It's Our Roots

It's Our Roots Hair Showcase

During our final night in Cape Town, South Africa, we hosted our farewell gala during which we featured a runway show of African styles. The Ashtae stylists took inspiration from African hairstyles dating back decades or centuries and added their creative flair to create these new looks. You can see components of these styles are still used today in present-day styling in the United States and around the world. It's important that we all learn and understand about our roots, our history, and where each style originally came from. We hope the next time you do a Zulu knot on a client, you can take it in with a deeper perspective than before. That's what this show was about, showcasing our history from the roots to the ends, from past to present, and from Africa to America.

Warrior of Peace

The style on this model is a reminiscent rendition of the Sakalora Tribe in Madagascar. The Afros surrounding the infused warrior bone braid, representing strength, are called gun frua, a style worn by the men of the Karrayyu Tribe in Ethiopia with a touch of Bantu Knots. The word Bantu can be translated to mean peace, and originates from the Zulu people of South Africa, a Bantu Ethnic group.

Nigerian Remix

Nigerian styles are known for enduring even after rigid western beauty standards spread worldwide. Defiant, these styles can even defy gravity! Many of these styles were created by the Yoruba people in Nigeria.Their rich history and folklore is reflected in their styles. Tales of African royalty, legends, wars, marriages, and so much more have inspired many of these hairstyles accented with braids, side plaiting, and even flowers! You’ll be hard pressed to find one of these styles that isn’t utilizing a braid! The braids can wrap around the head or can be used to make structures and designs.

Himba Man

Himba Man is inspired by a traditional hairstyle from the Himba Tribe, a group of people living in the hot and arid Kunene Region of northern Namibia. Hair plays a vital role in Himba culture. Right from birth, hairstyles symbolize age, marital status, wealth and rank and the thickness of the hair can also indicate a woman’s fertility. The heads of newborns are kept shaved, leaving only a small tuft of hair on the crown and as they grow older, boys braid their hair into a single braid. This style in particular is worn as a way to signify their status as a single man. Single men wear a single braid at the back of the head and married men cover their heads with a cloth turban. For many years, the Himba people have been captured by cameras due to their beauty and intricate hairstyles, but these photos often don’t capture the detail and meaning behind the hairstyles.

African Elegance

This hairstyle, African Elegance, is inspired by traditional Fulani hairstyles that have existed for centuries. The Fulani people are one of the most populous ethnic groups in west Africa, with a massive population spread across the continent. They have a highly rich culture which can be seen in their stunning traditional hairstyles. Fulani women often have long hair which is seen as a symbol of femininity and beauty. Traditional hairstyles often consist of braids that are then weaved and shaped into ornate patterns that are adorned with beads, stones, valuable coins, or other ornaments. These traditional hairstyles are known across the world for their beauty, and many believe that the ornate and unique traditional hairstyles of the Fulani people have even influenced global fashion.

A Twist on Table Mountain

A Twist on Table Mountain is a hairstyle inspired by the beauty of Table mountain, a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town, South Africa. Using braids and twists, influenced by cultural practices seen across Africa for thousands of years, the hair is shaped into the form of Table mountain, praising the natural beauty of the mountain. Flowers adorn the twisted and braided Table Mountain honoring the botanical gardens found at the top of the mountain and the cape floral region of the national park, one of the richest floral regions of the world. This style combines the natural beauty of Africa with the rich, beautiful history and culture of African hair practices.