Basic Afro-American Hair Styles

See what hair styles Afro-American women can wear. Relaxed or natural styles.

There are many hairstyles African-American women choose to wear.Like most women, Afro-American women choose hairstyles based on convenience, fashion and manageability.There are some basic styles""and variations on these basic styles""that remain popular.

One thing to take into consideration is whether or not the hair is relaxed or natural.Relaxed hair has been chemically straightened, while fully natural hair has no chemical-straighteners applied to it.

The bob is an old favorite, probably because it doesn't have to fit within a certain length or texture.A bob can be worn by straight-haired and curly-haired alike.Basically, a bob is a one-length cut which generally falls between ear-length and shoulder-length.It can be parted in the middle, on one side or not at all.Straight-haired women can curl their hair for a different look and curly-haired women can straighten.Therefore, a basic bob cut can yield many different looks.This is a look which usually favors most face shapes, but should be tailored to the individual for the most flattering effect.

For short (usually straightened) hair, the "Halle Berry" cut remains popular.This style (so named after the actress who brought prominence to short hair) is neatly tapered in the back and on the sides of the head, gradually gaining length toward the crown.The crown lengths can range from one inch to about four inches or so; the hair can be worn slicked back or curled, affording a range of different styles with one basic cut.

Longer hair offers myriad possibilities as well.It can be worn loose and flowing or put into a French roll or updo.Ponytails remain popular, but shouldn't be secured with rubber bands or bare elastic.There are many accessories to choose from that are functional, stylish, and easy on the hair.

For those who wear their hair natural, it's not just about braids anymore.Two-strand twists have become a much-requested style in salons, whether done with a client's own hair or with extensions.Instead of adjoining three strands of hair as in braids (or plaits), two-strand twists are fashioned with two strands of hair, twisted around each other to the ends of the hair.This tends to give a fuller look than braids.Twists can be done on hair as short as two inches.On hair that is longer, twists can then be pulled back into a ponytail or secured into an updo or French roll as well.

Braids remain ever popular, especially when done with extensions because this affords the wearer a break from styling her hair on a daily basis.When extensions are added, either with human hair or synthetic hair, the wearer's hair is secured within the braid.The hair and scalp are still able to be shampooed during this time.

Individual braids are usually more versatile.These are braids that hang from their individual sections (or partings) on the scalp.They can be worn back, loose, braided or twisted together, up"¦the possibilities are many.

Cornrows are braids which are attached to the scalp.They can either be braided to the nape of the neck (with extensions added or without) or they can stop at any spot on the head, with different styles proceeding from where the cornrows end.

Afros are another style which natural-haired women can showcase.This is simply unstraightened hair in various lengths (from one-half inch and longer) worn in one round halo about the head.

Even so, many of these styles are combined to make interesting designs on one's head.The cornrow-and- Afro combo is one frequently seen, with cornrows starting at the forehead, ending at the crown, and the remaining hair being in an Afro style.

Flat twists are worn by relaxed and natural-haired women alike.The hair is parted in straight lines going back from the forehead and within each part, the hair is twisted under itself""using one section of hair instead of two for two-strand twists or three for braids.The twists are then either secured (with small rubber bands) at the crown of the head and the rest of the hair left loose or the flat twists can proceed all the way to the nape of the neck.

There are many styles African-American women can wear, some being a combination of more than one hairstyle.Whether short or long, relaxed or natural, the possibilities really are endless.

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