Photographer J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere documented 1000 Nigerian hairstyles, including braids, cornrows, gele and more, to create "Hairstyles."
A hairstyle structures a person's face, look, and reflects personality. There are so many ways to style hair that it's hard to just pick one; whether it be braids, cornrows, or plaits, all styles can become an incredible work of art. The 'art' of the hairstyle has been developed over centuries and many African hairstyles — geometric, graphic, or edgy — are as precise as any piece of visual art. Considered part of the hairstyle, the headwrap — commonly called 'gele' in Nigeria —can also be used as a major fashion statement. In 1968, photographer J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere started documenting Nigerian hairstyles and developed a collection of 1,000 portraits, simply titled Hairstyles. The pictures depict the real African woman, without any pretension and with captivating and spectacular beauty. You can currently view Ojeikere's vintage Hairstyles series at the 55th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia until November 24, 2013.