This artist’s gravity-defying hair sculptures might just be the best thing we’ve seen

If your hair actually does what you planned for it to do on a daily basis, count yourself as one of the lucky few. Most of us can barely attempt a ponytail without our hair deciding, “You know what, I’m not about this whole following orders thing,” resulting in more faff for us, the high likelihood of swearing, and, eventually, giving in.

Laetitia Ky, on the other hand, clearly doesn’t know what it means to have a bad hair day. Or, at least, the intricate sculptures she fashions her hair into on the regular say otherwise. Laetitia has been posting her looks, all of which involve manipulating her long black hair into various realistic designs, on Instagram since September 2016, when she shared a picture of herself with her hair formed into a gravity-defying tube-like structure. She captioned the image an appropriate, “You can't with #afrohair ☺.”

Since then, 22-year-old Laetitia has experimented with all number of looks, from dancing ballerinas and peace-sign hands, to lightbulbs, motorbikes and emojis, all fashioned out of her thick braids. Most of her pics are shot in front of a plain background in various shades of yellow, but recently she’s taken her crazy hairstyles to the beach, in swimming pools, out on the streets, and even in the bath.

Laetitia’s Instagram account, on which she calls herself “IvorianGoddess” and “Polyvalent Artist” is now something of an art collection. She’s gained massive respect on the online community, amassing just over 167k followers in two years. Now that’s impressive.

Since becoming Insta-famous, Laetitia has been using her powerful position on the platform to share important political messages, with one image depicting the tips of Laetitia’s hair fashioned into a gun, which she captioned, “Against gun and violence use love and art ! 💖💖💖” She also promotes body-positivity, sharing other users’ stories on the subject, as well as mental health awareness, and the #MeToo movement.

It’s not all serious, though. The majority of Laetitia’s hairstyles are cheeky and humorous, such as her twerking lady sculpture, her monkey holding a banana, and her umbrella. And some of them are just downright cool.

There’s no denying that Laetitia has some seriously artistic talent. In an interview with CNN, she said that following earning a degree in business, she became drawn to fashion; and started teaching herself the basics of sewing with the help of videos on YouTube.

Laetitia never expected to move into hair sculpting, but when she came across an Instagram account with photos of hairstyles worn by women in pre-colonial African tribes, she decided she’d try out creating artistic hairstyles herself.

"I did a lot of research and was very inspired by the traditional ways of dressing and doing hair that have been pretty much entirely erased," she said. "Things have come a long way, but even today kinky hair is taboo for some Africans. I want to look back to our traditions and draw from them."

Laetitia started sharing her looks to her Instagram, and it didn’t take long for one of her posts to go viral. When this happened, she jumped from 3,000 to 40,000 followers in a single day. She has received the attention of numerous brands and magazines ever since, and continues to post new looks to her account today.

Of a potential future career in hair sculpting, Laetitia says she’s not interested in trying out her sculptures on anyone else- telling CNN, “It's important that I do it on myself because I want to spread a message of self-love.

“So many artists, particularly women, hide behind their work. I think that implicating myself in each piece, and showing a certain self-confidence, could really help people."

 

 

Laura Shallcross