Afro Hairstyles: Celebrating the Beauty of Natural Texture

Joanna Elizabeth


Updated March 27, 2024

Afro Hairstyles
See the world of afro hairstyles.

Through the decades, afro hairstyles have served as a symbol of beauty and cultural significance for the Black community. From reclaiming the style during the 1960s and 1970s to the recent natural hair movement of the 2010s, the afro is a source of pride and discussion.

An afro is a hairstyle characterized by its natural, rounded shape that showcases the texture of Afro-textured hair, typically forming a voluminous and fluffy appearance. There are many variations for women, from short styles to big and curly, and each look brings its own flavor to the table.

Afro Hairstyles

Round Afro

Round Afro
Experience the fullness of your natural beauty with a perfectly shaped, round afro like Ebonee Davis. Photo: lev radin /

The Round Afro is known for its iconic and timeless shape that exudes pure confidence. This hairstyle is shaped to form a balanced, round silhouette that frames the face beautifully.

The Round Afro requires regular maintenance to keep its distinct shape, including routine trimming every 8 to 12 weeks.

Short Afro

Short Afro
Embrace a minimalist approach with a chic, short afro that offers easy maintenance. Photo: Ron Adar /

For something easy to maintain, the Short Afro is a perfect choice as it suits a variety of face shapes. This style is also known as a teeny weeny afro due to its minimal length but retains the classic, dense, and textured appearance.

Regular moisturizing and gentle combing are key to maintaining the health and shape of this short natural hairstyle.

Blonde Afro

Blonde Afro
Illuminate your look with a radiant blonde afro, blending bold color and natural textures for a striking effect. Photo:

If you want to embrace your natural texture, but aren’t afraid of color the Blonde Afro is a winning choice. The light color offers a striking contrast and an eye-catching appeal with its honey and golden blonde tones.

This variation requires specific care to maintain its color and health, including using color-safe products and deep conditioning treatments.

Braid-Out Afro

Braid Out Afro
Unlock the secret to defined, voluminous curls with a braid-out afro, like Viola Davis. Photo: DFree /

The Braid-Out Afro showcases a blend of definition and volume, resulting from braiding the hair when wet and then allowing it to dry before loosening the braids.

This method creates curls and waves throughout the hair, adding texture and body to the classic afro silhouette.

To keep this hairstyle looking its best, use leave-in conditioners and curl-defining products that enhance the hair’s natural texture without weighing it down.

Slicked-Back Ponytail

Sleek Ponytail Afro Hair
Go for a sleek look with a slicked-back ponytail, showing your natural texture, similar to Issa Rae. Photo: Kathy Hutchins /

The Slicked-Back Ponytail offers a different approach to natural afro-textured hair. This style is achieved by smoothing the hair back from the forehead and securing it into a ponytail at the back of the head.

This allows the natural coils to cascade beautifully from the crown. It’s important to use a good quality gel or pomade to achieve a sleek look without causing dryness or flakiness to the hair.

Fluffy Afro

Fluffy Afro
Revel in the luxurious volume of a fluffy afro that brings softness and depth to your tresses. Photo: iStock

For a natural hairstyle that embraces a soft, light, and voluminous silhouette, look no further than the Fluffy Afro. This hairstyle features combed-out coils and expands in a cloud-like formation.

The Fluffy Afro can be achieved using minimal styling products to avoid weighing down the hair. Gentle detangling will ensure the hair remains healthy, reduces breakage, and maintains its fluffy appearance.

Natural Textured Afro

Natural Textured Afro
Celebrate the intricate beauty of your natural textured afro like Solange Knowles. Photo: Kathy Hutchins /

The Natural Textured Afro is all about showing the inherent texture of the hair. It spotlights the unique patterns of curls and coils, featuring the hair’s shrunken state.

This style is less about achieving a specific shape and more about highlighting the natural beauty and variety of textures within your hair.

To maintain this style, it’s important to focus on hydration and protection, using products that nourish the hair and seal in moisture.

