Refinery29 collaborates with hairstylist Charlotte Mensah

Refinery29 collaborates with award-winning hairstylist Charlotte Mensah and photographer Lily Bertrand-Webb on a series of empowering images that celebrate the art form of African hair threading

 
Refinery29 have unveiled a new original photo series exploring the traditional West African technique, which has been used for centuries as a protective style and alternative to heat styling. Casting four beautiful women, the pictures shine a spotlight on the cultural and aesthetic significance of afro hair threading.
 

AYESHA — My hair is part of me, not only in the physical, literal sense but as an extension of myself. It’s something I have to look after, take care of and love.

 

CHANEL — My heritage is Ghanaian and my grandmother who is from the Ashanti tribe often threaded my hair when I was in primary school

 

PORTIA — Learning to love your natural self is a journey and I’m still on it. When it comes to my hair, I know that letting it be and embracing it in its natural form is when it’s happiest

 

EMILYNE — Would I wear this as an everyday style? YES! I feel royal and regal. But it is important and interesting to note that just two or three years ago, absolutely not. It’s been years of self-love

 
Hair Styling: Charlotte Mensah
Photography: Lily Bertram-Webb
Written By: Alice Casely-Hayford
Art Direction: Anna Jay
Make Up: Bea Sweet
Casting: Alice Casely-Hayford

 
The full photo series and interviews with models Portia Ferrari, Ayesha McMahonEmilyne Mondo and Chanel Taylor can be seen on Refinery29.uk now

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