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Hair

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Published Sep 16, 2016 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 27 Contributors

    27 photos selected by

    Endia Beal
    Artist, Educator and Activist
    Marie McGrory
    Producer, Nat Geo Travel

    I had just washed my hair when i stepped outside, the curls had dropped into my face as i looked ...

    #wet #sun #hair #ngmcreate #ngmcreate_1 #ngmcreate_2 #ngmcreate_3

    ALL THAT HAIR! The photographs submitted to the Hair assignment were filled with stories that displayed innovation, beauty, courage, and a bond between humanity. As Marie and I tackled the difficult task of selecting a small sample of images from thousands of submissions, we were fascinated by the variety of approaches you all presented. From the intricate details of cornrows to the human connection in combing, cutting, or braiding the hair of another, the photographs were linked together like strands of hair. 

    Traditionally, Yao women would cut their hair once in a lifetime, before their marriage. The long...

    #china #portrait #guilin #guangxi #yao #longji #outddor #ethnic_minority

    Editor's Note

    I like the ambiguity of this photograph. The facial expression of the woman is inquisitive and her gesture forces the viewer to ask questions. Is the woman washing her hair or styling it for the da... More

    Endia Beal
    Artist, Educator and Activist

    S has made her hair and it looked so beautiful and it took about five hours to do the jobb. Now s...

    #eyes #peace #love #hope #your #gender

    Editor's Note

    Cietus, the gaze of this woman is so powerful. I love how the braids are wrapped around her face and create a frame that draws the view inward. Thank you again!

    Endia Beal
    Artist, Educator and Activist

    My niece, she is 16 and likes trying different colors on her hair. She has a beautiful imaginary...

    #hair #teenager #portraits #fashion #gender #beingyoung #puplehair

    Editor's Note

    Berrak, the vibrancy of this photograph is fun and intriguing. You definitely captured the personality of your niece.

    Endia Beal
    Artist, Educator and Activist

    ...For a train journey in the cheapest class this gentleman is showing stylish excellence. Eve...

    #face #man #portrait #hair #model #bengal #bangladesh #dhaka #style #beard #gerryspicture #bestoff

    Editor's Note

    Gerhard, thank you for submitting this portrait. I love the story behind this man's beard.

    Endia Beal
    Artist, Educator and Activist

    Taken from a series of portraits for the Buskaid Soweto String Project. It was founded in 1992 in...

    #female #portrait #musician #violin #gender

    Editor's Note

    Graham, thank you for submitting this photograph. We love the composition, lighting and story about this young performer.

    Endia Beal
    Artist, Educator and Activist

    In selecting the final images, we were looking for photographs that redefined the meaning of hair and presented everyday stories in new a light. The technical aspects such as composition and lighting were important, but the content helped complete the image. We loved reading the discussions and critiques you all provided under many of the photos. The conversations and questions fueled different opinions and encouraged the photographer to tell a little bit more about the image.

    For instance, “The Colorful Man” by Amir Hamja presents “a man with red hair attending an engagement event.” The man is positioned in the foreground of the photograph surrounded by a sea of brightly colored flowers. His hair is a perfect shade of red and mimics the hue of the flower wall. The energy of his gaze and the vibrancy of the colors make the viewer ask questions about this engagement event. 

    a man with red hair attending an engagement event.

    #people #color #portrait #multicolor #shallow #fashion #explore #bangladeshi #red_hair #daily_dozen

    Editor's Note

    Amir, thank you for submitting this beautiful portrait. The composition, lighting, and creativity makes the viewer ask questions about this engagement event.

    Endia Beal
    Artist, Educator and Activist

    It was a warm day as I walked through a neighborhood park. I came across a mother and daughter si...

    #park #hair #street #daughter #stripes #streetphotography #motherandchild

    Through creativity and needs, they make their own toys out of raw materials that come from their ...

    #dolls

    In India, tonsuring is a religious ritual that is done 3 times before the kid turns 3 years of ag...

    #child #india #culture #kid #hair #daughter #cute #expression #ritual #tonsure #daughter_photo

    Editor's Note

    Nirmal, we loved the composition, lighting and story behind this photograph. You were able to truly capture the emotion of the tonsure ceremony.

    Endia Beal
    Artist, Educator and Activist

    This photograph is one of my first one when I arrive in Rajasthan. I understand straight than I w...

    #rajasthan #hairdresser #streetview #shampoo #shekhawati

    Editor's Note

    This is a great composition @Francis Lambert.

    Endia Beal
    Artist, Educator and Activist

    Black people don't have the basic human right to wear their godgiven tresses natural. Hairstyles ...

    #dreadlocks #naturalhair #socialjustice #goingnatural #blackfollicles #badhairuprooted

    Editor's Note

    Mireille, Thank you for your submission and drive to change the perception of the "norm." I incorporate many of the same ideas within my work. The composition of this photograph is innovative and ... More

    Endia Beal
    Artist, Educator and Activist

    A photo of a bi-racial child. Anyone who has grown up as a bi-racial child knows the challenges t...

    #portrait #hair #blackandwhite

    Editor's Note

    The silhouette of her messy, beautiful bun with her glowing face held high makes for a proud and stunning portrait. Toning it in black and white allows us to focus on the shape and texture of her h... More

    Marie McGrory
    Producer, Nat Geo Travel

    Close up of a traditional afro hair style.

