Trees, a set of hands, a bicycle – these are just some of the unique hair sculptures Laetitia Ky’s created
A set of hands playing the guitar. A vase of flowers. A hand holding a phone for a selfie. These are just some of the magical subjects that Ivory Coast’s Laetitia Ky uses to create her once-in-a-lifetime hair sculptures.
Far beyond the boundaries of Africa’s highly creative repertoire of natural hairstyles, Ky brings everyday objects and black hair together with flair, skill and some fun.
And her work could not have come at a better time.
Within the framework of countless conversations about ”good hair”, ”bad hair”, ”weaves versus natural” and every discussion in between, Ky’s approach is playful and wry – in some ways educating her audience about the wonders and possibilities of black hair.
In other ways it injects a playful tone into what can tend to be a wholly serious conversation.
Speaking to the digital media platform OkayAfrica, Ky explains her inspiration: “I came across an Instagram album of hairstyles women used to wear in some African tribes prior to colonisation. These hairstyles were really impressive and made me want to use hairstyling as a means of expression.”
The response to her work has been powerful, to say the least. She has had spots in international magazines such as Allure and coverage on Buzzfeed and viral content hub Bored Panda.
Other artists have attempted to replicate a similar approach to hair – what started off as hair, wool and hair extensions has grown into a new branch of black hair pride for Africans in Africa, as well as in the diaspora.
Not without her haters, Ky has had to endure some ignorant comments on her Instagram account, but the general response has been overwhelmingly warm and powerful – particularly because of the authenticity, warmth and love which so obviously drives each image. – bubblegumclub.co.za
• This article was originally published in The Times.