At All Things Hair, we are all about embracing the real you. No matter what your sense of fashion or hairstyle is, it’s great that we’re starting to fully embrace and love what we have. We’ve been (thankfully!) seeing this more and more in hair these days, particularly with the natural hair movement, with more people embracing their natural texture with afro hairstyles.
While this hairstyle is typically renowned for its big, voluminous aesthetic, there are tons of variations that explore the gamut, from teeny weeny short afro looks to even dyed versions. If you’re still on the fence about going natural and growing out your hair, we’ve got a collection right on below that might just change your mind and inspire your new look.
After you find the perfect afro style for you, you’ll need to style it, right? In this feature, you’ll find several afro ideas that we’re loving right now, plus some of our go-to natural hair styling tips. Read on:
20 Afro Hair Ideas We Love
1. Full Afro
We love the look of this full texture afro hairstyle. We always say the more volume the better! A round, halo cut, like this one, is so flattering on every face shape. Plus, no matter how kinky curly your hair is, this cut will show it off in all it’s glory. Just be sure to keep your ‘fro moisturized so you can get lots of shine. Coconut oil is a great way to moisturize and add shine to your hair.
2. Mini Ponytail
We know that a free-flowing afro can sometimes be high-maintenance. That doesn’t mean you need to wear a totally different style though: A quick fix to style your hair while getting it out of your face is a mini ponytail. We also love the look of super curly space buns, for something a little different.
3. Medium ‘Fro
4. Technicolor Full Afro
Having natural hair is no reason to skip out on the hair color of your dreams. If you’re planning on a big color change, make sure you see a salon professional. Ed’s note: If the color you want needs to include a bleaching process, keep in mind that it’s possible for the bleach to alter your curl structure: Bleach opens the outer layer of your hair and can cause damaged frizzy hair. Keep damage at bay by using natural hair oils.
5. Center Part
Going for an afro hairstyle doesn’t mean you need the round, halo shape. Nope! Adding in a part gives your hair even more texture by changing up the shape your hair falls. Best part is, you don’t need a haircut to achieve this style. All you need to do is separate your hair along a part line and style to either side.
6. Defined Curls and Side Part
If a center part isn’t your jam, try a side part with defined curls. We like using Suave Professionals Define & Shine Serum Gel because of its innovative (and practical!) gel-serum combo formulation. This isn’t the only serum we like for natural hair, but it’s certainly one of our faves for getting shiny, soft (not crunchy) defined curls.
7. Blond Ombré ‘Fro
Bleaching natural hair is always an option. It will take extra time to get black hair up to blond, but it’s worth it to not totally damage your hair in one sitting. If you are down for spending time in the salon regularly, you can get this gorgeous ombré look. Just be sure to do hair oil treatments in-between the bleaching sessions.
8. Heatless Wash and Go
We feel that the heatless wash-and-go is what a true wash-and-go should be. You wash and you go, as opposed to washing, then drying with a blow-dryer. go. To start, wash your hair with Suave Professionals Coconut Milk Infusion Deep Moisture Shampoo and condition with Suave Professionals Coconut Milk Infusion Deep Moisture Conditioner to create a soft and well-moisturized base before styling. Use a wide-toothed comb to detangle, apply a leave-in conditioner like Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Heat Defense Leave-In Conditioner and then air-dry. To create the fluffy ‘ro action, fluff-dry your hair with your hands or an afro pick until you get your desired look.
9. The Frohawk
This hairstyle is super easy, and oh-so-stylish! To create the look, detangle clean, damp hair with a wide-toothed comb, apply a styling oil, like Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion Styling Oil, to seal in moisture, add shine, twist into big sections and then air-dry. Once your hair is dry, use an afro pick to fluff, and then pin the sides to create a cool mohawk effect.
10. The Twist-Out
This look can be created overnight and we’re not kidding. After your wash and care routine, add a defining gel like to your hair and then twist your hair in sections. The bigger your twist, the bigger your curl; the tighter your twist, the smaller your curls will be. Small twists also tend to dry faster overnight, but it’s totally up to you.
After twisting, opt for sleeping on a silk pillowcase to speed up the drying process overnight. Covering your hair may trap in the moisture and extend the drying time. In the morning, release your twists, fluff and style your hair however you like!
