An ode to the “Black is Beautiful” moment, Afro hairstyles embody the spirit and natural beauty of African American hair. Wearing an Afro today is a personal preference, but there can be no doubt that this iconic style is still popular with today’s youth and popular culture. Whether you are searching for tips to grow yours out, have an eye out for product lines that can improve your hair’s health, or just want suggestions on how to wear your look, these hair tips will help.
Afro Hairstyles and Culture
An Afro essentially says, “I’m okay with my hair type, why fight it?” It may seem strange today, but for many years, women tried to fight their natural texture.
Afro hairstyles became huge in the 1960s as both men and women ditched the lye and chemicals they previously applied in abundance to straighten their curly hair. Instead of conforming to the idea that hair needed to be straight in texture, the creation of the Afro made a curly and proud statement.
The Afro remained mainstream until the late 1970s when cornrows and braided styles took preference among the African American community. Today, Afros are adopted by many cultures and can make a major fashion statement. If you’ve got the natural curl, this is how to wear it.
Popular Afro Styles
What was once considered a primarily African American hairstyle is now a trendy look for anyone who has natural curly hair. The following Afro hairstyles prove the versatile appeal of this eye-catching style.
The basic Afro is a traditional layered haircut, with all lengths being equal, that then forms a round shape. This look can be worn in many different lengths. Shorter is usually preferred among professional individuals, while more edgy looks can be achieved by taking your afro to maximum lengths.
A tapered Afro is generally shorter on the sides and back with a bit more fullness on the top. This look can be ideal for round facial types, as it slims the face and flatters features. A tapered style is also a traditional and simple way to experiment with your natural hair type.
Flat Top Afro
Made famous by model, singer, and actress Grace Jones, as well as the spunky hip hop duo Kid-N-Play, the flat top Afro proved the Afro’s versatility. Inspired by military looks, the Afro flat top is an edgy version of a traditional afro. This look is great for round faces or anyone who wants a sharper look. If you need a power style, opt for something flat and fierce.
Avant Garde Styles
With an expert stylist at hand the possibilities for your Afro are endless. An Afro bob, although wide and not for everyone, is a quirky and fashionable statement.
If you have an hourglass shape, why not your hair as well? Heart shaped Afros along with pigtails are even more ways to create runway looks with textured and curly hair. To sum up, many shapes can be achieved with an imaginative and creative stylist. Find someone with experience working and coifing Afros and you’ll discover the many creative and stylish ways to wear your hair.
Transition and Care
Going from straight to curly can be very tricky if you have previously straightened your hair. Besides cutting all of your hair off, the natural process will undoubtedly take some time. Depending on the length of your hair, ask your stylist about a soft relaxer to make the transition more bearable.
Styling an Afro is easy once you get the maintenance portion under control. For best results, make sure hair is in the healthiest state possible. If this means losing a few damaged ends due to years of braiding or relaxing, then by all means make the snip.To style curls, use a wide tooth comb or pick and comb hair straight out and up from the scalp. While Afros can take months to grow out, many people find just a few inches of length is enough to support a traditional Afro cut.
Care and Products
Coconut oil and olive oil are great treatments for those seeking natural care products to condition and moisturize their hair. Apply oil to dry hair, leave overnight if possible, and shampoo thoroughly to remove all excess oil. A small amount can be applied as a leave-in conditioner if desired. For mainstream product lines that work well on all curly textures, be sure to check out Wen, Nexxus Humectress and the entire Aveda Brilliant line.
Afro styles are all about embracing and accepting your natural hair type and texture. Care for your Afro regularly by keeping your hair and scalp moisturized. Not only will this help prevent dry and itchy scalp conditions, it will also help add some sheen and softness to your ‘fro.
Afros are an individual statement. Be sure you are ready to embrace your natural hair type before rocking this cool and confident style.