This year may have lacked many things thanks to COVID-19, but unforgettable hair moments were not among them. In fact, 2020 was a big year for hair, especially in terms of representation and diversity. From UPS relaxing their restrictions on employees wearing natural hairstyles to Beyoncé’s celebration of Black hair in Black is King and the CROWN Act passing in the House of Representatives, there was so much to take note of.
While there are so many influential hair moments and events that shaped 2020, here are eight of them that rank high on our list.
Hair Love wins an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film
In a major step forward for diversity in animation, Hair Love took home an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in February. Created by former NFL player-turned-movie director Matthew A. Cherry, the six-minute film tells the adorable story of an African American father learning to do his daughter Zuri’s hair for the first time. The film has become beloved by fans around the world for its important message of representation and has received rave reviews from celebrities like Gabrielle Union, Yara Shahidi, and Issa Rae (who voiced Zuri’s mother in the film). Hair Love was later turned into a best-selling children’s book in 2019 and most recently, Blue Ivy narrated the audio version to much excitement from fans.
Celebrities Dyed Their Own Hair in Quarantine
Temporary hair dye became a full blown movement during lockdown as a result of hair salons being closed due to COVID-19. Many celebs got creative with their hair at home debuting bold looks in every color of the rainbow, while stuck in isolation. From Hilary Duff’s bright blue bob to Dua Lipa’s orange strands, and Ruby Rose’s two-toned buzzcut, it’s safe to say that when it came to quarantine hair, the brighter the better.
“Boy Perms” Blew Up on TikTok
The perm made a major comeback over the summer thanks to teenage boys on TikTok. Under the #perm hashtag, a variety of men and boys have posted videos documenting their curly hair transformation on the platform. The before and after videos depict guys with naturally straight hair adopting Timothee Chalamat-worthy curls and waves. The trend became so popular that the videos have now been watched collectively over 505 million times.
Beyoncé’s Black is King Arrives on Disney +
In July, Beyoncé’s instantly iconic visual album, Black is King, made its epic debut on Disney + to much fanfare. The 85-minute film serves as a visual companion to the 2019 soundtrack that the singer curated for Disney’s The Lion King remake. Full of eye-catching visuals and dazzling fashion, the album is a glorious feast for the eyes, celebrating the beauty of African culture and the power of Black community. Working alongside her longtime hairstylist Neal Farinah, Beyoncé’s Black is King features a parade of striking hairstyles including floor-grazing braids, Bantu knots, and braided crowns.
Adele is Accused of Cultural Appropriation for Wearing Bantu Knots
Adele sparked a heated cultural appropriation debate on social media in August after she posted a photo of herself wearing Bantu knots as part of her tribute to London’s annual Notting Hill Carnival. Her quickly sparked backlash with many wondering if her look was an example of cultural appropriation or appreciation. Many felt that the singer was culturally appropriating African and Jamaican culture by wearing a traditional Black hairstyle while others simply believed that Adele was simply celebrating the culture.
The CROWN Act Passes in the House of Representatives
Back in September, DOVE and the CROWN (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Coaliton celebrated a massive win in the fight against hair discrimination when the United States House of Representatives passed the CROWN Act. The bill which was first introduced in December 2019, would make race-based hair discrimination (against styles such as locs, braids, and twists) in public schools and workplaces. The federal bill is now one step closer to becoming a law in all 50 states and will be advancing to the Senate.
Fly in Mike Pence’s Hair Goes Viral During Vice Presidential Debate
A fly became a viral star after landing on Vice President Mike Pence’s head during this election’s first and only vice presidential debate in October. The fly made an appearance near the end of Pence’s debate with Senator Kamala Harris and remained on his head for several minutes. The moment quickly went viral and created a lot of buzz online, sparking parody Twitter accounts, funny memes, its own merchandise, and even a re-creation on Saturday Night Live. As if that’s not all, Lizzo referenced the viral moment with her Halloween costume this year, dressing up as the now iconic fly that landed on Pence’s hair.
UPS Lifts Ban on Black Hairstyles and Facial Hair
For the first time in the company’s 113-year history, UPS announced in November that it would be lifting its long-standing discriminatory ban on natural Black hairstyles like locs, braids, and afros as well as facial hair. The decision came after the appointment of the company’s first female chief executive, Carol Tome, who spearheaded the implementation of these changes in addition to the removal of gender-specific appearance guidelines. According to a statement from UPS, overturning the ban is part of a greater effort to “celebrate diversity rather than corporate restrictions.”
Were there any memorable hair moments that you think defined 2020? Let us know in the comments below.