11. Wear it Natural
Natural hairstyles are definitely having a major moment right now, as natural afros, twists and braids have easily dominated both the runway scene and street-style looks. With this mind, feel super encouraged to embrace your natural texture and wear your afro styles natural, even if they are on the shorter side. However, it’s important to maintain a good haircare regimen no matter how you wear your afro style. Keeping up with trims, and investing in the right hair care products is always key.
If you like an easy and chic look, hair accessories can help play up your teeny weeny afro, especially if you want easy styling ideas that will have you out of the door in under 10 minutes. Whether you wear stylish clips, combs or sparkly headbands, it’s important to make sure your accessories are gentle enough on your hair. Some accessories can be too tough on ultra-delicate hair types, causing unwanted breakage you won’t want to deal with.
13. Bold Color
If you want to play up your afro style, adding in some bold colors (two-toned hair colors are some of our favorites!) can help spice up your look easily. However, you’ll definitely want to take the salon route when exploring any coloring option as natural hair tends to be extremely delicate, making you want to approach this process with caution. For safe coloring practices, be sure to book a consultation with your colorist first to discuss what color look will work best for your skin tone and hair type.
14. Taper Your Sides
If you like looks with lots of edge, tapering your afro at the sides gives it an undercut kind of effect. To get the look, ask your stylist to carefully buzz the sides of your afro, giving your cut a fresh and cool feel. When it comes to styling this look, it’s important to note that this high impact cut kind of cut usually requires minimal to no styling.
15. Floral Afro
Enhance your afro with some flowers this season. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith
Enhance your afro this season with some gorgeous flowers! Check out how to nail this look in our floral afro hair tutorial!
16. Space Puffs
We just love it when some of our favorite hairstyles get a modern update, such as in the case of these fun space puffs. Rock this look to work, brunch or post-workout as you embrace a carefree style on your afro. Check out how to master this style in our space puffs tutorial.
17. Hair Puff
We are digging this elegant updo style for your afro as you accentuate your afro puff while also showcasing a cool style. Check out how to master this modern hairstyle in our hair puff tutorial.
18. Half-Up Afro Style
One of our favorite looks on all hair types, we just love how the half-up style allows you to get the weight of your hair off your face as you showcase a seriously stylish look. You can go for a full half-up pony or a bun half-up look (as seen here) as some of your natural texture takes center stage.
19. Side Bantu Knots
A quick and easy hairstyle, this one is all about evoking those laid-back vibes. Check out how to master this style in our side bantu knots tutorial.
20. Pulled Back
And while we are all about rocking your fro, there are some days when you want to pull it back. Whether that’s for a fancy event, or during dead heat of summer, options are so important! After you brush your hair, pull it back into a low chignon and pair it with your favorite headband and you’ll be all set!
Tips for Nailing Stylish Afro Hair
1. Afro Styling Techniques
There’s more than one way to create an afro hairstyle. Some naturals prefer using braids, twists, bantu knots or banding hair to create their ‘fro. On the other hand many choose to pick and pick with an afro pick until they get their desired look.
If you choose to braid or twist out, braids will give you a crimp-like texture, and twist will give you a curlier s-curl shape. Bantu knots yield a coily corkscrew shape and banding is a heatless way to help stretch out your texture with hair ties. To do this, simply section damp hair into four equal parts then wrap each section with hair ties until you get to the ends. Once your hair is dry, release and fluff to style.
2. Styling Products
Listen up ladies, humidity fighting products are key. Here’s why: If you choose to wear your hair into a big fluffy afro let’s say on a hot and humid day, the moisture in the air will cause the hair to swell, creating shrinkage. If you want your afro to flourish throughout the day, opt for using some serum before styling your hair. You can also prep your hair during your wash routine by using a system like Dove Nutritive Solutions Anti-Frizz Oil Therapy Shampoo and Dove Nutritive Solutions Anti-Frizz Oil Therapy Conditioner to keep any unwanted frizz at bay.
3. Heat Styling Tools
If your goal is to create an afro with a straighter finish, opt for using a blowdryer. Prep hair with TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray, then blow-dry until you get your desired length and shape. If carrying out this process on freshly washed hair, apply Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Heat Defense Leave-in Conditioner to your hair to protect hair from heat.