The art of the afro is a delicate and soulful skill that can be mastered by any head of hair. Here are some ways to take your natural curls and turn them into an amazing afro that has a life and style of it’s own!
Step 1: Pick your shape
The shape that your hair takes when it’s fro’d out is key, if your hair doesn’t take on the shape of an afro then it certainly won’t look like one. At this point it’s definitely beneficial to trim or have your hair cut in a style not only will this give you a great afro but it will also benefit you when styling your hair many other ways. This gives your hair a nice shape that will further accentuate your curls. A good trim & shape does every natural justice. The classic afro is perfectly round which means it’s proportionate on the top and on the sides. Then there is the shorter on the sides and the longer on the top for a more modern afro (my favourite). With so many options you won’t have any trouble finding the right shape that fits you best!
Step 2: Pick Your Style
There are many styles of afros out there but picking the one that suits you best is important. If you seek an afro with a hint of defined curls two strand twist or a bantu knot out are the way to go. How defined you want your curls to be is up to the size of the twist or bantu knot, always be aware of where you’re placing the two strand twist. It is possible to interrupt the shape of your afro by parting your hair incorrectly this will be explained in the last step called head layout. If you desire very defined curls then a flat twist or the use of rollers is the most ideal and there are some really great tutorials on youtube. The video that helped me learn how to master the flat twist is on my youtube playlist titled Natural Notebook which contains many other helpful tutorials. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPCaDfIU7RLP7tC7Ncp-hSVihCE_wa4O-
If you seek an afro with a hint of defined curls two strand twist or a bantu knot out are the way to go
Step 3: Moisturise your hair
This is a pretty obvious step but the way that this step is done can interrupt a certain style that you might be going for. These styles include the modern afro (longer on the top short on the side) and the not so defined afro. These two styles look best on semi stretched hair so if you’re using a lot of water due to dry hair or any other reason use a styling cream that doesn’t contain water. An abundance of water causes shrinkage and will tighten up your curls and effect the over all look of these two styles. However when styling your hair for the modern afro spraying the sides of your hair with more water than the top can cause just enough shrinkage to give that tapered effect on the sides and really bring out the unique shape that makes the modern afro stand a part.
This is a pretty obvious step but the way that this step is done can interrupt a certain style that you might be going for
Step 4: Define Your Ends
Defining your ends in the styling process can actually compliment the shape of your afro even further. I’ve experimented with defining my ends on both a defined and undefined afro and I found that curly ends looked great on both styles! One way of defining your ends is taking a bit of defining product and twirl the ends of your hair around your finger this method works best if you’re using the two strand twist, flat twist method or bantu knot method. Flexi rod rollers are also great for defining your ends as well.
Defining your ends in the styling process can actually compliment the shape of your afro even further
Step 5: Tamed Edges
Your edges are the somewhat gatekeepers to your hair and if those gatekeepers have on wrinkled uniforms then it can actually make any hairstyle appear unfinished and unpolished. Depending on the style you’re trying to achieve experimenting with styling products on your edges could really set off your afro. I achieved some of my greatest afro’s by defining the curl in my edges or gently slicking them upwards. I found that both of those methods looked great on different styles of afro’s that i’ve tried. The modern afro looks best with edges smoothed upwards and the more defined afro looked best with the curl defining method on my edges. Two products that helped me attain both of those methods were Dr. Miracles Edge Control (For slicked down edges) and Creme of Natures Perfect Edges (for curled edges). They’re both thick wax like products but yield very different results. I love these products because they’re affordable and smell lovely!
Step 6: Head Layout
The last and most important step is knowing the layout of your head i.e. the shape of your head and where your hair falls. I like to think of the head being divided into different sections, this helps when i’m styling my hair and does make a big difference in hair results. Mentally I imagine my hair in four sections, and within these sections I especially need to be sure that all of my twist, knots, braids are going in the same direction and are the same shape. I noticed that before I used this styling method my twist would come out in disarray in some areas and the curls on either side of my head wouldn’t be matching. Overall the shape of my styles came out a little flawed. Thinking of my hair in a diagram has helped tremendously and has improved the outcome of all of my styles 100%.
Using all 6 of these steps has led to some of the best afro’s i’ve ever worn and really brought out the inner beauty of such a soulful embodiment of natural hair in one of it’s most raw forms. Capturing the afro is an art and skill that can be gained by anyone and can really make you feel beautiful. I see this hairstyle as an athem to my ancestors and a bold I love being black statement. Hopefully these 6 steps will enrich the afro experience and give you great results! Here are my 6 Step results!