot showcases six women of color rocking a collection of natural styles including afro puffs, sculpted baby hair and braids. The six models hail from Kenya, Burundi, and Canada. One of them was even discovered at a Beyonce concert in Toronto. In the article the models discuss what it was like being a part of the shoot, favorite hair care products, their day-to-day makeup routines, the relationships they have with their hair and their own treasured beauty icons.
The magazine’s beauty director, Vanessa Craft posted the following to her Instagram account:
“September Issue realness: I have wanted to do a shoot like this for a long, long time – a visual love letter to the girls I grew up with and the women we all have all become. Hair is such a hugely important part of our world and I wanted to celebrate it authentically. (P.S. I have worn every hairstyle in this shoot at some point in my life. Bantu knots is a personal fave). Shoutout to the amazing team who worked with us, especially @justinggg who spun magic on these beautiful young women.” – @vanessacraft, beauty director. Link in bio to meet the six models in our shoot👆🏾🙌🏿👏🏽 #naturalhair #blackhair #bantuknots (📸: @satyandpratha)
“I’ve never been in a photo shoot where it’s all black people. Usually there is one black person and seven Caucasian women. We all come from different backgrounds and we can share stories together. And I kind of feel at peace because at other shoots, nobody would talk to each other,” Aliisa says.
“My sister is a hairdresser. I started with braids. My mom wouldn’t let me wear a weave because she said it would be too grown-up for me. Grade 5 graduation was the only time I could wear one; it was a clip-on ponytail. In Grade 8, I got to wear a long weave. I loved it! I would get it sewn in. But I would have to straighten it and comb it out, or brush it out. In high school, I started wearing all natural. [Wearing a weave] is too much time. You have to maintain it,” she added.
Major props to ELLE Canada for showing love to these gorgeous hairstyles and the black women who wear them better than anyone else ever could.
The September issue is available on newsstands now.