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2012's Black Hollywood Hair Trends

Updated on April 30, 2015
Gabrielle Union 2012 Grammy Awards
Gabrielle Union 2012 Grammy Awards
Cassie | Source
Jada Pinkett-Smith
Jada Pinkett-Smith | Source
Beyonce | Source
Serena Williams
Serena Williams
Rihanna | Source
Teyana Taylor
Teyana Taylor
Solange Knowles
Solange Knowles
Tika Sumpter
Tika Sumpter
Cynthia Bailey
Cynthia Bailey

© Nicole Paschal, All Rights Reserved

Although 2012 is not over yet, it’s time to take a look back and the hair trends that have dominated Black Hollywood throughout the year thus far. Although some styles are newcomers, such as the ombre look, others have withstood the test of time, arising repeatedly in new variations. Since the year is not over, new trends will arise, adding more diversity to the look of Hollywood starlets. But for now let’s take a look at the most popular hair trends for Black Hollywood in 2012.

Half Shaven
Some call it the half shaven look. Others honor the 80’s by referring to is as the “Salt N’ Pepa.” Myself, I call it the trend that just won’t die. In Hollywood, hairstyles, just like fashion, move like lightening. As supermodel Heidi Klum often says, “One day you’re in, the next day you’re out.” Despite the ridiculously trendy aspirations of the rich and famous, the half-shaven look seems to beat the odds. Although she wasn’t the first to sport the look, Cassie, P-Diddy’s unprofessed love interest, was one of the first to remove the side of her hair in 2009. Since then we’ve seen Mel B., Lala Anthony, Rihanna, Estelle, K. Michelle, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and even runway models do the same. So, what makes this one of the top hair trends of 2012? Perhaps I should remind you that it’s the trend that just won’t die. Alisha Keys had social media talking recently as she tweeted pictures of her brand new shorter do with the half-shaven look. Meanwhile, Cassie still flaunts it with fierceness. Since 2012 is not over, I’m sure others will creep out of the woodwork

Blonde Ambition
So what does Keisha Cole, Beyoncé, Eva Marcille and Nene Leakes have in common? Well, they’ve taken blonde to new heights. Although melanin-enriched women, like Etta James circa 1960, have always morphed into bleached blonde beauties, 2012 gives the trend another opportunity to prove that blondes do have more fun. In 2012 blonde is being revised from the honeyed colors of recent years to bolder, more blatant, peroxide induced hues. Even Beyoncé raised her color as a sign of the times.

The Natural
Sure, there are those of us that have been natural long before it was a trend. Matter of fact, one might even question whether natural hair is a trend, since it’s something we’re born with. However, in 2012, many famous women of color have ventured into the world of curly and kinky textures. Whether the starlet has purchased her hair, or wears her own, the natural look seems to be the hottest rage. Although women such as Macy Gray, Erykah Badu, Leela James, and many others wore versions of natural hair for some time, it’s now making its way from the alternative margins into the mainstream. In 2012 we all saw Serena Williams, Viola Davis, Tamar Braxton, Kelly Rowland, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and Nicole Ari Parker wearing natural or naturally textured hair.

The Ombre
The ombre look is one of those hairstyles that can transcend age, ethnicity, and class. The ombre is for everyone and anyone rebellious enough to dare dye the length of the hair strands into two colors. Typically darker near the roots and a lighter hue of blonde, blue, red or any other color imaginable at the ends, the look is edgy and uncompromising. In 2012 we found Lala Anthony, Rihanna, Raven Symone, Ciara, Teyana Taylor, and other Hollywood vixens dabbling in the double daring ombre delightfulness.

Although braids were a staple for most of us as children, 2012 holds on to them with a vengeance. In 2012, Solange Knowles wore long box braids extended to the waste while Beyoncé, Garcelle Beauvais, Gabrielle Union (pictured above), Eve, and others tackled the extended side braid. Whether fishtailed, plaited, boxed, goddess, or worn across the forehead, the braid has become a trendy worldwide phenomenon.

Middle Part and Waves
Whether sporting a middle part and straight down to there hair like Tika Sumpter or waves a la Gabrielle Union, the middle part is the way to go. Even Gabby Douglass, who received much undeserved flack for her hair during the 2012 London Olympics, opted for a middle part wavy makeover by Oprah's renowned stylist, Ted Gibson. In early 2012, we saw even more mature women such as the beautiful Cynthia Bailey flaunting a longer version of the trend.


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