The Beauty of Black Hair on Full Display in Insecure

Photo courtesy of HBO

written by Rachelle Saint-Preux

Among the many strengths of the HBO series Insecure is its representation of black hair. Insecure is an absolute top tier TV show when it comes to how it explores the versatility and beauty of black hair, and the various styles it can be transformed into. Male and female characters alike get to showcase what their hair can do. So we’re listing three of the main characters that exemplify Insecure’s prowess for depicting the flexibility of black hair:

1. Issa Dee

Issa transitions seamlessly from twist-outs to twist-ups. As her hair got longer through the seasons, her and her stylists continued to portray creative hairdos that usually only utilized her natural hair. However, Issa also rocks braided extensions and gets a little lift/length from some added hair from time to time. Although Issa’s finances are at their worst in season 3, she always has edge control on hand and a hairstyle that is as put together as she wants her life to be.

Issa is that one friend who you marvel at for always wrangling her 4c curls into a manageable, reproduceable work of art. The one that twists her hair down every night. The one who’s found the perfect mix of natural hair products to get her twist-outs to cooperate every morning. You’d probably never do what she does, but you admire it and wish that you had the patience and energy for it.

2. Molly Carter

Molly is that friend who has enough money to have a go-to hairstyle that works for all situations and places, but that can switch it up when she wants to. She usually has a weave or wig that is a short cut with a side part, with the occasional bangs; perfect for her corporate lawyer job because it’s inoffensive and falls right in line with her white coworkers, many of whom have the same cut. However, when we see Molly on vacation in the first episode of season 3, she has goddess braids that highlight her features. Molly also wears a long weave or adds highlights to her short cut or crimps up the bottom for special occasions (like when she was going to see Dro that one time…).

3. Kelli

Besides being the reality check and comedic relief of the show, Kelli is also a hardworking naturalista. She somehow gets her natural curls to fall and bounce, while still in tight coils. The now famous gif of her telling Issa about her “growth” from season 2 features a pinned up back with her curls falling over onto her forehead, in a style that emphasizes the shape of her face. Her hairdos are also stereotypically “office-friendly”, but not at Molly’s level. Kelli is also a master of the twist out.

If you dig a little deeper, you’d see all of the women’s hairstyles really suggest more about their characters. It’s lovely to see Black women embracing their hair in ways rarely showcased on mainstream TV. What the Insecure team does well is give us great TV; and regardless of the texture, celebrates beautiful Black hair.


The Beauty of Black Hair on Full Display in Insecure


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