36 Afro Hairstyles That Embrace Your Natural Texture (2024)

In the 1960s, the Afro hairstyle became a symbol of Black self-acceptance and an iconic figure of the Black power movement. Famed entertainers like Diana Ross and Pam Grier, along with political activists like Angela Davis, were representative of this new movement in popular culture and politics. Black hair is and will always be political, and passing of laws like The Crown Act, which bans Black hair discrimination in schools and the workplace, proves that point. Though the legislation is now only in five states (California, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and Colorado), the progress makes me hopeful for the next generation.

The latest natural hair movement is reminiscent of the groundwork of Black voices that came before us. We now live in an age where we see the representation of Black hair across all mediums, encouraging Black people everywhere to rock their hair as is without reservation. As a 4C girl who has learned to embrace my fro, I have found that seeing other naturals embrace their coils with Afro hairstyles has helped me lean into my own.

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Click Play to Learn How to Create the Perfect Afro

Here, find 36 stunning Afro hairstyles that will inspire your next cropped cut or give you the courage to unapologetically allow your coils to take up space.

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The Classic Afro Puff

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If you're not following Essence Gant, you're missing out. From makeup tutorials to Afro-puff how-tos, her page and stunning fro are worth the follow.

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Sleek Afro Puff

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Quinta Brunson's full and fluffy afro is so elegant and beautiful. Her swooped and swirled edges are the perfect finishing touch.

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Double Afro Puffs

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Make a statement with larger-than-life afro puffs. The cornrows and face-framing braids make this look even cooler.

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Cornrow 'Fro

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Why opt for a simple middle part when you can do cornrow parts instead? Take your afro puffs to the next level by incorporating cornrows going straight back and down the sides of your head.

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Oversized

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My internet friends got so excited when Ciara debuted this larger-than-life fro. You might not be able to wear this look every day, but you can undoubtedly take note of her accessories game.

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Picked to Perfection

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Ebonee Davis is a beauty icon, model, and social activist who wears her perfectly round fro well. To recreate this look, you'll need a pick and a stylist to cut your hair into this shape, so you can easily recreate the look at home.

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Small and Mighty

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Lupita Nyong'o is always switching it up. Here she shows us small Afros can pack a big beauty punch.

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Coiled

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Afros are a go-to for influencers like Taylor Anise, who has 4C hair. I love to see it because it takes away from the false narrative that 4C hair isn't worth praise too.

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Fluffed

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Yara Shahidi's parted fro is super easy to try. With a blow-dryer on low heat and a brush or pick of your choice, you'll have this look recreated in no time.

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Shaped Up

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This face-framing fro is poppin'. If you find yourself struggling with the shape of your curly fro, don't be afraid to reach out to a pro.

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4C Coils

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Some try to say type 4 hair doesn't grow, but Fola's full, back-length fro disproves that theory. Use a pick to enhance the volume and be sure to deeply condition so the style stays well-moisturized.

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Slicked in the Center

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Many of us were first introduced to Marsai Martin on the primetime television show Black-ish. The young star has since blossomed into a beauty and style icon right before our eyes. Here, she shows us how to rock Afro puffs in full glam.

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Curly Chic

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Logan Browning has one of my favorite fros of all time. With the Curl Doctor, Shai Amiel, at the shears, how could we expect anything less than perfection?

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Short and Natural

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Not only do short fros show off your unique features, but cropped fros are also even easier to style. Really want to wash and go? It might be time to try something new.

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Bleached

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Solange pulls white blonde off like no other. If you're interested in mimicking this hair color, you'll want to tread lightly to ensure you don't end up with damaged coils.

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Coiled and Natural Texture

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Fros don't represent just one look. You always have the option to play up your natural texture. Using a curl-enhancing gel or cream is the best way to amp up your coils.

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Afro Bun

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This glorious puff shows that an Afro, like other styles, can be versatile. Afro puffs are also protective styles, so they help with the overall health of the hair.

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Rooty

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I'm not sure if Cole's ombre fro was done on purpose or if she's growing out her hair color, but either way, the auburn tips are a fun beauty choice.The trick here is to concentrate the color on the mid-lengths to ends, so there's a subtle contrast between the roots and the dyed hair.

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Stretched

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A stretched fro is always a good idea, and here Anima opts to add a side-swept element. A few bobby pins and dash of edge control, and you're out the door.

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Tapered

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Ryan Michelle Bathe has become one of my red-carpet beauty favorites. She, like so many ladies on this list, proves natural coils and Afros can be molded into whatever our hearts desire.

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Lots of Length

No matter the length of your hair, a fro is always a beautiful possibility. 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 drama.

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Throwback

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I didn't pop myself in here for a shameless plug, I promise. With the help of celebrity hairstylist Ursula Stephens, I learned how to get creative with my natural curls and try a 1970s look.

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Fringed

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Rocking a fro with a bang might seem like too much maintenance, but if you're afraid of trimming your fringe on your own, you can cheat it with bobby pins. It may take some trial and error to get the right length, but once you've got it, you'll have a hair trick you can use forever.

