Fashion Today

Unlocking the Power of Identity: Jawara’s Hair Journey at Forces of Fashion

In a recent captivating session at Vogue’s Forces of Fashion, internationally acclaimed hairstylist Jawara Wauchope took center stage to delve into the profound connection between hair and culture. With Kimberly Drew sharing the spotlight, this enlightening discussion highlighted that for Wauchope, hair is far more than just a profession; it’s a lens through which he perceives the world.

A Spiritual Journey Through Hair

Hairstylist Jawara Talks Hair and Identity at Forces of Fashion | Vogue

Wauchope’s unique perspective on hair is deeply rooted in his upbringing. Raised between New York and Jamaica by two Rastafarian parents, he was instilled with the belief that hair is a spiritual extension, a sacred expression of self-identity that communicates style, health, socioeconomic status, and much more.

Wauchope recalls, "I just grew up in such a rich culture, hair was really the big backbone of congregating so many people around styling hair and going to parties, everything involved hair; It was hair everywhere. So I think for me, hair is like—I can’t even describe it, honestly—I think it’s like my everything, not just me being a hairstylist, but just how I view the world."

Hair as a Window to the Soul

Having spent his formative years in the world of salons, Wauchope has developed a profound understanding of the role of hair as a key to one’s inner world and one’s community. He notes, "You can tell through someone’s hair what they’re going through, what they’re dealing with, how they feel about themselves." The intimate atmosphere of the classic salon experience has made these spaces crucial for fostering community bonds. Wauchope elaborates, "I think it’s an ecosystem, especially a Black beauty salon. It’s like you see so much in there. You go in there for hair, but you leave with a nanny. You leave with everything because everyone congregates there."

Hair as a Document of Culture

Today, Wauchope’s work predominantly revolves around creative projects and collaborations. He views his hairstyling creations as a form of documenting cultural and emotional moments. "One of the things I love about what we do is we get to document beauty and image as it’s changing in every picture that we take," he explains. "We get to document people, how they feel."

Wauchope’s inspiration is drawn from a myriad of sources. He avidly observes people from diverse cultures around the world, closely watches his teenage niece and nephew, and curates a vast collection of visual references. "I keep all pictures from old films, books, magazines, shoots, and art exhibits in three different computers," he reveals. "It’s a mess, but I love to collect images because it helps me dictate where I’m moving and what I’m feeling as it pertains to hair."

In the world of hairstyling, Jawara Wauchope’s work transcends the mundane to become a reflection of cultural shifts and individual experiences. His deep connection to hair as a means of self-expression and communal connection is a testament to the power of hairstyling as an art form and a cultural touchstone. As Wauchope continues to shape the conversation around hair and identity, his work stands as a testament to the significance of this often-underestimated aspect of our lives.

Remember, hairstyling isn’t just a profession for Jawara Wauchope; it’s a profound exploration of identity and culture, as we witnessed in his engaging dialogue at Forces of Fashion.

Documenting Culture Through Hairstyling

How Did Jawara Become a Hair Stylist?

Jawara’s journey into hairstyling began at a tender age of six. He reminisces, "I first became inspired to do hair when I was about six," during a phone conversation with Vogue as he headed to Paris Fashion Week for prestigious shows like Mônot and Off-White. Central to his inspirational path was his aunt, who played an instrumental role in his hairstyling odyssey. She owned a hair salon where Jawara spent a significant part of his formative years, sowing the seeds of his enduring passion for the craft.

Jawara has become a household name in the world of hairstyling, and for good reason. He is the creative genius responsible for crafting some of fashion’s most iconic and beloved hair designs. Whether it’s Beyoncé’s enchanting Rapunzel-length locks or the intricate braided styles showcased at Pyer Moss’s fall couture event, Jawara’s artistry has left an indelible mark on the industry. His popularity can be attributed to his extraordinary talent and ability to transform hair into a mesmerizing canvas for fashion’s most captivating looks.

Who is Jawara Wauchope?

Jawara Wauchope is a renowned editorial hairstylist celebrated for his exceptional work with influential women in entertainment and the arts. His mastery of diverse hair textures empowers him to craft gravity-defying hair creations. Notably, he has lent his expertise to stars like Solange and Cardi B, making him a sought-after artist in the world of hairstyling.

What role does hair play in communicating self-identity and culture, as discussed by Jawara Wauchope?

Raised by two Rastafarians in a cross-cultural upbringing spanning New York and Jamaica, Jawara Wauchope developed a profound understanding of the role of hair as a spiritual extension. For him, hair is a sacred symbol of self-identity, conveying elements such as style, health, and socioeconomic status. His unique perspective emphasizes how hair is a powerful means of self-expression and a cultural emblem that transcends mere aesthetics.

How does Jawara Wauchope document cultural and emotional moments through his hairstyling work?

Jawara Wauchope’s hairstyling artistry is a captivating blend of cultural influences and emotional storytelling. He achieves this by weaving intricate braids, crafting sculptural styles, and skillfully incorporating accessories. His work not only celebrates the artistry deeply embedded in Black culture but also fuses it with external inspirations, including classic films and the vibrant streets of New York City. Through these stylistic choices, Wauchope captures and documents cultural and emotional moments, creating a visual narrative that transcends traditional hairstyling.

How did the Japanese change their hairstyle?

During this period, Japanese fashion and hairstyles experienced a transformation primarily driven by men. This transition saw the abandonment of traditional status symbols such as the chonmage (topknot) hairstyle worn by samurai. Instead, shorter haircuts and mustaches gained popularity among men. Women, although facing greater restrictions initially, also began to embrace change. They initiated this transformation with alterations in their hairstyles, which eventually led to the postwar Showa era where the traditional kimono was gradually replaced as everyday attire.

Why did Haru reveal his pubic hair?

In the manga, there are subtle hints that Haru exposed his pubic hair as a means to demonstrate the naturalness of his hair color. The storyline suggests that Haru had been subjected to bullying due to his unconventional hair color. However, on occasion, his hair would turn black, and during such moments, he would confront and stand up to those who mocked him for his unique hair hue.

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