The Jackson 5 made the afro pop-culture cool, before Jimmy Hendrix took it to rockstar status. Then, Andre 3000 showed us how to groove along with it, ‘Hey Ya’-style. And, we were hooked. The pinnacle of natural black hair – the afro, is a legendary icon of cool. And it’s seeing a resurgence in men’s hair this season. Seen Quest on Jimmy Fallon recently?
A unique hair style for men, not only are specific genetics required to grow an afro, but the boisterous hairdo needs a certain attitude to pull it off – rocking the big, curly ‘fro like a style boss. And not Disco Stu.
To get you in the retro mood, we’ve collated a slideshow showcasing 50 cool ways to rock the afro. Then, read on to learn the official afro rules – from styling to maintenance.
Simple Rules To Follow When Growing/Maintaining An Afro
- The afro needs shampooing less to prevent dryness – so once a week is fine. Select a sulfate-free shampoo that has enough moisturising elements to keep your hair hydrated – until the next wash.
- A conditioner is essential. Afro hair should be conditioned after shampooing – selecting a product specially formulated for ‘thick and curly’ hair.
- Post-conditioning is also important as the afro needs to remain dampish and moisturised to prevent tangling. A leave in conditioner spread evenly over the curls is best.
- Fingers are the best tool to detangle the afro. Otherwise, a wide-tooth comb helps maintain a dread-lock free fro. Or a natural-bristle brush for heavy duty detangling.
- The natural oils secreted by the scalp are a great way to moisturise. Gently comb these oils from root to tip each morning.
- Oils need to be applied from external sources when the afro becomes very dry. Pomegranate seed oil is a great massage oil for the scalp, moving from the hairline to the tips. Then cover the hair with plastic wrap, heating the head a little using a hairdryer. Leave for 20 minutes.
- Braids and man-buns help prevent tangling, particularly when playing sport or at the gym.
- When asleep, cover the afro with a scarf as the friction from the pillow can break the curls.
Short, long, fuzzy or refined, the afro does need a lot of tender loving care to keep it looking its best. When sleeping, in the morning during get-ready time, and throughout the day with those quick moisturising touch ups, the potential dryness of the hair needs tending to more than other men’s hair styles.
But, it’s certainly worth the hassle; rocking a killer ‘fro like no one else on your block. If you can grow it, own it. And like a good shoe, jacket or tie, let the afro be your personal style signifier.