The Black Hair Experience has come to Brooklyn.
“We always knew we needed to open a location in New York,” said Alisha Brooks, a visual artist who cofounded The Black Hair Experience alongside photographer Elizabeth Austin-Davis in 2020.
An art exhibit that seeks to celebrate Black hair in all of its forms, The Black Hair Experience originated in Atlanta and has since made its way to the D.C. area, Dallas, Los Angeles and now Brooklyn — an endeavor that has long been in the making, and marks the exhibit’s seventh location to date.
“Because of the influence that New York has had on Black hair and Black culture in general, it was almost a no-brainer that if we were going to open something in a new area, it needed to be in Brooklyn,” Brooks said.
Consisting of more than 15 installations, each presenting a unique photo opportunity for visitors, The Black Hair Experience’s Brooklyn pop-up opens to the public on Friday at 630 Flushing Avenue, where the exhibit will remain for the next three months.
The photo-worthy installations guests can immerse themselves in include a colorful mock hair salon, handcrafted swings held up by large braids, locs and twists and an area decked wall-to-wall in vintage Ebony, HypeHair and Essence magazine covers, graced by the likes of Beyoncé, Oprah, Naomi Campbell and Vanessa Williams.
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“I think what drives our success is the support of our community,” Brooks said. “A lot of [our execution] comes from just having conversations with other Black women about their experiences and the fondest memories of their hair journeys — those experiences are what we’re trying to take and turn into different activations.”
Positive affirmations are sprinkled across the walls of the exhibit, which costs $32 for general admission and $52 for VIP admission, which includes a swag bag with products by Black hair care brand and partner of the exhibit, Dark and Lovely.
“We’re proud to collaborate with TBHE in celebrating Black hair, the love we have for radical self expression and self acceptance,” said Tenaj Ferguson, marketing director for Dark and Lovely, in a statement. “We are aligned in our interest to connect with Black consumers and influential voices to honor and amplify Black beauty, Black history and self expression through hair.”