The Rise of the Hi-Top

2017 can be declared as the year the Hi-Top fade came back. The haircut that was popularised in the 80’s by everyone from musicians to ballers has been reprised across the African Diaspora.


“First things first…”

Riding off the wave of black positivity in the 70’s: think Afro’s, Afro-Picks and Dashikis’. The Hi-Top was the logical next step for the new generation who wanted to embrace their hair but bring something new to the table. Away went the flair jeans, earthy hues and vinyl. In its place came skinnier jeans, abrasive colours and boom boxes. The 80’s were gritty as hell and this style was inspired by the environment. Technology was advancing at warp speed, meanwhile the Reagan-Thatcher alliance was in full bloom tearing apart economically deprived communities on both sides of the Atlantic. People were losing their place in society. Times were changing and a new hair cut was needed to represent this. Something sleek but loud.


“Allow me to reintroduce myself…”

Fast forward to 2017 and the reintroduction of the Hi-Top. In future generations people may point to 2016 as the year where everything seemingly turned on its head (or came to light depending on who you ask #staywoke). Not a week went by without a cop killing a black person, all captured in HD and shared in all its rawness across social media. Then came Brexit, the inevitable rise of Islamophobia and an increase in anti-immigrant rhetoric. But not to be outdone, the US elected Donald J. Trump as president. Everyone was left scratching their heads.

However, history has taught us that when you back people into a corner eventually they will fight back. Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ+ groups and various liberal campaigners started to tap into social media platforms to push back against the impending doom. Online activism was the new cool. ‘Retweet this link’, ‘share this petition’, ‘follow so and so for woke updates’. It was like the year when everyone wore charity bands, just slightly cheaper. Whilst all this was happening 80’s fashion had crept in the door and with it returned the Hi-Top fade. Now, I’m not suggesting that everyone who’s got the Hi-Top is doing it to ‘fight the power’ but the timing of its reintroduction is uncanny. We needed a new haircut to signify the turbulent times and we didn’t need to tap deep into the well of hairstyles to find this one.

We salute everyone rocking their Hi-Tops today whether channeling their inner activist or just because it looks damn cool. If you’re interested in getting this look, check through our extensive directory of Afro-Caribbean barbershops  for a barber near you.

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