In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’re shifting the spotlight to focus on looks that put our personalities front and center. These confident, self-possessed, no-nonsense hairstyles, a.k.a. “power hair” looks help us get the point across without even saying a word. What’s more feminist than that?
Below, we list a roundup of choice badass power hair looks that show quintessentially what it’s like to be unafraid to take up space, to be comfortable celebrating your own brand of femininity and to finally, gloriously redefine what it looks like to be a woman.
Power Hair Looks We’re Celebrating
1. The Top Knot
The clarion call and “I feel you, girl” symbol of busy superwomen everywhere, the top knot has elevated itself from coffee runs to runway status simply because, hey, it works. It’s easy, straightforward and is the best, most flattering, zero-risk facelift there is. Inclusivity at its best, the top knot works on most if not all hair types, and is equally as stunning during a yoga workout as it is while running after your little ones, or on the red carpet—just like you.
2. The Graphic Bob
Whether you’re slaying in your corner office or changing the fashion landscape as a renowned tastemaker, nothing spells “presence” quite like a blunt, in-your-face bob. This fashion-editor favorite is probably one of the most iconic power hair looks, but needless to say it’s as universal as can be—provided you’ve got the patience for a precision hairstyle. From the super-straight fringe to the sharp edges of the bob, this look is all about minding the details, which, let’s be honest, is practically second nature to you.
3. The Slick-Back
No longer a borrowed-from-the-boys hairdo, the wet look is the ultimate confidence booster. Whether it’s a deliberate style take as noted from the runways, or a morning-after improv look after raiding your man’s bathroom in vain, gelling your hair back denotes a certain fearlessness about the way you look and a readiness to take the world head-on, imperfection be damned. Totally fierce and undeniably sexy, the slick-back is probably the hottest way to flip the bird on all your perceived insecurities.
4. The Afro
Not because it’s suddenly—absurdly!—finally #trending, but because this look has always been you, all you, all this time. Natural Afros have finally gotten the mainstream airspace they’ve long deserved, which is all sorts of awesome. The poster hairdo for naturalistas and women with curly hair wanting to wear their texture loud and proud, the Afro is a statement to the unapologetic (and as some would say, quietly rebellious) act of simply being yourself.
5. The Undercut
Is it long, or is it short? What are you, and how do you identify? All of the above, as it is, not that it’s anyone else’s business but yours (and probably your stylist’s). The undercut flies in the face of what’s traditionally, classically feminine, and that’s what’s coolest about this power hair look: It doesn’t give a damn whose feathers it ruffles, because hair is first and foremost a personal form of self-expression and not fodder for prejudice or unfair judgment. So add on to that fun, trendy, enviable look as you will—with all colors of the rainbow, at that—and marvel at how quickly others follow suit.
Want more fierce and helpful hairstyle inspiration? Check out the easiest hair hacks out there.