Bob Marley was a Jamaican singer, songwriter and musician. The late singer is seen here wearing a more untamed version of dreadlocks.
Christopher Reid and Christoper Martin, also known as rap duo Kid N’ Play, are both seen here sporting a high top fade in a still from the 1990s flick, “House Party.”
Singer Patra seen here wearing her famous Patra braids. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
Creator and star of the wildly popular web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” Issa Rae, sports what natural hair enthusiasts call a “TWA” — teeny weeny afro.
Seen here alongside music star Stevie wonder, singer Ledisi is credited with making the modern take on female dreadlocks popular. Today, women will rock dreads in styles as versatile as looks previously only worn by women with relaxed hair. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Rihanna’s short cropped style with pinky bangs ushered in a whole new take on the pixie. (By oouinouin from Nanterre, France, via Wikimedia Commons)
Rap legend Big Daddy Kane was known to rock a high top fade in the 80’s, and while his career prolonged, his hair didn’t. He’s seen here wearing a mini fro. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)
Cassie started a major trend — including numerous celebrity copycats — by shaving the side of her head. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Neosoul singer Jill Scott has gone through many hair transformations, but her afro is one of many hairstyles that compliments her authentic and sultry sound.
Jay-Z is the poster boy of the ceaser, that classic low-cut style with the perfectly sharp edges.
Eunice Kathleen Waymon, better known by her stage name, Nina Simone, was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger and civil rights activist. She is seen wearing a beehive updo in an iconic image from her career. (Amazon.com)
Estelle wearing the mushroom, a black hairstyle for women that never seems to lose interest among the urban and glamorous.
Singer Usher has stepped up his black hairstyle game with a new iconic style, the fro hawk. He’s seen here with pop singer, Justin Bieber.
One-third the hip hop/R & B trio TLC, T-Boz is an American singer-songwriter and dancer. In an interview with Essence magazine, she jokingly called this haircut her “Waterfalls sideburns.” (Amazon.com)
R & B singer Bobby Brown showed his prerogative by sporting the Gumby haircut in the late ’80s. (Amazon.com)
Model Iman is pictured wearing thick finger waves, a popular black hairstyle dating back to the ’20s. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
First lady Michelle Obama often wears a short bob, a look that is synonymous with the modern black professional woman.
Susan Taylor is an American editor, writer and journalist. She served as editor-in-chief of Essence magazine from 1981 through 2000. Throughout her career, Taylor has been known for her braided cornrow hairstyle with long extensions. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Legendary singer Diana Ross is famous for boosting her hair volume with vivacious weave extensions. She made big hair tres chic!
Oprah Winfrey is a cable TV proprietor, actress, philanthropist and producer. Oprah has been the queen of various permed looks over the years, here wearing tousled curls. AP Photo/Evan Agostini, file)
Whitney Houston wears a loose curl in this photo, a style she wore in the hit movie ‘The Bodyguard.’
Janet Jackson is pictured here, alongside late rapper Tupac Shakur, wearing Patra braids named after the famous, female reggae singer.
Rapper Snoop Dogg is pictured here, alongside actress Pam Grier, wearing a perm with curls.
Mr. T — also known as Laurence Tureaud — made his mark as an actor in the hit ’80s series, ‘The A-Team.’ The Mohawk style may have been derived from the Native American tribe that bears this name, and made fashionable by punk rockers in the ’70s, but it’s Mr. T who brought it to the mainstream.
Rap duo Salt n-Pepa are seen here showcasing classic asymmetrical bobs, an ultimate symbol of black ’80s style.
Singer, actress and model Grace Jones is beloved for her outlandish style, wild personality, and her sharply angled afros.
Bob Marley was a Jamaican singer, songwriter and musician. The late singer is seen here wearing a more untamed version of dreadlocks (AP Photo/Str)
Angela Davis is an American political activist, scholar, and author. Her blown out afro set the mood for an entire era of African-American empowerment in the ’70s (AP Photo/stf)
Legendary pop star Michael Jackson made the ’80s hairstyle, the jheri curl, super-chic.
Actress Jada Pinkett Smith is known for her varied hairstyles, and wore this braided look during an early period of her career. (Photo: IMdb.com)
Rapper Busta Rhymes wore a more stylish form of modern dreadlocks before cutting them off and rocking a fade. (Photo: Kevin Winter/ImageDirect)
Rev. Al Sharpton visits the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum in 2001 in Jerusalem sporting his traditional combed back perm. Black men used to wear straight styles more often in the ’40s through the ’60s, while Sharpton’s is an homage to his late mentor James Brown. (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)
Singer Janelle Monae seen has also made the afro pompadour famous. (Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
Model Naomi Campbell’s iconic style is the long straight weave, a look she made famous before it was adopted by the masses. (Photo by Albert Ortega/Online USA, Inc.)
For men, the “baldie” is one of the most iconic black styles. Basketball legend Michael Jordan has showcased this look throughout his career. (Photo: Getty Images)
Stefan Gordy of the American electro-pop duo LMFAO is seen here with his trademark afro. Modern afros are often looser, as seen here. (Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Maxim)
Best Actress winner Halle Berry holds her Oscar statuette while sporting her signature pixie cut. (Photo: Frank Micelotta/GettyImages)
Shingai Shoniwa, lead singer of the British group the Noisettes, poses in a loose afro pompadour — a new look that has emerged as natural hair has become a hot trend. (Photo by Jo Hale/Getty Images)
Songbird Corinne Bailey Rae often wears a natural twist out. This popular chemical-free style is created by twisting and untwisting sections of hair to create a wavy curl pattern. (Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
Singer Beyonce holds her daughter Blue Ivy Carter while bringing back the old school box braids in a recent photo. Mandatory Credit: Zelig Shaul/ACE/INFphoto.com
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Black hairstyles are a unique aspect of African-American culture. African-American hair looks have summed up seminal political moments through powerful creative poofs, expressed the joy of a generation in colorful asymmetrical cuts, or been emblazoned in memory as the crowning adornment of our favorite celebrities. Whether we have worn our hair braided, curly, natural or straight, the iconic hairstyles listed above have made a bold impact beyond the realm of the black community, inspiring awe and sometimes mimicry in the mainstream. These looks may have come and gone with popularity — some have become timeless — but none will ever be forgotten. View our gallery of the most iconic black hairstyles of all time, and reminisce on some of your favorites. Pixie cuts, box braids, S-curls and pompadours — which black hairstyles have you loved and worn?
Follow Chivone Smith on Twitter @misswriteirinc