The Hair Salon

Black Hair as Architecture

“The Hair Salon draws upon the unique Black texture to create an installation that centers Blackness as a cultural and technological force in the world.”

Who We Are

Representing four countries…

…the U.S, Brazil, Italy, and Bosnia — the Hair Salon team is a group of architectural practitioners/academics that coalesced around a 2021 Graham Foundation grant award to explore Blackness as an aesthetic, cultural, and technological force. The multi-faceted five-member team has expertise ranging from African diasporic contributions in the built environment of the Americas to computational design methods.

Professor Sheryl Tucker de Vazquez builds a piece for the exhibition “Hair Salon” on January 23, 2023. The exhibit debuts at the University of Houston on Thursday, Feb. 2 to kick off Black History Month. | Source:

Our Team

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Community Impact

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Latest Works


The Strongest Signifier of Blackness: The Mission of the Hair Salon

“Black [hair] is the Crown of the Head.” — Yoruba proverb Like most Black women, I too have a “hair story.” When I was around eleven or twelve in the mid-seventies, I attended a Girl Scout camp in Citronelle, Alabama – a rural community just outside of Mobile, Alabama. During the school year, my hair…


Taxonomy of Black Hair

The Taxonomy of Black Hair graphically tracks Black hair from its geographic origins in which it evolved to protect the scalp from the intense heat of the sun through its dissemination throughout the world in the wake of slavery. The unique materiality of Black hair allowed it to be sculpted into a myriad of forms. Overtime, elaborate practices of hair care developed, including the integration of fractals used in African design practices from textiles to the layout of villages.


J.D. Okhai Ojeikere, “Onile Gogoro Or Akaba, from the series Hairstyles,” 1975, printed 2013. Gelatin silver print, 60 x 50 cm. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Museum purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund, 2019.413.7. Copyright J.D.Okhai Ojeikere. Courtesy Gallery FIFTY ONE

Sharon Steinmann / Staff Photographer