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Erykah Badu rocks a new look

Avatar • Aug 10, 2010

Erykah Badu, whose large afro wigs have long been associated with the natural hair movement, rocked a radical new look at the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago.

Erykah Badu at Lollapalooza

Erykah Badu in years past

Since the photos were posted online, people have reacted in a variety of ways. Some see the combination of blonde and straight as a radical and unwelcome departure from her natural roots, others feel that as an artist, she is free to reinvent herself and doesn’t owe anybody anything.

I personally think that a.) well, first off it’s amazing that Erykah booked Lollapalooze, so hats off to her b.) I could be wrong… but I don’t remember Erykah ever going on the record saying she was pro-natural, so I think it was largely assumed and c.) I think we sometimes forget that they were wigs… afro *wigs*.

Erykah has done several gorgeous big chops over the years, but I don’t think she’s managed to grow out a head of loose-strand natural hair. Maybe it’s because she didn’t want to, maybe it’s because she couldn’t. I don’t know.

I know a lot of naturals have projected feelings onto Erykah and I’m not sure that’s fair. She’s always played around with her look (she’s even rocked straight wigs before), so this certainly isn’t unprecedented.

What’s your take?

Lollapalooza pics via The Kansas City Star

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Kidouble
10 years ago

I love here but I WANT THOSE Earrings!

donna
donna
10 years ago

I’ve always loved Erykah and Jill for rockin natural hair of any form and so I’m not as shocked to see them change up and both (thus far) always go back to something natural. I’m not loving this style on her, not feeling this shade of blonde on her but it’s one of those things I think she can get away with because she’s always re-inventing herself. Also she did rock a ceasar cut at one time, and locs back in her Andre 3000 days, but some said because they started as extentions, that wasn’t real enough for them smh,… Read more »

naturalbelle
10 years ago

thats true! us natural have sort of adopted erykah as a herione for natural hair! when in fact she doesn’t stand up and represent it herself! i think we just associate her attitude and style vibe to being natural. i love her ever evolving looks! however whenever i see her real hair its always looks damaged and unhealthy. but she’s a singer not a hair model so who is anyone to judge! i love her dress here it’s very etta james! in fact the whole look has an etta from the year 2300 vibe!!

keep up the great work

julia
10 years ago

The only thing I think is that the blond is a little too light (or not light enough?) for her. It makes her skin look washed out.
Aside from that — do the thang.

CashmereCurls
CashmereCurls
10 years ago

Hmmm… I guess I’m the only natural who never saw Erykah Badu as a hair icon so her new hairstyle doesn’t mean much to me. I thought it was fairly obvious that those massive afros that she sported were all wigs and seeing her as an icon for natural hair is kind of missing the whole point, no? The only hair icon that I can say that I actually have is from that Gap ad with the woman and her daughter and they both have this huge hair (especially the little girl). Its on my wall. Every time I look… Read more »

Camille
10 years ago

erykah inspired a lot of us to go natural but i dont think she ever really rocked her own natural hair. i don’t and never will demand that of her. i do, however, often wish she would get a damned stylist. she is a beautiful girl but looks BAD most of the time. until that day, i will keep enjoying her for her musical talent and get my style and beauty cues ELSEWHERE.

NtrlGAGrl
NtrlGAGrl
10 years ago

Artist or otherwise, it’s HER hair. She is free to do whatever the heck she wants with–wait for it–HER hair. That shouldn’t be an affront to anyone and I agree with your point about projection.

trackback

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by S. Michelle E., Sweet Chivonne, ((Kiaosha)), flygirlblog, dia– ‘dee yuh’ and others. dia– ‘dee yuh’ said: RT @blckbettyboop: Erykah Badu rocks a new look http://bit.ly/cgWgVP #naturalhair THIS BLONDE KILLS EVERYBODY! I love her! […]

Lulu
Lulu
10 years ago

Erykah’s allegiance is to artistry and a boxless and boundless view of life. She takes flight in freedom and encourages each of us to do the same.

Brownsugababe305
Brownsugababe305
10 years ago

I believe that this is Erykah’s real hair and I looked at her new vid for get munny and it looked like it was all hers natural and dyed red. I like this look it just looks like she straightened her hair.

