Meet the Woman Who Braided 2,000 Swarovski Crystals Into Solange's Hair


Meet the Woman Who Braided 2,000 Swarovski Crystals Into Solange's Hair

It took Shani Crowe 50 hours to create this mesmerizing "SNL" look.

Published November 7, 2016

In case you missed it, Solange definitely killed it on Saturday Night Live over the weekend. And while folks were definitely enamored with her soul-shattering performance — her hair was also the talk of the town.


While she sang “Cranes in the Sky,” she rocked a stunning braided wheelhouse hairpiece that was peppered with crystals. Shani Crowe, the woman behind her headdress, recently told Fader how the two collaborated on this beautiful style.

"[Solange] expressed that she wanted to add Swarovski beads for a highly reflective look, and sent some images of bedazzled clothing she was inspired by," Crowe said.

“I worked within those parameters and started to create the piece. I'm very pleased with how it turned out, and working with Solange was a dream. I respect her immensely!” she added.

Crowe, a Chicago-native who has been braiding hair since she was 11, stressed that creating this intricate style wasn’t quick and easy — it took lots of time and hair.

“The halo is made from over 100 feet of braided hair layered and wrapped around an armature. It is strung with around 2,000 Swarovski crystal beads in three sizes, two colors, and two shapes." 

She also had to braid the singer's hair too, which took her a whopping 50 hours to finish the entire look. Seems a bit tedious, but for Crowe, this was "100 percent handmade with love."

🌞, 🍭 , &🌈 ..................📸 @chuckielovehair

A photo posted by Shani Crowe (@crowezilla) on

Just looking at what she created for Solange, it's no surprise that Crowe is one of the most sought-after braiding experts in the game right now. Her past work has appeared in the three solo exhibitions in her hometown, which is truly an impeccable work of art.    

Just peep this masterpiece. 

Can't get enough of "Shakere" @imanimoon #homieSisterBae #earthsforever #BRAIDSbySHANICROWE

A photo posted by Shani Crowe (@crowezilla) on

And this one. 

It's not often that natural Black hair is looked at as an art, so it's undeniably empowering to see our tresses and our ancestors celebrated in this way. 

"Braiding is a sacred art in a lot of ways because it’s so rich in tradition — a lot of times we don’t really understand how much it means," Crowe told Fusion in a recent interview.

"Because [braids] are coming out in pop culture and being exploited as a trend in the fashion scene, I think it’s important for me to honor them, before there’s a time when people don’t even remember them as a traditional Black art."

Written by Kellee Terrell

(Photo: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)


Latest in style