10 wildly creative hair accounts to follow on instagram

From a one-stop shop for 60s Japanese kitsch to the Solange stylist who finds accessories at Michaels.

by Blair Cannon
21 June 2017, 3:35pm

i-D Hair Week is an exploration of how our hairstyles start conversations about identity, culture and the times we live in.

The beginning of summer is an excellent time to supercharge your look. Whether you're searching for a sky-scraping new haircut or an underrated craft score to scope out new accessories, we've handpicked ten stylists and hair communities you should keep your eye on. From gorgeous natural hair and braids to delightful color jobs to art images from throughout history, hair inspiration can be found everywhere, and these Instagram accounts are good place to start.


Lost Hairdressers is a diverse archive of editorial shots, carefully curated to highlight talent in creative hairdressing. It also stirs in portraiture of hair culture from around the globe and the occasional art book page, becoming a one-stop shop for Japanese wigs, 60s kitsch, contemporary art photography, and of course, high fashion inspiration. Naturally, it's an incredible reference book for make-up looks as well.


When Nadia Lee Cohen or Millicent Hailes needs a hair look to match a cinematic vision hyper-saturated with color, punk, and John Waters references, they call Jake Gallagher. He's also the obvious choice for fresh talent like Turkish designer and goth queen Dilara Findikoglu. Recently, Gallagher sculpted painted horns and messy curls atop the heads of nightclub performers Scotty 'Sussi" Sussman and Harry Charlesworth for i-D. Gallagher's work is so filmic and fringe — he has a special talent for storytelling through hair design — that while he has major runway shows under his belt, he dedicates his Instagram to the edgier editorial and video work plus a plethora of equally gritty selfies.


Braid master Shani Crowe's Instagram account is magical. An interdisciplinary artist (she studied film production at Howard), Crowe has brought her often staggeringly complex braid designs to the walls of Brooklyn's MoCADA (Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts) and even to SNL — when she constructed Solange's glimmering Swarovski halo from 100 feet of braided hair. Crowe posts her latest work and her personal looks to Instagram, where her bio simply reads, "LEVELS LIKE NEVER BEFORE." Indeed.


Ayoe Nissen is a true creative force. Having begun her hairdressing practice twelve years ago (adding makeup more recently), she is constantly inspired and experimenting, and it shows. Her Instagram consists almost exclusively of the ethereal, feminine looks she constructs, including shimmery pastel hair stencils and sopping, delicately parted tresses. Her Copenhagen roots shine through by way of an artful color palette and keen eye for image curation.


While he is best known for FKA twigs's most innovative hair contortions, Soichi Inagaki reveals the full breadth of his work on Instagram. From the ultra-simple and straight to baby hairs and giant knots of the FKA variety, Inagaki is constantly reinventing and updating his oeuvre. He might not post quite as often as other stylists, but his account is definitely worth a follow — anyone on twigs's level should be on your radar.


French artist Alexandry Costa is both a hair stylist (a favorite of Lily-Rose Depp) and a painter. And his Instagram is even more than that. It's partly a diary of his own work and partly a space for a larger cultural archive, as he posts everything from Salvador Dalí to Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra to Grease as inspiration. A short scroll-through of his account is a decent lesson in hair history.


CRWN is actually a print magazine for natural hair and the black women who wear it, but it also happens to have a killer Instagram presence. CRWN posts gorgeous shots, mostly portraits, of black women wearing beautiful natural looks, while spotlighting women's actions across fashion, music, art, and more. The best part is that CRWN tags everyone featured — including the photographers — so it's the perfect place to find even more inspiring accounts to fill your feed with natural hair ideas. 


Nikki Nelms is on top of the world. After starting out doing hair for music videos for Lil Wayne and Kanye, she gained perhaps her greatest acclaim for styling the hair on A Seat at the Table plus Solange's own wedding look. Recently, she has been working with Janelle Monáe and Zoë Kravitz. Nelms's Instagram is a peek not only into the life of one of black hair's most influential creatives, but also into the lives of her impressive roster of celebrity clientele, who adore the high-fashion spin she puts on materials collected at Michael's (you read that right — Solange's shells and Monáe's googly eyes were both craft store finds).


If the outrageous looks he created for Vivienne Westwood's SS18 show aren't enough information to make you hit follow on Gary Gill's account immediately, then read on. Gill consistently does hair for top campaigns and runway shows including Westwood, Balenciaga, Acne Studios, and Grace Wales Bonner. But it's his talent for styling hair across genders that really comes through on his Instagram, which has an artful and clean aesthetic while maintaining a certain punk masculinity. Men's Fashion Week just wrapped in his home base of London, making now the perfect time to peruse his best work.


Salon Benjamin has locations in LA, NYC, Miami, and San Francisco, so its Instagram stays updated with plenty of amazing hair looks to scroll through. Benjamin also curates a good amount of found photography, and is an excellent resource for creative looks that are still accessible enough to try out at home. They have an especially acute knack for color, and will sometimes mention the products used in achieving the final result. So watch out — this feed will definitely make you reach for the peroxide. 


Text Blair Cannon 
Images via Instagram 

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