Barbara
10 years ago

“I know a lot of naturals have projected feelings onto Erykah and I’m not sure that’s fair.” I’d have to agree. I was a little taken by the Essence comments by naturals. I mean, they kind of jumped right to perm, and automatically got butt booty hurt and cast her away from the natural circle. You raised a good point about Erykah’s feelings toward natural hair in general. We just don’t really know what her views are and can only appreciate her personal style. I also would agree with Brownsugababe305 and say that it looks like she’s just straightened her… Read more »

LaLa
LaLa
10 years ago
beautywithcurls
10 years ago

I Seriously Doubt Ms Badu Ever Had Real Locks They Were Different Extension At Different Length Like The Video Other Side Of The Game Because A Few Month Before That Video She Was In Vibe Magazine(The One With LL Cool J And Family On The Cover) With Her Real Hair In A Short TWA.…I Had Locks And They Grew Like Crazy So I Know Locks Don’t Completely Form Or Grow That Quick To Feel That Socking She Was Wearing Then. I’ve Know A Few People That Started Their Locks From The Extensions, Maybe She Did But Then She Still Took… Read more »

Dawn
Dawn
10 years ago

@ CashmereCurls — I agree 100%. Even with pics of Hair Types, I would sometimes see a pic of Erykah in the mix and I did not get it. I do not know if WE made her an icon or she was assumed to be one in the media? I never assumed it… Jill Scott? Yes — the girl with the wig? notuhsomuch.. But that is my opinion. It is her life, it is her hair and she did not belt from the rooftops she was a proud natual. I think her wig was an artistic “style” (Just like the glasses… Read more »

ShenRa
ShenRa
10 years ago

She just blow dried it people!!! Its still natural thats the beauty of natural hair it offers several options.….…can transform into several different things.……the mohawks different but hey she doing her so Peace

Ms. Haiti 1982!
Ms. Haiti 1982!
10 years ago

It’s your hair, and you can do whatever you want with it.That also applies to EB. My only problem is that the style is ugly and makes her look older.

Bee Michelle
10 years ago

Its just hair. Her HAIR. Does the natural community shun little ol’ me when I decide to get weave once I’m bored or tired of dealing with my natural hair?? I don’t look up to celebrities as natural hair inspiration.. I find my inspiration in people I see on the street with natural hair, my friends with natural hair, little girls with natural hair and myself. Her hair has nothing to do with why I like her music.

RanDee
RanDee
10 years ago

I think that is a wig as well she has been wearing alot of wigs lately making her versitile to do anything!!!!

Ashley
Ashley
10 years ago

I personally am new to the who natural look and being natural, but I have always loved Erykah Badu, her music and her style no matter how she was rocking it. I think it takes a woman who have confidence and strength to do what she does and I admire her for that. She knows she is going to be judged by others, but yet she walks with her head held high and isn’t afraid to say F‑you Imma do my thang. If I had half of her confidence I would be good! It’s her hair, how she wears it… Read more »

Nappy Kitchen
Nappy Kitchen
10 years ago

The style is awful and the color is awful. I love the girl’s music but something in her milk just isnt right to me.

Cardenie
10 years ago

I wouldn’t choose that look for her, but it looks interesting. I don’t really care that it appears straight and is blond.

Dani
Dani
10 years ago

I’m not opposed to the cut, just the color. As a general rule, I don’t like blond hair on blacks. Beyond that, I’m not convinced that she’s going to keep up this look. I foresee her wearing the huge Afro wigs again, soon.

MommieDearest
MommieDearest
10 years ago

Erykah is crazy. Certifiable. And I love her. She’s in concert in
ATL this weekend and I can’t wait to see her!!

Janell Necole
Janell Necole
10 years ago

WOW! Okay it reminds me a bit of Kelis, BUT I am not mad at this look. 😀

Betty Chambers
10 years ago

I’m much more fascinated with the styling. I wish there was a YouTube clip showing how it’s done. I think it would look good as a styling option (for those who would wear it) with a darker color or braided.

