49 Afro Hairstyles for the Afrocentric Naturalista

Being a naturalista is all sweet and fun until it’s time to style your hair and you feel pain. It’s why some ladies in the natural hair gang sometimes rock their hair like that without going to the salon. Afro hairstyles come in handy in this situation.

They’re low maintenance and require little or no manipulation.  Even if you just loosened your box braids or any of the latest hairstyles you wore, you can wear your hair as an afro with or without combing it.

Wondering how it works?

We’ll show you the latest afro hairstyles in this article. Read on to learn more. And be sure to screenshot or download any image you like. It’ll serve as inspiration when you have a bad hair day.

What is an Afro?

fine lady rocking short natural afro hairstyle

Think back to when your grandparents were your age.

Which hairstyle did they wear in most of their pictures?

If they are of African roots, there’s a high chance they wore afro hairstyles often. And that’s because this coiffure trended in the 20th century. 

Afro hairstyles involve wearing your hair facing upwards without extensions or obvious styling. You only need a wide-toothed comb and a good hair moisturizer to achieve it.

It’s a coiffure peculiar to African women—thanks to our natural, kinky hair. However, people with straight or curly hair can use chemical products to maneuver their hair into an afro.

You can trace the history of this hairstyle to Africa itself. It became a fad during the 1960s as a symbol of rebellion, empowerment, and pride. This happened when the awareness of newly independent African nations and the challenges of the civil rights movement bolstered feelings of hope and anger among Africans.

smiling lady wearing blue afro hair

That period saw young African Americans explore their black identity with their outfits. From wearing African prints to owning Afrocentric fashion, adding a signature hairstyle was just another way to express their black identity.

To further popularize the trend, stars in the ‘60s and ’70s like NBA player Julius Erving, comedian Richard Pryor, Odetta Circa, young Michael Jackson, etc., wore their afro with pride. And brands like Kent cigarettes and Pepsi-cola dished out print ads featuring women wearing large Afros.

Afro is one African hairstyle that has stood the test of time. It represents the black race. It is the crown that symbolizes African beauty, culture, and heritage.

Types of Afro Hairstyles

Ready to flaunt your African beauty with a cute Afro hairstyle? Great. This style is super versatile. You can tweak it into anything you want and adorn your hair with lovely hair accessories

Check out the best types we’ve curated for you:

Frohawk

smiling lady wearing frohawk with earrings

Like the frohawk haircut men wear, the afro frohawk draws inspiration from the mohawk, The difference is you aren’t shaving the sides of your hair. You’re only manipulating your hair into a frohawk.

lady rocking braided frohawk

And to ensure the sides of your hair lay flat, use gel or hair cream to plaster each side or simply secure the sides with hair accessories or braid them into cornrows.

smiling lady rocking afrohawk hairstyle

Afro Puff

pretty lady rocking afro puff

You can as well use a rubber band to style your afro hair into a mini ponytail that’s dense and creates one or two puffs. It gives more details to your afro.

pretty lady wearing brown double afro puff
lady rocking single afro puff

Full Afro

lady rocking large full afro

This is the afro that trended in the 1970s. Wear it if you want to take a trip back to the past. You’ll gain stares on the street, especially if your hair is thick.

back view of a full colored afro on a lady

Flaunt your natural hair in all its density and texture. That’s what this afro hairstyle says you should do.

lady wearing full afro natural hairstyle

Colored Afro

lady wearing blue tint full afro

Wanna give your afro hairstyle a different look? Tint it.  Go for any color that suits you and wear it with confidence.

But before that, go through our catalog on the latest hair color trends so you know which to go for. 

lady rocking pink bun afro

And remember, dyeing your hair comes with consequences. So, get familiar with the reasons you shouldn’t dye your hair before you invest in this style.

Downward Afro

lady rocking orange downward afro

As the name implies, this afro doesn’t face upwards. It falls to the sides and back. And you can also pull and secure them backward yourself with your accessories.

beautiful lady rocking green downward afro
smiling lady rocking downward afro

Curly Afro Hairstyles

lady rocking pink curly afro

For more accents, use your bendy rollers to style your afro into lovely curls or waves. You’ll create a beautiful sight to behold.

smiling lady rocking curly afro
lady rocking brown curly afro hairstyle

Braided Afro Hairstyles

smiling lady wearing braided afro hairdo with cowries

Redefine the afro culture by adding cute braids or cornrows to your coiffure. You can let it drape to your face or create an illusion of an updo.

smiling lady wearing braided afro hairstyle

Then adorn the braids with beads, gold cuffs, or other suitable hair accessories. You’ll love your look.

smiling lady wearing braided afro hairdo

Semi-Stretched Afro

lady rocking stretched afro hair

You can as well stretch out the kinky ends of your hair to create your hairdo. While at this, be sure to keep your styling tool at minimal heat so you don’t damage your hair.

lady rocking stretched afro
smiling lady rocking gelled stretched afro

High Bun

lady wearing front afro high bun

This style is similar to the afro puff. The difference is that for the high bun, once you pull your hair into a ponytail, straighten it and wrap it around a doughnut. 

lady rocking afro high bun

This helps you wear it high. You can also use accessories to secure the bun in place. 

lady rocking high afro bun

Tapered Sides Afro

smiling lady rocking tapered side afro

Say you want to rock the real frohawk or you wanna create a combo of low cut and afro, this is your go-to hairstyle.

smiling lady wearing green tapered side afro

Just shave the sides of your hair and add more definition with edge control. However, you’ll have to visit your hairstylist to do it for you if this is your choice.

lady with face mask rocking tint tapered side afro

Half-up Afro

lady rocking half-up afro curly afro

Do this style if you want to get your hair off your face. It’s similar to the half-up-half-down ponytail hairstyles. Just pack some amount of your hair up and leave the rest down.

lady wearing half up afro hairdo

Save for the tapered sides afro, you don’t need to visit a hairstylist to achieve these afro hairstyles. Just moisturize your hair to give it the appropriate sheen and use your comb to do wonders. 

lady rocking half-down afro hairstyle

This way, you become a work of art as people will marvel at the beauty, length, or fullness of your hair, which is something worth appreciating.

Before you leave, quick one:

Do you feel pains when combing your natural hair? If you do, you may not be able to achieve your afro coiffure without tackling this issue. 

But not to worry, we have a solution.

And it’s in our guide on how to comb your natural hair without feeling pain. Go ahead and read. So you can achieve your preferred afro hairstyles easily.

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Victoria B. Willie

Writing has always been a part of me. From writing stories as a young child to studying Communication Arts in the university, it has always been more than a medium of expression to me.

And then one day, I found myself toeing the path of an entrepreneur and becoming a fashion enthusiast. This made me develop an interest in content marketing and copywriting.

That aside, when I'm not writing copy or SEO content, I'm designing statement pieces for my fashion brand, Ria Kosher, crushing on Lucious Lyon, and writing wild stories that always come with a twist.

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