When Glenford Nunez turned his keen eye and camera lens to natural hair, he could have never imagined his photos would have a major impact on the global natural hair movement.
Anyone who has natural hair or has followed the movement has probably seen Nunez’s photos circulating on Instagram under hashtags such as #naturalhairinspiration, #curlygirls, #naturalhairdaily, and others.
His work has been featured on the notable natural hair blogs such as Urban Bush Babes and CurlyNikki. MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry even showcased some of Nunez’s photos during her “Nerd Land” segment about natural hair.
The 26-year-old Baltimore-based photographer said he was just obsessed with his assistant’s natural hair, often absentmindedly taking photos of her with his camera phone in-between shoots.
But in those photos, Nunez found inspiration to create a collection highlighting the curly, coils and kinks of natural hair embracers, spawning “The Coiffure Project.”
“It started as a side project,” said Nunez. “I wasn’t aware of this underground natural hair movement going on. I mean, among the natural hair community people see it and it’s popular, but for the average American it’s not.”
Now, dozens of photo shoots later, Nunez has released his first coffee table book, also titled “The Coiffure Project.”
In the nearly 100-page book, page after page highlights textured, coily, curly coifs including huge afros and smaller TWAs (teenie-weenie afros) from women in Baltimore, New York, Atlanta and even as far as Australia.
Nunez said he draws inspiration from well-known photography greats, but is also inspired by other artists such as Kanye West and Jay-Z, who constantly work to “reinvent” themselves.
“They aren’t afraid to reinvent themselves and challenge themselves and challenge the norms,” said Nunez. “Natural hair still isn’t the norm.”