I love when photographers explore the beauty of natural hair through photo series because I am always so amazed at the beauty of our hair especially when caught up close.
Brazzaville photographer Robert Nzaou Kissolo has been working on his photo series since last year and in a piece done by Groundup he explains that “women should embrace their natural hair and should be assured that it is good to rock whatever makes them feel comfortable.”
The model in his exhibition is his niece in Brazzaville. He caught her on a day when she wasn’t wearing a wig or a weave. Even after seeing the photographs she doesn’t think her hair is beautiful, he says: she told him men prefer women who wear weaves.
“Magazines influence society to think that successful women are those that wear fake hair. Most celebrities in magazines also wear fake hair and nails and this has become a norm,” says Kissolo.
“When women start working they feel pressure. Society expects them to wear fake hair,” he says.
“The way a woman wears her hair depicts who she is. How did our ancestors maintain their hair? Their hair was kinky and it was also difficult to care for.”
Kissolo says he came up with the idea for his exhibition after a project he did in beauty salons.
“I did the salon shoot as an awareness programme after I discovered that almost every salon in Congo advertised fake nails, straight hair and light-skinned models. I felt the advertising boards were indirectly telling people that ‘this is how every woman should look’.”
“People in my hood could not see anything wrong until I did the salon photographs. But the good thing about photographs is that they freeze and capture a moment that can be seen over and over again, and shared with people,” he says.
Check out some of the photos below: