Hair is deeply rooted in the identity of black women but black hair has always had a hard time finding its place in American society. Often, a choice in hairstyle, accompanied with a darker skin color, is subject to misjudgment and bias. Despite it's tangled history, black hair has always been innovative and unapologetic.

TENDERHEADED is a collaborative photography series by creative director &stylist Margo Hannah and photographer Esdras T. Thelusma. Each photograph reimagines hairstyles worn in the 90s and early 2000s.

TENDERHEADED explores the intersection of hair choice, skin color, and self-identity. It aims to capture how black hair operates as a method of self-expression and individuality. It also seeks to normalize hairstyles that would otherwise be considered "ghetto" or "classless" due to its nonconformity to European beauty standards.

TENDERHEADED was curated into a gallery experience during Art Basel in Miami, FL. Opening night included a panel discussion focusing on the importance of hair in black culture and the stigma that comes along with it. 

The exhibition featured several photographs from the project along with a multi-channel video installation filmed and edited by Terence Price II and directed by Margo Hannah and Mandella Phillips. The work serves to create dialogue about hair-related behaviors performed by black women that are often mocked, and challenges the viewer’s perception of these behaviors. It includes audio of “Ego Trippin”, apoem by Nikki Giovanni.

Click here to view more images from the TENDERHEADED project. 

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