Ever since her tenure in Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé’s hair journey has made her a beauty trendsetter. In a time when wearing protective hairstyles to events was often deemed unprofessional, Queen Bey unapologetically rocked braids on the red carpet anyway and reaffirmed the beauty of Black hair. It’s not just her iconic hairstyles — Beyoncé has spent decades elevating her look, music, and art.
Beyoncé and her mega-talented hairstylist Kim Kimble have been a dream team since 2000, and Kimble even helped bring the platinum-selling artist’s visuals to life in her Netflix concert documentary “Homecoming” (via Yahoo!). In an interview with Booksy, Kimble broke down the process behind creating Beyoncé’s gorgeous waterfall curls at her 2018 Coachella performance (pictured above). “We collaborate on what she wants to wear first, then we collaborate on what the dancers will wear,” she explained. She added, “For Beyoncé, we went with that long, textured, wavy look that’s already become iconic. Since that show had a marching band theme, I wanted to make the other performer’s hair look like the girls in marching bands do. Like majorette’s hair.”
Judging from her intricate concert costumes to her flawless and now iconic beauty looks, a lot of planning goes into Beyoncé’s stage persona. Let’s take a look back at the style icon’s biggest hair transformations.
Beyoncé's micro braids and natural curls
Beyoncé’s celebration of natural hair isn’t new. She doesn’t hop on trends — whatever way she styles her hair becomes the conversation. In the early 2000s, pre-solo career, she regularly stepped onto the red carpet with fresh micro braids and showed love to Black culture, per Teen Vogue. This simple beauty choice helped showcase the versatility of braids and proved that protective hairstyles belong at any occasion. Though her hairstyles are constantly changing, there’s something about her blonde braids that feels like a time capsule of the 2000s.
When Beyoncé brought back her iconic braids at rap legend Nas’ 2012 album release party for “Life Is Good” a decade later, R&B fans everywhere rejoiced (via Huffington Post). We’re so used to seeing her with her signature blonde waves that every time she rocks her braids, it immediately catches our attention and hits us with serious nostalgia.
Then there was her turn as Foxxy Cleopatra in the film “Austin Powers in Goldmember” in 2002, via IMDb. Right around that time, in keeping with the golden-hued Afro her character sported, Beyoncé wore her hair out and natural, including an appearance on “The Tonight Show,” per Today. Unfortunately, per Vibe, not everyone was on board with her natural look. “‘I’ve gotten some crazy comments,’ she says. ‘People just say, I hate your hair, It’s ugly, What’s wrong with you?'” This is pretty sad, considering that her sister, Solange, often rocks her natural hair and is praised for it, via Essence.
Beyoncé's two-toned waves started a new beauty trend
Sometimes, it’s hard picking between two hair colors that you know will make your skin pop. Be like Beyoncé circa-2010s and go with both. During a red carpet apperance at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, she put a spin on her classic blonde hairdo and colored the bottom half of her hair in a darker, sexier brown hue, as reported by Harper’s Bazaar. The two-toned look gave her an air of mystery and also showed off her creative side.
Beyoncé’s hair colorist Rita Hazan shared with Glamour UK that she loves experimenting with color — especially different shades of blonde — and switches it up every three weeks. She also told them the secret to getting luscious locks like the queen herself, so get your notepad ready. “I encourage her to take lots of the Weekly Remedy Treatments … on tour with her, as her hair is styled with lots of heat and needs some major TLC”, she explained. “It’s only two products and they’re really quick and easy to use, which is essential with how crazy Beyoncé’s schedule is when they’re on the road.”
Beyoncé's blonde twist-out broke social media in 2018
For years, fans have been wondering about Beyoncé’s natural hair length and texture, since her long blonde locks are always styled so glamorously no matter where she goes. In July 2018, hairstylist Neal Farinah jumped on Instagram and posted a behind-the-scenes shot of Queen Bey’s natural twist out while getting her hair done. He simply captioned it, “SAY WHAT. NATURAL CURLY HAIR OTRII ROME.”
The rare photo racked up almost 10,000 likes and instantly blew up Instagram, with fans showering her natural hairstyle with love. One user shut down critics of the superstar who spent years questioning her choice to mainly rock protective styles and extensions, writing, “Bey has always had a head full of hair along with her sister Solonge [sic] who is sporting the all natural look with a head full of hair as well. They get it from Mama Tina.”
Whether it’s natural or chemically treated, hair is an important part of Black culture. Even with the release of this candid photo, a deep dive into the comments section shows that there’s still a lot of conversation around her hair and whether it’s real or not. Per Metro, this stereotype about it being impossible for Black women’s hair to have length or volume is something they have to defend themselves against all of the time.
Beyoncé brought back her two-toned hair in 2018-19
When you’ve been in the entertainment game as long as Beyoncé has, keeping your audience on their toes becomes second nature. Every time she drops new music, introduces a project she’s been working on, or rocks a new look, she’s never failed to stir conversation. It only makes sense that her hair journey has just as much reach.
In December 2018, Beyoncé debuted darker curls framed by blonde highlights during her performance at the Global Citizen Festival (pictured above), per Beauty Crew. The balayage hair trend has been popular for a long time, but the “money pieces” — which is what these types of highlights are called (via Refinery29) — take her look to another level. She brought her two-toned hair back when she attended Game 3 of the 2019 NBA Finals (via InStyle). This time, she sported softer waves that complemented her glowing skin.
She retired her blonde “money pieces” and went full blonde (with brown undertones) during her 2021 promotional circuit for “Ivy Park,” her athleisure collection with Adidas (via People).
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