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.
Next, find the perfect afro style for you. After that, you’ll need to style it! 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:
25 Afro Hairstyles We Love
1. Full Afro
We love the look of this full textured afro hairstyle. A round halo cut like this one is flattering on most all face shapes. Just be sure to keep your ‘fro moisturized so you can get lots of shine. Coconut oil is a great way to help maintain moisturize and add shine to your hair.
2. Mini Ponytail Afro Hairstyles
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 mini ponytail can be a quick fix to style your hair while getting it out of your face.
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 interest by changing up the way your hair falls. The 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 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. Blonde Ombré ‘Fro
Bleaching natural hair is always an option. It will take extra time to get black hair up to blonde, 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. However, 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. Start by washing hair with SheaMoisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner. Next, create a soft and well-moisturized base before styling.
Use a wide-toothed comb to detangle, apply a leave-in conditioner like SheaMoisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Leave-In Treatment, and then air-dry. After that, create the fluffy ‘fro action by fluff-drying your hair with your hands, or use a hair 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 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 curl. Small twists also tend to dry faster overnight, but it’s totally up to you.
Most importantly, after twisting, opt for sleeping on a silk pillowcase to speed up the drying process overnight. Covering your hair may trap in moisture and extend the drying time. In the morning, release your twists, fluff, and style your hair however you like!
11. Wear it Naturally Cropped
Natural hairstyles are definitely on top of our lists right now. 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. Two-Toned Color
If you want to play up your afro style, adding in some bold colors (like two-toned hair colors) can easily spice up your look. However, you’ll definitely want to take the salon route when exploring any coloring option, as natural hair tends to be extremely delicate. 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, then tapering your afro at the sides is the best look for you. To get the look, ask your stylist to carefully buzz the sides of your afro. This will give your cut a fresh and cool feel. Bonus: 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 Hairstyles
Enhance your afro for warmer seasons 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. Most importantly, you can sport this look to work, brunch, or post-workout, as it lets 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, you’re also showcasing a cool style!
18. Half-Up Afro Style
One of our favorite looks on all hair types is the half-updo. This style allows you to get the weight of your hair off your face while you showcase a seriously stylish (yet practical!) look. For instance, go for a full half-up pony or a half-up bun look (as seen here) and let some of your natural texture take center stage.
19. Side Bantu Knots
For a quick and easy afro hairstyle, opt for Bantu knots that give off a laid-back vibe. Meanwhile, check out how to master this style in our side Bantu knots tutorial.
20. Pulled Back Afro Hairstyles
While we are all about rocking your ‘fro, there are some days when you want to pull it back. Whether that’s for an event, or during the dead heat of summer, having options are so important! For example, 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!
21. Pinned to the Side
If you want to switch up your look and keep your hair out of your face, why not pin back one side? Have fun with any accessory of your choice to change your style.
22. Brushed Out Afro Hairstyles
Create loads of volume and a fluffier texture by brushing your hair out. Remember to be gentle with this process and take it slow, as you don’t want to overdo it and potentially damage your strands or create unwanted frizz.
23. Deep Side Part
Take your side part deep to create loads of volume and drama on your afro hairstyles. You can maintain this part by adding a little bit of gel so that your curls stay defined and controlled throughout the day.
24. Bold Red Afro Hairstyles
This color is not for the faint of heart. We love this bold red color: It demands attention and adds a whole new layer of personality to your look.
25. Mini Flowers
If the flower accessories felt a little too large for your liking, size them down for a more dainty, flirty style.
Tips for Nailing Stylish Afro Hair
So now you know what style you want to achieve, it’s no surprise that you may need some tips to help with styling. Check out our top three tips to use when creating afro hairstyles.
1. Afro Styling Techniques
There’s more than one way to create an afro hairstyle. For instance, some naturalistas prefer using braids, twists, Bantu knots, or banding hair (more on this below) to create their ‘fro. However, many choose to pick with an afro pick until they get their desired look.
If you choose to do a braid or twist-out, braids will give you a crimp-like texture; similarly, twists will give a curvier S-curl shape. Meanwhile, Bantu knots will yield a coily corkscrew shape.
There’s also banding, 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 in a big fluffy afro on a hot and humid day, the moisture in the air will cause the strands to swell, and as a result, create shrinkage.
If you want your afro to stay well-defined and fabulously fluffy throughout the day, opt for using some serum before styling. Not only will a serum help prevent unwanted frizz by trapping crucial moisture into your strands so they don’t need to absorb any outside humidity, but a serum will also help add shine to your locks. Most importantly, it also helps keep your hair soft. 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 unwanted frizz at bay.
3. Heat-Styling Tools
If your goal is to create an afro-shaped ‘do 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 Emerge My Mane BFF Leave-in Conditioner to further smooth and eliminate frizz before straightening.
Keep these tips in mind when caring for your afro hairstyle and you’ll be able to go for any look in feel inspired to create!