Hair defines many things including our moods, who we are that day, our outfits and how people treat us. It is also a big part of black culture, seeing as how it’s been perceived throughout the years has gone through some serious changes.
As trendy as some may view our hair and hairstyles, we’re well-aware that our protective styles, natural fros and relaxed or textured hair are more than just a trend — they're a lifestyle.
Josef Adamu, a creative director and model, came across a Brooklyn hair salon that inspired him to share stories about hair braiding. Through his understanding of braiding salons and the struggle of not being able to reach new clientele, Adamu decided to create a photo series which highlighted the beauty of black hairstyles.
The series, dubbed "The Hair Appointment," gained traction very quickly and caught the eyes of OkayAfrica, a digital media platform with a focus on African culture, which requested Amadu turn the series into an exhibition.
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SS Presents: The Hair Appointment (PART ll) by [@ssunday.co] is live now! 🖤✨ — [Filmed in @soofLight ✨] #soofLight — Directed/Produced: @josefadamu — Photography: @jeremyrodneyhall — Co-Produced: @helena.koudou — Wardrobe: @habibatj — Make Up: @erob3me — Hairstyling by @SLAYEDINBRAIDS — Talent: @_taylord.jae @deeofalltrades @yohanaglobal + Aziza, Zakiya, Jackie, Hamzia
The exhibition opened in Okay Space Gallery roughly a month later, which brought the hair braiding experience to its viewers through live braiding sessions and spoken word performances. The gallery was decorated with photographs from the original series along the walls and an “I Remember When” cork board for attendees to share hair styling experiences, according to i-D.
When Adamu caught up with i-D, he shared his concern for local west and Central African hair braiding salons who aren’t equipped with the social media tools to engage new customers and future clients. His concern and desire to help these local salons inspired him to feature them in his series and exhibit. The response he’s received for the exhibit has been positive, according to Adamu.
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[The Hair Appointment] 🌟 ~~ The visions MUCH bigger than me! In August, we took matters into our own hands and curated a very beautiful series in Brownsville (Brooklyn, NY) that depicts the evolution and craftiness of hair braiding as an art. From the kids to the older adults that helped assemble all components of the project, we made something memorable, fashionable and nostalgic! Thank you! There’s much more of where this comes from via @ssunday.co link in bio. Please head over there to consume the entire story! Video in a few 👀👀 #ssunday A Sunday School production. Directed/Produced: @josefadamu — Photography: @jeremyrodneyhall — Videography: @sooflight — Co-Produced: @helena.koudou — Wardrobe: @habibatj — MUA: @erob3me — Hair by @SLAYEDINBRAIDS — Models: @_taylord.jae @deeofalltrades @yohanaglobal + Aziza, Zakiya, Jackie, Hamzia
“It really, really hit home for so many people that can relate. It also still looks good and can be appreciated by everyone. I’ve given the salon two prints that speak to the project but also the salon itself and a magazine, so they can hold onto that memory. I’ve also heard a few things about increased sales and increased awareness online, so it’s all kind of coming together full circle,” Adamu shared with i-D.
With all of Adamu’s success and positive feedback from the exhibit, there’s no doubt that the stories he’ll continue to share with the public will move people in unspeakable ways. We look forward to his future projects and the light he’ll continue to shine on black culture.
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