One of the hottest hairstyles this season is the Afro — made popular by Black icons in the 60s and 70s, with more men and women continuing to embrace their natural hair texture, it’s no surprise this hair trend is still thriving. An Afro hairstyle looks chic at all lengths and is a great way to show off your texture, but it takes a little work to get right. If you’re ready to try the Afro hair trend, it’s a good idea to do some research first. We’re telling you everything you need to know about the Afro, including how to style and maintain yours — plus 10 Afro hairstyles to inspire your next cut.
In the 1960s and 1970s the Afro hairstyle became an iconic symbol of Black self-acceptance. Celebrities and political activists wore the Afro with pride as part of a new movement in pop culture, and we're happy to see that this continues today — more and more women are embracing their natural texture and we’re seeing the resurgence of this popular hairstyle trend.
We’ve rounded up 10 of the most iconic Afro hairstyles to inspire your next cut.
The classic Afro can be worn on the top of your head or slicked toward the back — either way, you’ll look stunning.
Use a pick to lift curls at the root to recreate this perfectly round look.
A small Afro can still pack a big beauty punch. Not only does it show off your features, but it’s easier to style.
A side parted Afro is super easy to recreate with a blow-dryer on low heat and a brush or pick of your choice.
If you find yourself struggling with the shape of this curly Afro, don't be afraid to reach out to a pro for a shape-up.
A stretched Afro with side-sweep can be pulled off with a few bobby pins and a pomade or gel.
To replicate this look, use a pick to create a side part and direct the hair in two different directions for a little bit of edge.
This is another classic 70s hairstyle — the bangs add to the rounded shape, but give it a bohemian look.
To get this Afro, bend your head over so that hair is pointing to the ground, and use a scarf or scrunchie to secure the hair at the base, allowing curls to spill over the top.
These buns are the perfect look for everyday and extremely easy to style.
On wash days, use a curl shampoo and conditioner and avoid sulfates as they dry out your hair. Integrate co-washing (where you only use conditioner and no shampoo) but don’t replace shampoo with co-washing permanently. It's still important to remove dirt and impurities from your hair and scalp.
Keep your hair soft and ready for moisture by conditioning it with a silicone-free conditioner. Conditioners help you to detangle your hair so you can get it ready for the next step.
When it comes to your curls, air-drying is best to minimize damage and tangling from blow-drying. Natural hair can be very fragile, so be careful when combing it wet. Follow your natural curl pattern when you comb and always prep with a moisturizing product for protection.
One of the best things you can do for your hair in general is to keep yourself hydrated. This is especially important during the winter months when your hair tends to get dry. Staying hydrated not only works wonders for your hair, but your body, mind and soul.
Just like with a pixie or any other short ‘do, it’s important to keep up the shape of your cut. As your hair grows, use an afro comb to fluff it out and use clippers to snag stray hairs to keep it in shape. If you have a fade or cut in, this step is best left to your stylist.
Braiding or twisting your Afro before bed helps protect your hair. Sleeping on your Afro can lead to frizz, flat spots and dents. Braiding or twisting your hair before bed can help. When you unravel your braids or twists in the morning your Afro will be back bigger and better than before.
A good quality Afro comb or curl comb is a must in your Afro styling routine. Curl sponges are also helpful in maintaining your cut. Use them in a circular motion to help shape more textured curls.
Harsh weather conditions can not only mess with your style, but are damaging to your strands. Rain displaces moisture and makes your hair frizzy; heat dries out your scalp and increases the chance of breakage. Keep your hair looking and feeling it’s best by protecting it with a hat or bandana in harsh weather
Breakage can be a problem on natural hair. Avoid manipulating the natural pattern of your hair and don’t wear hairstyles that create a lot of tension.Be gentle when detangling to prevent stretching and breakage.
These are the best products for thick hair and styling an Afro hairstyle.
Co-washing, or conditioner-washing is a technique for very curly hair. The idea is to skip your shampoo every so often and just use a conditioning cream like LOVE CURL Cleansing Cream. This helps to keep your curls moisturized. But note, applying another conditioner after co-washing is not necessary.
When it comes to laying edges and slicking down baby hairs, turn to This is a Medium Hold Modeling Gel. It holds, gives body and elasticity to curls, dries quickly and eliminates frizz. Use a pea-sized amount to smooth down strays.
To keep your curls intact for longer and stay frizz-free, use LOVE CURL Revitalizer. It boosts the vitality and elasticity of your curls between shampoos. Rich in proteins, vitamins B and E for a revitalizing effect for curly hair.
Detangling an Afro hair can be a challenge. That’s where OI Hair Butter comes in. It can be used as a treatment mask to moisturize and unravel tangled hair knots, or a deep conditioner to add shine and define curls.
Treat your Afro to a hydrating hair mask weekly and you'll find it to be much more manageable. A mask like LOVE CURL Mask is extra nourishing with strong conditioning power for very curly hair. It gives remarkable softness and hydration to very thick and unruly hair. Mask weekly for elastic workable curls.
Hair oils are an important factor when it comes to taking care of natural hair, because it’s more susceptible to dryness and breakage. A lightweight hair oil like This is an Oil Non Oil gives your strands a natural-looking and hydrated texture. It adds structure and definition, smoothing frizz without any residue.
When it comes to extra hold for your Afro, hair cremes are the way to go. Cremes are absorbed by the hair which means less product build up, more moisture and healthier hair all around. One of our favorite products for curly hair is This is a Strong Hold Cream Gel. It’s a super strong hold for creating structure and definition on short hair styles, Afros included.
Afros looks chic at all lengths and is a great way to show off your texture, but it takes a little work to get right. If you’re ready to try the Afro hair trend, and you’re still unsure about how best to grow, maintain or clean your afro hairstyle, book a consultation with a stylist at a Davines salon near you — and remember to use only high quality hair products to maintain and style your Afro.
by Jaclyn LaBadia, featured contributor