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Great and memorable 'fros, past and present

October 10, 2009 | 10:49 am

Angela-davis Leave it to provocateur Marc Jacobs to roll out one of the most culturally significant hairdos of the last century -- then exaggerate it.

As reported by fashion critic Booth Moore, the designer's spring 2010 Louis Vuitton show saw models marching down the runway wearing beach-ball-size Afro wigs. The clouds of faux hair were so capacious, it was a wonder the girls were able to keep their tiny chins up.

In celebration of the saucy style's return to catwalk glory, we thought it high time to take a look at some of the most notable Afros from the last 50 years.

Angela Davis

Communist, feminist and Black Panther supporter Angela Davis set the benchmark for the globular style in the early '70s with her perfectly circular cloud of loose curls. The message? "Don't tread on me -- or my hair."

Jimi Hendrix

Guitar god Jimi Hendrix's medium-sized 'fro, like his untamed music, was full of unexpected peaks and valleys.

Pam Grier

When she wasn't flaunting relaxed, glamour-girl tresses, Pam Grier -- queen of "blaxploitation" films, most notably "Foxy Brown" and "Coffy" -- rocked a loose, round Afro that became a symbol of the black counterculture movement in the 1970s.

Michael Jackson

We all remember Michael Jackson's Jheri curls, but back in the day, the King of Pop sported a decidedly more au naturel look -- which included a well-kept globe of glorious hair. 

Sly Stone

A ceiling-grazing hairstyle wasn't enough for singer Sly Stone, frontman for funk-alicious '70s band Sly and the Family Stone. He paired his amorphous 'fro with fist-sized mutton chops.

Erykah Badu

Soul singer Erykah Badu is famous for her towering African head wraps, but has also dabbled in the extreme Afro, sporting an enormous head of bushy curls on occasion. 


And Questlove, drummer for jazzy hip-hop band the Roots -- now the house band for the "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" show -- has flaunted a charmingly disheveled 'fro for decades. Look closely, and you can usually spot a plastic hair pick hiding among his healthy follicles.

For more on cool 'dos, check out our photo gallery of afro hairstyles from the past and present.

-- Emili Vesilind

Photos: Back in [hair] style: Memorable afros, past and present

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Photo: Angela Davis. Credit: Los Angeles Times.