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Posted under: News Culture

'BlacKkKlansman' Star Laura Harrier Is Delivering History Lessons With Her Hair

The actress' hairstylist helped her pay homage to Pam Grier, Diana Ross and others.

You've seen actress and model Laura Harrier gracing the red carpet promoting the latest Spike Lee film in which she stars, "BlacKkKlansman," but what you may have missed were her gorgeous hairstyles paying tribute to black women throughout cinema history.

In a recent interview with Refinery 29, celebrity hairstylist Lacy Redway told the fashion and women's lifestyle outlet that Harrier's hair was an homage to blaxploitation actress Pam Grier, award-winning acting icon Cicely Tyson and music icon Diana Ross. 

Harrier plays an activist named Patrice in the latest Spike Lee joint, which is about a black officer infiltrating his local Ku Klux Klan chapter. 

"I knew the movie was taking place in the 1970s, and Laura plays an activist. That is where my initial inspiration started," Redway said. "I wanted to use this moment as a teachable one and celebrate both the strong women of that time and strong women in general."

The proof is in the pudding. If you scrolled through Redway's Instagram feed, you could get a glimpse of some the looks Harrier channeled. On the first red carpet appearance, Redway styled Harrier after Grier's kickass character Foxy Brown.

Redway styled Harrier's hair into cornrows as a way to show her commitment to the natural hair movement. 

"More often than not, young people aren’t aware of where things originated from and how important some things are as far as preserving history within a community," she said. "With social media and lack of education, you can easily have braided hairstyles — identity symbols for tribes in Africa — be dwindled down."

Not all of the hairstyles came from the 1970s. Some were inspired by the Himba woman in northern Namibia, Janet Jackson in Poetic Justice and Brandy from her time playing the title character on the TV show Moesha.

Most of us remember iconic moments from the 90’s of seeing Janet Jackson with box braids in Poetic Justice or Brandy in Moesha ...but how many of you guys know that Braids can be traced back more than 5000 years ago to about 3500 B.C. ? Braids started in Africa among the Himba Tribe in Namibia Who have been braiding their hair for centuries ( see slide ) . Braids were used to symbolize your tribe , marital status , wealth, or power . Historians have also found traces of box braids on a woman buried in Egypt 3000 years ago . Today we love and wear braids as a protective hairstyle or just because they are beautiful 😊. Tonight at the LA premiere of #Blackkklansman, @lauraharrier celebrate the history and culture of box braids . Makeup @ninapark styled by @daniellenachmani #braidsbylacyredway #hairbylacyredway assisted by @ladawndozierhair #lauraharrier

A post shared by LACY REDWAY HAIRSTYLIST (@lacyredway) on

See Harrier in the Spike Lee-directed film, BlacKkKlansman, currently in theaters.

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Atlanta-based creative, dope photographer, journalist and lover of the wing ding.