    #art #hair #tradition #close_up #afro_hair

    Editor's Note

    Joao, I love the composition and creativity of this photograph. It reminds me of an Alma Thomas p... More

    Endia Beal
    Artist, Educator and Activist

    The spectacular hairstyle of a Himba woman.

    When you have long hair alwaiys make them your part of identity.

    #blue #yellow #black #long #shadow #hair #sunlight

    My daughter and I made ​​a headdress with the flowers of our gigantic white Spirea, that looks li...

    #flowers #angel #clouds #hair #romantic #spirea #alfons_mucha #flower_woman

    Editor's Note

    This image is just a pleasure to behold. I love the way she looks at one with the flowers. The wig of flowers also seems to look like a judges wig. Either way, this photograph makes me laugh and sm... More

    Marie McGrory
    Producer, Nat Geo Travel

    Very often,when people have seen me with my wig, they say,‘Wow, you look beautiful,I hardly recog...

    #beauty #hair #alopecia

    Editor's Note

    After reading your summary about the photograph, I believe you answered your question with this i... More

    Endia Beal
    Artist, Educator and Activist

    We had just gotten out of the pool at a hotel . When we got back to our room my daughter notices ...

    #abstract #people #portrait #hair #ngmcreate #ngmcreate_1 #ngmcreate_2 #ngmcreate_3

    A beard in the Antarctic is not only a practicality, keeping your face warm against the elements,...

    #people #cold #travel #portrait #hair #antarctica #beard #assignment

    This is a photo of Ancha, a 15-year old girl with albinism living in the Gambia to whom I tutor E...

    #africa #hair #sisters #family #albino #gambia #braids #albinism #hair_style

    Editor's Note

    Justin, the composition of this photograph is great. Thank you for sharing the story of Ancha and the bond she has with her sister. The content adds power to the image.

    Endia Beal
    Artist, Educator and Activist

    One photographer was even encouraged to visit the location of Bangladesh. Overall, the selected photographs made us ask questions and rethink the meaning of hair.

    We learned so much from everyone with this assignment and truly enjoyed viewing each submission. Thank you again for sharing your stories, discussing your processes, and motivating one another. As photographers, our community is imperative, and the more we share, the more life we give our work. Thanks!

    Endia Beal & Marie McGrory

    This old man is one of a kind in my country. He has the longest hair that I met. He is nearly 90 ...

    #smile #vietnam #people #life #culture #long #portrait #hair #story #happiness #vietnamese #oldman

    Editor's Note

    We could not resist honoring a man who cares so deeply about his hair he has wrapped himself in it completely. It is not an accessory for him but rather an extension of his very body. This is a bea... More

    Marie McGrory
    Producer, Nat Geo Travel

    The bride's baby sister is getting her hair fixed in preparation for the wedding. One of the most...

    #people #hair #wedding #toddler #documentary #hairassignment

    Editor's Note

    A well composed, sweet moment. We learn so early about the standards of beauty from those around us, whether it be admiring a beautiful bride, or those disney princesses on the chair to the right. ... More

    Marie McGrory
    Producer, Nat Geo Travel

    With beams of soft sunrise light gently defining her closely trimmed hair line and upper body sil...

    #africa #woman #travel #portrait #sunrise #photography #ethiopia #profile #mursi #omo #silloutte

    Editor's Note

    This picture, this woman are simply stunning. The golden halo that radiates through her short hair his really beautiful. A bald head takes such an elegant shape.

    Marie McGrory
    Producer, Nat Geo Travel

    A portrait of a man with aggressive face at Sasan with a long beard and nice mustache.

    #human #portrait #bnw #portrait_black_and_white #exprssion #monochomatic #black_and_white2015

    Editor's Note

    Nice toning to emphasize what is a pretty amazing beard and mustache. I feel like each strand is its own being, and they are working together beautifully.

    Marie McGrory
    Producer, Nat Geo Travel

    This photograph was taken after swimming in the Pacific Ocean. Baptiste might be the only man I k...

    #hair #redhair #redhead #goldcoast #austraila #goldcoast_australia

    Editor's Note

    A clean and refreshing portrait. And two more rare kinds of hair- red and extremely long, with a beard to match! This man looks so comfortable in who he is. I would love to run in to him on the str... More

    Marie McGrory
    Producer, Nat Geo Travel

    Elder sister teaching how to tie long hair in a traditional style to little sisters. Photo was ta...

    #children #people #culture #travel #girls #places #myanmar #sanyitwine #ngtravelhappy

    Editor's Note

    This is a hairstyle I have never seen, but certainly a scene I can still relate to. Beautiful framing and colors, as well. A beautiful tradition to pass on to future generations.

    Marie McGrory
    Producer, Nat Geo Travel

    About the Editors
    Endia Beal
    Endia Beal
    Artist, Educator and Activist
    Endia Beal is a North Carolina based artist, educator and activist, who is internationally known for her photographic narratives and video testimonies that examine the personal, yet contemporary stories of minority women working within the corporate space. Beal currently serves as the Director of Diggs Gallery and Assistant Professor of ...
    Marie McGrory
    Marie McGrory
    Producer, Nat Geo Travel
    Marie McGrory is a Producer with National Geographic Travel. She believes photography can help us find the moments, feelings, and stories that transcend cultural boundaries.

    Photographers Published In the Story