AfroKisses
AfroKisses
10 years ago

I just can’t muster it up 2 be mad or disappointed in what someone else does 2 their hair in general.…and it looks more blown out and gelled than relaxed and also…the color kinda looks like the sprayed on kind…(I tried once around middle school).I am in no way saying that to be insulting I said that in all seriousness. Otherwise, I just appreciate her music. I don’t hold a famous person above anyone else in terms of my admiration or choice to emulate.

Note
Note
10 years ago

She did a concert in Richmond VA and it must have been the same day because she had on the same outfit minus the earrings lol however coming from a natural girl who spent the money to see her perform it was a pleasure! Her hair was a shocker at first but she owned it running her hands up the sides anytime she sang something sassy, she was the bomb and thats all that matters people need to stop looking up to entertainers as icons because you dont know them personally and you might be let down if you ever did.…

AmberBrown
AmberBrown
10 years ago

I mean…aside from the fact that it’s ugly (sorry…but I think it is! lol) I don’t care.

CarmenShanell
10 years ago

Like a few other ladies stated. Erykah does not have conformist type of attitude and she does not subscribe to any particular group. She does her thing with no apologies. She never proclaimed to be committed to natural hair. Others are trying to project that onto her. People have great expectations of artist. So many of them will always be disappointed at one point or another.

sugarfree
sugarfree
10 years ago

I am not a fan of blonde hair. It makes her look old and tired, in my opinion. I love Ms. Badu and her artistic expression.

Nicole
Nicole
10 years ago

She is sho nuff nuts! lol

I absolutely say that with love btw. I don’t like the color, but I don’t feel like she’s trying to make a statement with it. It’s just hair, and *hers* at that. We all know Ms. Badu goes with whatever she’s feeling. She doesn’t care what we think (part of the reason I think she rocks).

cherbear
cherbear
10 years ago

I’m glad she finally took that wig off. I’d rather see her real hair than some random fake a$$ wig.

I don’t like the blonde though. But whatever, it’s her hair in the end.

Ariane
10 years ago

Her new do looks cool. I think many of us has made the mistake of associating Erykah with the natural movement because of her turbans she use to rock, or her bald do, and her afro wig(I know I did!). A good point is made in this article though, she never once claimed to be pro-natural. If she chooses to relax that is her choice, I love Erykah she is an amazing artist!

LushAfroBush
LushAfroBush
10 years ago

Looks like she’s returned to the creamy crack.

HoneyMiel
HoneyMiel
10 years ago

What’s up with the blonde? Isn’t she a vegan? Smh, just wondering. Still love you Erykah, but maybe blonde just ain’t yo thang…

MP
MP
10 years ago

I liked her afro wigs, but I always knew they were wigs, so I never looked to her as a hair icon. She likes to switch it up a lot, so this is just another day in the life. I will say that I hope she switches her color quickly because the one in the photo is dimming her light. I also think it’s crazy that she would dye her own hair that light (immediately fried) when she’s well acquainted with wigs.

ns
ns
10 years ago

she is NOT her hair. To think otherwise is enforcing the same guidelines as the rest of society. If girlfriend decided to perm and weave, more power to her. Just because we have chosen naturals doesn’t mean we have to impose that on her.

Alicia E.
10 years ago

Erykah is an artist and they change their look often. She have something else soon. I like the color but not really feeling the spikey mohawk part.

MissyD
MissyD
10 years ago

I don’t pay a lot of attention to Erykah Badu. She’s a lil too cooky for me. The look is different and radical. Its a cool look I think but to be honest, I’m a little heartbroken anytime I see any natural perm their hair.

Blaqueamazon
Blaqueamazon
10 years ago

Who’s to say that her hair isn’t still natural? Couldn’t that just be a press and color (and it could be colored with mica for all we know)? Is the real issue that it’s straight more so than it being chemically relaxed? Curly hair isn’t the only thing that defines being “natural”.

Loquacious
Loquacious
10 years ago

I didn’t see her as an icon because I didn’t see her hair. She was always rockin’ an afro wig. They were cute wigs, but they were still wigs.

