Kylie Jenner's Yaki Ponytail At NYFW Brings Cries Of Cultural Appropriation

Kylie Jenner is facing the bemused and annoyed opinions of the internet for wearing a high ponytail to designer Alexander Wang's New York Fashion Week show on February 13. The ponytail itself isn't the problem. It's the hair used to achieve it that has women up in arms.

Jenner chose Yaki, a type of hair typically used for braiding, for her ponytail. Black women the world over know that Yaki is sold in bundles at beauty supply stores for the express purpose of adding length to our braids. Higher grades of Yaki are sold to add length to weaves, but these aren't like the Remi extensions Jenner generally wears. Yaki hair is meant to mimic relaxed African American hair, which is another reason Jenner's choice is bit puzzling: Her ponytail doesn't match her natural hair texture.

Jenner is now being accused of cultural appropriation — or stealing cultural staples without offering credit. It is an accusation that has been brought against the youngest Kardashian/Jenner before.

Last July, Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg called Jenner out on Instagram for wearing cornrows, but not speaking out for Black girls and women who are criticized for wearing a hairstyle that originates in our communities.

"When u appropriate Black features and culture but fail to use ur position of power to help Black Americans by directing attention towards ur wigs instead of police brutality or racism #whitegirlsdoitbetter," Stenberg wrote in a comment under one of Jenner's photos.

Twitter's taken up the mantle this time and the reactions are as much about mocking her as they are angry about her appropriation.


Jenner's hairstylist has not yet responded to Refinery29's request for comment.

More from Hair

Can I get an amen for air-drying? For those of us who lack the time, energy, or desire to repeatedly shoot a concentrated stream of scorching hot air on ...
Blowdryers are essential. (Not in the way that food, water, and shelter are, but you know what we mean...) And essentials just aren't that sexy. Add the ...
Over the past few years, the tousled beach-wave look has proven to be much more than a passing trend. It’s a hairstyle with staying power, possibly on its ...
Looks like the PLL star is trying to soak in all of the fun as a blonde. Her hairstylist, Kristin Ess, posted a picture on Instagram of the actress ...
As you well know, we love drugstore products here at R29. Which isn't to say that prestige products are overrated. But finding a balance between high and ...
In a perfect world, we’d all have plenty of money to splurge on high-end products for each and every hair need. (Ditto skin and makeup.) And in a really ...
Sure, the lob may be the reigning cool-girl cut. And you may have a few friends who are snipping their strands into impossibly chic pixies. But that doesn'...
Our hair loves the idea of summertime. Beachy waves! Golden highlights! Braids on braids on braids! But unfortunately, summertime doesn’t always love our ...
While the summer may have some beauty benefits (hello, dewy skin!), it can seem like a crapshoot for your hair. From protecting your color to maintaining ...
Just about anytime a video surfaces of a father styling his daughter's hair, our hearts collectively melt. Studies have shown that this type of dedicated...
As the saying goes, everything old is new again. And those shades of pink that took a backseat to the rainbow-hair trend for awhile? They're coming back in...
This story was originally published August 21, 2016. As Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian, and Solange have demonstrated, a new hair part can instantly ...
This story was originally published August 18, 2016. When Anh Co Tran speaks, we listen. And when he does hair? We don't dare shift our gazes. Last year...
There's something about entering a new year that makes us want to ring up our hairstylist and demand an appointment. After the confetti falls, the ball ...