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I love looking through Google Images at all the fly photos of black female figures wearing their hair in such an eclectic array of styles. Going against the grain, their jet-setting looks and fierce-ness opened up a lot of doors for the sistas of today to do just about anything to their hair. From Blaxploitation stars to famous singers and models, these iconic women gave us hair envy, as well as lots of innovative idea for things to do with our own strands. Check these hot mommas out.

Billie Holiday

If Billie taught us something about hair, it’s that a gal always has to have her signature style. Reinvention is for the birds! Billie’s head full of gardenias started off as an accident with a curling iron (isn’t that always how it starts??). After burning a section of her hair, a fellow jazz singer went and bought some gardenias for her to use temporarily to cover up that section. But Billie loved the gardenias so much, she decided to keep wearing them for every performance. What a smart move. It’s the accessories ya’ll! They matter…

Diana Ross

When you think of Dirty Diana, sure, you could think about her music collection or her few movie roles. But when we look at the icon, all we see is hair. Literally. Big bold and beautiful hair, Ross was rocking the most ornate and glamorous wigs and weaves at a time when other people weren’t trying to. The rules to her hair moves include growing hair out instead of worrying about it growing down in length, and not being afraid to go wild with it. Fake it until you make it…

Pam Grier

Pam’s afro was everything! A perfect circle (and sistas with fros know how hard that can be to achieve) with fun, tight curls, the actress’ hair had just as much character as Ms. Grier did. Sure, there were many women with much bigger fros (Marsha Hunt, Angela Davis, etc.), but with the exposure Grier was getting thanks to her roles in films like Foxy Brown and Coffy back in the ’70s, she became something of a spokesmodel for the natural style. I can dig it!

Pat Evans

Who needs a Caesar cut when you boldly just go bald like Pat Evans did? The model, tired of the industry’s obsession with hair for models, decided to get rid of it all near the height of her career. Bald and beautiful, her hairless look didn’t stop her from being a stunner in the modeling world and from obviously being a stunner in everyday life. She was even asked to walk runways bald because her look was so fresh and free. What a trailblazer.

Grace Jones

Bump what you heard. Nobody could and can wear a fade like Grace Jones–she did it to death. Sharp and chic, the androgynous figure stepped outside of the box (smashed it actually) and wore an attention-grabbing and powerful fade when chicks were running around with the big, poofy hair. Whether that thing was pressed, worn as is or was shaved down to a bald fade, Grace was FIIIIIIIERCE. Loved the look then, love the look now (not on me though…) and I’ll probably love it forever.

Read More “Hair Raising: Iconic Women Who Changed The Standard For Black Hair” On: MadameNoire