Taking Your Afro to the Next Level
Take your standard twist outs and wash-n-go’s to the next level by personalizing your afros.
We all love to see sisters with flourishing curls and the confidence to match. Every time I see a beautiful black woman wearing her natural hair in her own way, it gives me hope to find new ways to style mine. The beauty of black hair is its ability to form into any shape.
With embellishments, you can express yourself exactly the way you need to for any occasion. Check out the following items you could get your hands on to stand out this season!
I would say that wearing scarves are the most popular way of styling our fro’s.
The wraps themselves come in different shapes and colors which allows us the many ways we can wear them. They are perfect for those bad hair days and extreme weather conditions. I could go on all day about the methods of creating your headwrap style, but the trick is to play around to make the look you want.
I’ll help you get started by first describing the different types of wrap styles you could choose from. Your hair’s length, thickness, and even your clothing should determine how you can best form your scarf.
Whether you’re looking for something quick, or new, you can test out the most comfortable, fashionable looks.
For a sophisticated, put-together look, you can go for an updo style.
If your hair is long enough, then wearing it in a bun helps the foundation of creating the turban. If not, you can use a smaller scarf or t-shirt for the illusion. Turbans can be wrapped around several times to create the length of your choice.
The more fabric you have, the taller and more elaborate your turban can be. There are endless tutorials online that you can find to designing your perfect turban.
This is one of the first styles I mastered with my head wraps since they are simple and look good on anyone!
Whether you style a low or top bun, the technique is very similar. Instead of throwing your hair into a messy bun, you can save the hassle by covering your hair to give the same look in less time. All you have to do is put the scarf on your head, twist the ends around, and tuck into place!
Check out the step by step pictures to help make sure you’ve got the hang of it.
Sometimes we need to cover our hair and do just that.
With crown styling, you can wrap your hair and wear the scarf as is and let your outfit do the talking. Less is more! With a twisted crown, you can add the necessary layers to frame your face and let your features do all the talking.
When you simply cover your hair, people begin to focus more on your facial features alone and what makes you, you. You are a queen, and you should own your crown! Like any other style, you can look online from your favorites for ways to personalize your look.
I really never considered wearing hats as a fashion statement until last summer.
My best friend has a collection that I’ve always admired, but I always felt like I could never pull it off myself. My natural hair has kept me from wearing hats because of my texture. I’m not sure who wants to rock a flat fro. Little did I know there were ways to work around it! As someone who embraces natural hair, I don’t want to limit myself from any trend because of my features.
So, when I describe hats as an accessory, I’m not talking about the times when you throw on a baseball cap before class or to run errands. I’m talking about the hats you wear to enhance your look and to make a statement.
The only catch here though is the fact that you’re wearing it as part of your fit, so technically you shouldn’t even have it remove it during the day. Sunscreen is worn in the morning to protect your skin throughout the day from the sun’s harsh rays so that you can do the same with your hair with hats!
Bowler hats, fedoras, beanies, floppy hats, or vintage caps, you name it. Pretty much any hat can be worn the way you want it to, and you can style your hair in a manner to protect and secure it. I’ve seen women use durags or silk scarves to cover the back of their hair while the front is left out for a natural hair bang style.
If you’re rocking a tapered cut, hats are perfect to emphasize that volume up top. Style with defined curls or a pin backs your tresses for a timeless look.
Flowers bloom in the spring, but we admire them all year ‘round.
For something cute and carefree, you can style your fro with some flowers for the floral hair trend. On those beautiful days spent outdoors, or special occasions, you can bring life to your natural garden with some flower pieces.
There’s no wrong way to create this look, as you can style it however you please. For someone who wants something more picture-worthy, you can actually be precise with your placements by following a color and size scheme.
If you’re using an assortment of colors, you can combine an order of primary, secondary, and tertiary patterns. For example, using yellow, orange, and magenta.
You can neutralize any color scheme by adding white or black flowers if you want. You can keep it simple by also using the same herbs for the same color. Regardless, there’s no “wrong” way for a floral arrangement that you adore.
The bigger the flowers, the less you need in your hair.