Big Afro

Big Afro
Make a grand entrance with a big afro that defies gravity with unapologetic fullness. Photo: iStock

The Big Afro is a bold and striking hairstyle that makes a powerful statement. This voluminous style is all about embracing the maximum potential of natural hair, allowing it to extend outwards in all directions to create an impressive silhouette.

It’s important to protect the hair at night with silk or satin coverings to prevent breakage and retain moisture.

Curly Afro

Curly Afro
Get into the allure of a curly afro, where spirals and ringlets come together in texture and movement. Photo:

If you want to show off a more defined look, the Curly Afro offers an alternative to the classic look. You can wear this look by embracing the natural curl pattern of your hair or creating curls using twist-out and braid-out techniques.

Afro Puff

Afro Puff Hairstyle
Upgrade your look with an afro puff, combining simplicity with iconic style for a chic statement. Photo:

The Afro Puff is a versatile and stylish hairstyle that keeps hair out of your face while showing your coils. This style involves pulling the hair back and securing it with a band at the crown of the head, allowing the natural hair to puff out in a rounded shape.

The Afro Puff can be as big or as small as desired, depending on the length and volume of the hair. You can even separate it into multiple puffs to create a mohawk look.

Wash and Go Afro

Wash Go Afro
Discover the simplicity of a wash and go style, showcasing your coils in their purest form. Photo: DFree /

The Wash and Go Afro is a natural and effortless hairstyle for an easy-to-style look. This look is achieved by washing the hair, applying a leave-in conditioner and curl-defining products, and allowing the hair to air dry without manipulation.

The result is a hairstyle showcasing the hair’s natural curl pattern and volume.

Afro with a Deep Side Part

Afro Deep Side Part
Add an edge to your afro with a deep side part, creating a striking asymmetry. Photo: iStock

This hairstyle takes the classic shape to a new level. An Afro with a Deep Side Part adds structure to the fluffy look. The deep side accentuates the face’s natural angles and provides an edge to the overall style.

The volume is distributed asymmetrically for a fashion-forward silhouette.

Techniques for Maintaining a Healthy Afro

Afro Texture
Keep your natural texture healthy and flourishing. Photo: Getty Images / Unsplash

Maintaining a healthy afro requires consistent care. Techniques such as regular trimming of split ends, gentle handling to prevent breakage, and scalp massages to stimulate blood circulation can significantly affect hair health.

Protective Styles

Protective styling is instrumental in reducing hair wear and tear, especially from environmental factors. Styles like cornrows, box braids, twists, buns, or updos can keep your hair tucked away, minimizing damage while helping with length retention.


  • Less day-to-day maintenance
  • Reduced exposure to heat and styling products
  • Helps with hair growth by minimizing breakage
  • Can be a base for creative and versatile hairstyling

Moisturizing, Detangling & Protective Practices

Combing Afro Hair
Use plenty of conditioning product to make detangling your hair a breeze. Photo: Sincerely Media / Unsplash

Integrating moisturizing and detangling sessions into your regular routine can protect your hair from knots and tangles that cause breakage. Stretching your hair with twists or braids can also reduce breakage.

Using wide-tooth combs and detangling while coating hair with a conditioner can ease the process. Lastly, always go for protective practices overnight, such as sleeping on a silk or satin pillowcase or wearing a bonnet to reduce friction and moisture loss.

Embracing Your Texture

Maintaining Afro
Celebrate the unique beauty of your natural texture, embracing every curl and coil with confidence. Photo: DFree /

A profound sense of identity and history resonates with each curl and coil in afro hairstyles. Whether it’s the timeless elegance of the Round Afro, the boldness of the Big Afro, or the simplicity of the Wash and Go Afro, each style offers a unique expression of individuality and heritage.

For those looking to start their afro journey or continue embracing their natural hair, the key is understanding the care each style demands. From moisturizing to trimming, from protecting to styling, the health of your hair is essential.

Remember, your hair is a crown, and with the right care and attitude, you can make any hairstyle stand out.

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