Solange's Hairstylist on Creating Her Grammy Look and Challenging Beauty Standards: Exclusive

Solange's natural hair haloed around her face as she stood on the red carpet at the Grammys in a billowing Iris van Herpen gown this Sunday. Her gravity-defying curls were apropos as she had earlier in the day won a Grammy for "Cranes in the Sky," a song featured in A Seat At the Table, an album that serves as an anthem of pride in black culture.

Jawara Wauchope, the hairstylist behind Solange’s gorgeous Grammy ‘do, is no stranger to natural hair. He grew up surrounded by people who embraced natural hair in his family, resulting in his lifelong commitment to honoring it. After Wauchope did Solange’s hair two years ago for an event in Paris, the Grammys served as another chance for him to work with the younger Knowles sister. The 32-year-old Brooklyn native discusses exclusively with Billboard creating the look for Solange, his natural hair influences, and what A Seat At the Table means to him.

 

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Did Solange have any specific requests for the Grammys or was it a collaborative effort between the two of you?

She was very open minded, but she always has such great style. We just pulled from her aesthetic. She wanted to try something different from the shape and style she usually does, and when we did [her Grammy hairstyle] she loved it and said it felt right. She's very knowledgeable about her hair and what works for it and what doesn't.

How would you describe Solange’s aesthetic?

I don't think Solange's aesthetic can be described as one specific way. She seems to always be evolving and pushing new limits and boundaries with fashion, but she always has a very chic way about doing it all. 

How did you create the look?

I blow dried her hair with a paddle brush, curled it with a curling iron. I used texturing spray and brushed it out, then [shaped her hair]. It took about an hour.

 

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Name three of your all-time natural hair influences.

Sister Carol, Erykah Badu, and Lauryn Hill.

What’s your biggest recommendation to women styling natural hair?

Moisture creams and masks are amazing to combat dryness from the elements. Also non-sulfate shampoos are amazing for natural hair. 

What’s a big natural hair don’t?

Thinking that you no longer need a professional hairstylist to periodically trim and treat your natural hair.

What does styling Solange’s hair mean to you?

It had a significant meaning because her album is an amazing body of work and speaks to my story, as well as to my family’s and peers’. There is significant power in hair, especially with people of color. Hair holds our story so to have her trust me to style her hair was amazing. I plan to continue challenging the idea of the current beauty standards through hair.

2017 Grammys