Nonetheless, I like that her spirit is liberated so much that she can rock blonde and pressed hair in the shape of a mohawk. Erykah, do you.

iri9109
iri9109
10 years ago

@kidouble i read on afrobella that she’s going to be selling earrings like that on erykahbadu.com late this month or early next month…

idk if she’s natural or not (and i kinda dont care), but if her hair doesnt fall out by next week then i’m going to assume that she is b/c i dont think relaxed hair can take that much chemical processing and still remain attached to someones head..anywhoo i love her music

Nell
10 years ago

how is being blonde in contradiction with being vegan? anyway, i LOVE Erykah.and i think her hair is fine. whatever. her earrings rule. and i like how they contrast with her 50’s style dress. but i wonder why is there a negativity attached to.…people looking or branding someone as a natural icon? i can name 3 naturals that are popular right now. and only a few more that have been popular in my lifetime (i’m 23). i personally don’t put anyone in icon status for me. sometimes Erykah’s hairstyles have inspired me, sometimes its pictures of traditional african societies, sometimes its …the… Read more »

target queen
10 years ago

erykah has always worn wigs, braids, or loc extensions…she never ever proclaimed to be a natural spokesperson.
some people are really upset that she is wearing blond straight hair, when i dont see how thas different from an afro wig or fake locs.
she is a singer/artist not a saint.
im glad she wears whatever she feels like wearing because thats what we all should do..she is still the same person no matter how she wears her hair..or wigs

lisa
lisa
10 years ago

artistic only…not very flattering. but hey, it’s her head. i’m partial to natural looks tho

trackback

[…] and whatever else she feels like rocking! Her hair is provoking some interesting debate over at Black Girl With Long Hair regarding her status as a natural hair […]

trackback

[…] and whatever else she feels like rocking! Her hair is provoking some interesting debate over at Black Girl With Long Hair regarding her status as a natural hair […]

GINNIE
GINNIE
10 years ago

Who cares about anyones hair. Hair does not make or break an individual unless its your job as a hair model. The worth of an individual SHOULD NEVER BE MEASURE BY THE LENGTH OR TEXTURE OF THE STRANDS ON THEIR HEAD. This is 2010 and we have radio host using the N‑word casually, because our knuckle head youth use it casually. There are people selling bumper stickers and T‑shirts with a prayer on it for the death of Obama. People wrap your words around loving one another cause don’t no body love a black man or women except a black… Read more »

Shukura
10 years ago

great she went blonde

how tragic

Naima
Naima
10 years ago

interesting comments. mostly positive. that’s nice — for a change! i’ve done some formal and independent study: looked at much ancient african (egyptian) art, especially the wall painting and drawings. (not the originals, not yet, haven’t been to the louvre in paris or the monuments) but i looked at the depictions of hair and the heads a lot. looking for myself of course. black women and our hair have been all over the place stylistically for millenia. i’ve yet to see anything we rock today not on an egyptian freize somewhere, from shaved heads to fantastic wigs. also in the… Read more »

Cand
Cand
10 years ago

As india arie said

I am not my hair

Jazz Tay
Jazz Tay
10 years ago

I saw recently in Orlando, and she had the same hairstyle and it looked great. I’ve been natural almost my whole 25 years on earth and have repeatedly colored, weaved, spiked, mohawked,braided, locked, Chopped and done everything under the sun and never once felt any less natural. In the end, as a stylist i try to convert all my clients to be natural,(w/o relaxers) (or at least take a break from the weaves for awhile) and i advocate strongly in keeping our youngins natural. She’s an artist and as a singer her job allows her to rock any style she… Read more »

Moi
Moi
10 years ago

Erykah looks HAWT! LOL! Love her style, she is a unique, cool sista!

jaince
jaince
9 years ago

Like every single person on this planet she has free will, She has the right to do what she wants with what’s hers!

Nicky
Nicky
9 years ago

I agree, she has the right to reinvent herself just as every other artist who is trying to broaden there fanbase and keep up their sales. I love her music and how she portrays herself but why would she not be allowed to change it up a bit if she wants to? Smh let freedom reign.

pelli per tom 8 pollici

great blog!

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