From simple tapered cuts to elaborate braided designs, no matter how questionable her behavior, Issa’s hair is always on-point on Insecure.
This is largely due to Felicia Leatherwood, the genius behind Issa’s cropped, tight ‘do on and off-screen. She takes great care to keep Issa perfectly coiffed and treats her hairstyles like another layer to the character.
“If [Issa’s] depressed, then I’ve got to create a hairstyle that shows you that she’s unhappy and she didn’t care that day, because these are the moods we go through as women anyway, and so sometimes we may fix ourselves up when we don’t feel good, and other times we may not fix ourselves up when we don’t feel good.”
What’s most refreshing is that Issa proudly displays the versatility of natural hair in a TV landscape that has most black women in some sort of wig. (It’s a bit of a dirty secret amongst naturals that even women with big, bouncing curly afros on TV are wearing some sort of extension).
Issa’s constant stream of natural hair porn gets at the heart of the relationship every black woman has with her hair. As Leatherwood explains,
“Just to keep it real — most sistas know that it doesn’t matter what’s going on in your life. You’re gonna make sure your hair is done! You can be sleeping on someone’s couch, but guess what? You’re gonna look good!”
For Black women, our hair is an important piece of armor and many of us spend entire afternoons ever weekend doing elaborate maintenance routines. For us, perfectly set curls are essential to contending with the ups and downs of a world that has been traditionally hostile to our natural hair. In the same way, Issa may be underemployed, broke, and terrible at relationships, but her hairstyles are always together. Here are some of our favorites:
1. Braided Crown
A hairstyle fit for a queen!
2. Short and Sweet
Throwing it back to season 1 with this classic Issa look.
3. Braided Fro
Loving this ‘do that can go from day to night seamlessly!
4. Cornrows on the Side
The perfect look to show off your growing curls!
5. Make it a Faux-Hawk
Perfectly coiffed and ready to go!
6. A Few Big Braids
Loving this low-key ‘do!
7. Twist it Up
The perfect look for meeting up with your ex.
8. Smooth and Sleek
Officially our new go-to look for the summer!
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Ayo is a writer and producer based in Brooklyn, but proudly from the Midwest. When she’s not agonizng over applying to grad school, she is working on her first podcast, I Think I Read This Somewhere