There’s hair art and then there are styles that make you do a double-take.
Hair artist Laetitia Ky is in the latter category, with creations so out of this world, you wonder how they are even possible. When we stumbled on her work we were totally overtaken and had to find out more.
We wanted to know everything from her inspiration, to how long it takes to create hair sculptures, so we sat down with Ky to find out her process.
Hairspo and history
For hair art this eclectic, inspiration is everything – and nothing, according to Ky, who emphasizes that it really doesn’t take much to spark her creativity. “I can be inspired by everything and nothing. An image, a sound, a movement, a situation, the news, my activism, the world around me. I rarely think too long before having an idea. They generally come to me in a flash – it’s a pretty intuitive process.”
Having learned how to braid at the tender age of five, Ky has been in the game for a minute now, but it’s truly impressive how quickly she mastered the art of hair sculpting. “I used to braid my dolls, sisters and friend’s hair,” she offers, noting that the process always came naturally to her. However, she didn’t attempt her first hair sculpture until the end of 2016.
Time and process
Considering how intricate the hair sculptures are, they really don’t take that long. Ky can complete a piece in anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours.
Though it would seem like a sculpture would require a sketch, that’s not always the case. “It depends on the style,” she explains. “I usually sketch when I want to do something with too many details. When there is not a lot of detail, I just visualize what I want to do and it’s enough. Once I know what I want to do, I try to think about the different possibilities needed to sculpt properly.” Ky even takes her own pictures via a tripod but enlists the help of her sister when documenting a look outside.
The how-to of hair sculpting
Ky relies on Marley hair for her sculptures, which is what is generally used for creating Havana twists. “I love those extensions because the texture is very similar to mine,” she says. Remarkably, her sculptures don’t require ANY product on my hair to sculpt. “Just wire and some thread and needle.”
Though all of Ky’s hair sculptures look impossible, and she admits it’s “hard to pick just one,” when asked about her most challenging creation, her homage to RiRi takes the cake. “What comes to mind is actually the sculpture of Rihanna’s profile I tried to do once. It was a huge challenge to make it look like her!”
Ky’s work often gets political, and that work can be some of her favorites. Though it’s hard for her to pick one, her fave piece thus far was created for the Me Too Movement “because of the impact it had and because of how it helped a lot of women.”
“Through my art, In addition to promoting my African and black pride, I would love to help people to not be afraid to express themselves, to be themselves, and to fully live their truth. This is the first step toward happiness and I want to reach women, especially, because in this patriarchy they are the ones that suffer the most. I would love to see confident women everywhere. This is how they will accomplish great things in life,” Ky shares of the purpose behind her breath-taking hair sculptures.