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Mid-Length

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Falling somewhere between short and voluminous, the mid-length style is classic with a twist. Here, the ends aren't blunt, allowing some of the natural texture to shine through. This look works for everything from the office to an evening event.

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Rounded With Bangs

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This is another 1970s style, but with a little looser texture. We love that the bangs add to the rounded shape but still give it a bohemian look.

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Chic Bowl Cut

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Halle Berry's texture, length, and bangs combine for the chicest-ever version of a bowl cut we've seen. The key to this look is keeping hair well-moisturized.

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Low Ponytail

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Take a cue from Elaine Welteroth and slick your hair into a low ponytail, keeping the look clean and crisp with a center part. The contrast between the slicked sides and the fro in the ponytail is so bold.

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Loose With Volume

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Imaan Hammam's loose and voluminous fro is ultra-sexy. For this look, use a pick to ensure the ends spring out in different directions, really emphasizing the natural texture.

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Highlighted

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Naomi's rich chestnut highlights add further interest to an already gorgeous style. Here, the contrast of dark and light highlights creates dimension.

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Asymmetrical

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Viola Davis always looks great, but we especially love how her natural curls are styled in this asymmetrical Afro. To get the look, create a side part and use a styling cream to smooth and direct curls in varying directions.

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Pineapple

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This style is a protective way to keep curls intact, and it's full of personality. To replicate, 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 (like a pineapple).

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Short and Straight Up

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Even those with a short Afro can have fun with the style. Here, the curls are cropped close on the sides with the texture directed up at the center of the head.

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Center Part With Volume

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We love Oprah's center part, which provides volume at the roots and opens up the face. Here, the curls are only slightly rounded, so the effect is less 1970s and more 2020s.

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Afro With Cornrows

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Jourdan Dunn's slick cornrows feed into her voluminous natural texture. We love the contrast between two classic styles and the cornrow portion really protects her her roots.

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Balayage

Injecting color to your curls is one of the most effective ways to add depth. As with any color service, you'll want to be sure the integrity and health of your hair come first.

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No Sides

When I saw this, I immediately thought of Grace Jones. A tapered fro look is a great way to add a new spin to an iconic classic.

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Afro Hairstyle and Black Culture

The Afro hairstyle has a rich history and has been a symbol of Black self-acceptance and empowerment, particularly during the 1960s. It became an iconic figure of the Black power movement, with famed entertainers and political activists such as Diana Ross, Pam Grier, and Angela Davis representing this new movement in popular culture and politics. The Afro hairstyle has been deeply intertwined with the political and social movements of the time, signifying a powerful statement of self-acceptance and cultural pride within the Black community.

The significance of Black hair as a political statement is further emphasized by the passing of laws like The Crown Act, which aims to ban Black hair discrimination in schools and the workplace. This legislation, currently enacted in five states (California, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and Colorado), serves as a testament to the ongoing political and social relevance of Black hair. It reflects the progress made in recognizing and addressing the discriminatory treatment of Black hair, offering hope for future generations.

The natural hair movement has also played a pivotal role in encouraging Black individuals to embrace their natural hair without reservation. The representation of Black hair across various mediums has been instrumental in empowering Black people to proudly showcase their natural hair, fostering a sense of cultural affirmation and self-expression.

Natural Hair Movement and Representation

The latest natural hair movement has been reminiscent of the groundwork laid by earlier Black voices, emphasizing the importance of representation and self-acceptance. The representation of Black hair across all mediums has played a crucial role in encouraging Black individuals to embrace their natural hair without reservation. This movement has been instrumental in empowering Black people to proudly showcase their natural hair, fostering a sense of cultural affirmation and self-expression.

The representation of Black hair across various mediums has been instrumental in empowering Black people to proudly showcase their natural hair, fostering a sense of cultural affirmation and self-expression. This has been particularly impactful for individuals with 4C hair, as they have found inspiration and encouragement from seeing others embrace their coils with Afro hairstyles.

Afro Hairstyle Inspiration

The Afro hairstyle has evolved into a diverse range of styles, each offering unique expressions of cultural pride and individuality. From classic Afro puffs to sleek and elegant variations, the Afro hairstyle has become a versatile symbol of beauty and self-expression. Influential figures such as Lupita Nyong'o, Yara Shahidi, and Solange have showcased the beauty and versatility of Afro hairstyles, challenging false narratives and celebrating the unique beauty of 4C hair.

The diverse range of Afro hairstyles, including coiled, stretched, tapered, and highlighted variations, reflects the versatility and creativity inherent in embracing natural hair. These styles not only serve as expressions of cultural pride but also highlight the beauty and diversity of Black hair.

Conclusion

The Afro hairstyle has been deeply intertwined with the history of Black culture, serving as a symbol of self-acceptance, empowerment, and cultural pride. The ongoing natural hair movement and the representation of Black hair across various mediums have played a pivotal role in encouraging Black individuals to embrace their natural hair without reservation. The diverse range of Afro hairstyles reflects the beauty, versatility, and creativity inherent in embracing natural hair, fostering a sense of cultural affirmation and self-expression.

36 Afro Hairstyles That Embrace Your Natural Texture (2024)
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