Big flowers are a statement on their own, so you can place them on one side of your hair and focus on that one area only. Smaller flowers allow for a more dispersed set that frames your face. You also want to make sure to separate the flowers around evenly to avoid distortion.
You don’t always have to wear a straight afro for the floral trend. You can style your natural hair into a frohawk, or even twist the front for an elegant updo. Place the flowers however you like, or you can also consider buying or creating your own flower crown too.
Finding your Bouquet
Finding flowers are simple because they’re all beautiful! Just choose your favorite and begin to work your magic onto your tresses.
Now, you can choose from real or fake flowers, but you want to make sure you care for them correctly. They’re very delicate and are not long-lasting if you decide to go the live route. You have to keep them in water in a cool place until you’re ready for use and cut the stems at an inch or two to help with the placement.
If you have flowers in your front yard, you can use those (not your neighbors)! If not, any grocery or floral shop will have some at a great price for you.
Spray-On Hair Color
I consider hair color spray an accessory since it is temporary and entirely safe!
It is great to add color to your hair without the commitment and worry of damage. You can choose between natural or vibrant colors. Some brands have the color that lasts for a few hours, whereas others last for a few days. Depending on what you need, you are able to find it at your local beauty supply store.
You want to make sure you start on hair that is relatively clean (not freshly washed) and dry. If you need to detangle, take some time to do so beforehand to ensure complete coverage.
You also want to be sure to do this in your ventilated bathroom, covering your clothes and nearby furniture to keep them safe from the spray. For more intensity, spray more color around for a longer time. Start light and work your way from tips to your roots. You can do your tips only, create highlights, or cover your whole head.
After you rock your new do, you can wash off with shampoo and conditioner after to start fresh again.
Beads, Clips, and Strings… Oh My
Listen, sis, braids with beads can be styled anyhow, including with your natural hair.
You can use these accessories to decorate your style to bring forth the beauty of black hair. Our ancestors thrived off the intention, everything they had had meaning, even their hairstyles.
With some Fulani braids, top-knot buns, or whatever you like, you can create an updo in the front and let your curls flourish in the back. These styles are more on the complicated side, but you can have your stylist add hair as necessary to enhance your look.
Be sure to save your accessories for more uses, if you can. Your styles don’t always have to be busy. You can wear your favorite updo and have a few hairs out on the side to twist and add clips to secure. The key is to personalize in a way that screams you without doing too much. It is possible to overdo it because you don’t want your hair to become too heavy and begin pulling on your roots. And you don’t want any strings or similar being tied too tight either.
So be sure to add the pieces with caution!
Another great way to showcase your royalty is by displaying your beautiful afro with a hair chain.
These are great for special occasions where you want to feel like a princess and can bring some glam to your natural hair. The chain can go all the way around your head, or it can be the type that shows in the front or back only.
You can buy these any time of year from beauty supply stores or bridal/prom shops where women adore these the most. They are inexpensive, but make you look like a million bucks instantly! I’ve even seen women create their own using old pieces from broken jewelry, so that’s a great way to recycle your old belongings without having to spend money.
Creativity is key here with your natural hair and all the things you can do with it.
The difference here with these scarves and the ones from above is that these don't cover all of your head.
Instead, they are used to add color, to protect edges, and to find a quick way to make your hair seem to put together on those rushed mornings. Sometimes we just have to say it is what it is and let our hair behave how it wants because we can't always control it.
But what we can control is the way it may look to others when we make it seem like that's the look we wanted! No one will know if you're having a bad hair day if you've used a headband or small scarf to wrap around your hair either in a pineapple or a bun for a fun, messy look. Your day? Saved.
Feeling Yourself A Little More
Anytime I dress up, do my makeup, and style my hair the way I like it; I feel the most beautiful.
It’s amazing how a little effort can go a long way. It's not always about buying the best wigs and rocking the most protective styles. In everything we do to our hair, we should be caring for it, but most importantly we should embrace it!
If you want to try something new, like an afro, stop looking elsewhere and check out the items in your own home to take your everyday looks up a notch in a matter of time. And no matter who you are, or how old you are, you can feel free again with your hair's ability to do all.