So your hair’s at the dreaded awkward phase - it’s not too long and it’s not too short. It’s Sunday and you can’t decide on how you want to style your hair for the rest of the week.
The honest truth is, you're not alone - so don’t give up. Regardless of how short your afro hair is, there are plenty of styles you can take advantage of that are easy to do and look great.
We're dedicating this blog to the ladies in the house with short afro hair by sharing seven ways you can wear your teeny weeny fro.
1. Finger coils
Of all the afro hairstyles on this list, this one probably takes the most time but you can get defined curls once it’s done. If you don’t want to twist or braid your hair, it’s a no-fuss option which only requires your fingers and your styling products.
Start by washing your hair as normal but leaving it wet. Apply a curl cream (again, we would advise using something natural) and separate your hair into sections. Then start twirling the hair of each section around your finger.
Once your coils are dry you can stretch them or separate them further to get a bit more definition and volume. It’ll take some time but it’s a fab look that will last a week!
So who said you can’t have cool afro hairstyles with short hair? If you just dedicate a little time to it in the morning (or evening), there’s no short afro hairstyle that you can’t do!
2. Side part
Want to try something different with your short afro hair but don’t have the time to go all-in with a slightly more complex (and time-consuming) style? Why not try a side part?
It only takes a couple of minutes; start by washing your hair, moisturising it and then applying an oil. From there, take a comb and place your part. Once you have a part, you’ll need to apply some strong holding gel (make sure you use one that’s all-natural and leaves no residue). After the gel is applied, use some clips along each part to keep it in place.
To set the gel, use a blowdryer to dry the roots and then slide the clips out and you should have a fixed side part!
3. Twist-out or braid-out
Pic: Black Hair Tribe
So if you have the time and a little patience to practice, these are great short afro hairstyle to try. They’re also considered a protective style but a bit funkier. You’ll also get great patterns once you unwind them!
Getting the perfect twist/braid-out requires (you guessed it) a good hair care routine and common problems include lack of curl or definition. If your hair is dry or weak you won’t get the look you’re looking for and you’ll damage your hair through twisting it.
With when styling, follow your hair care routine as normal, wash your hair, blot it (don’t dry it out as twists will work better with slightly damp hair) and then detangle your hair. Once that’s done, moisturise and section your hair before twisting.
If your hair is too damp - whether because of product or water - your twists won’t stick, so be sure to give your hair time to dry and wrap your hair up before bed.
4. Puff, puff, puff
You don’t need to have a massive afro to rock a puff and you don’t need to spend ages in the bathroom to get it right.
It’s a practical short afro hairstyle that requires nothing more than a large head tie, a comb, a bit of moisture and oil.
So, how do you do it? Well...
Start by spraying a bit of moisture around the perimeter of your hair (you don’t want it to be dripping wet) and then liberally use hair oil at the base of your hair, working it in. From there, brush your afro hair to where you want the puff to be positioned. Finally, take your elastic band and stretch it across the front of your head, pull it to the back and cross both ends. Pull on the ends to tighten it.
It’s that simple!
Check out Beulah from Creamy Crack Rehab's take on the puff in this video.
5. Afro pixie cut
pic The Glamorous Gleam
This is a really easy and functional short afro hairstyle to pull off and really popular. You can also get a fade, cut the sides, go for patterns or undercuts, making it a really versatile style.
Again what’s key with this style is keeping your afro hair clean and moisturised as a lot of the look is built around curling your hair. If your hair is weak and/or dry you won’t be able to twist or curl it to your satisfaction (and it’ll also lead to breakage and damage).
6. Protective styles
Afro hair's enemy is often the elements. Without proper care, our afro hair will dry out, frizz up and start to break.
However, you can avoid all of this by using a protective short afro hairstyle. Braids, twists, bantu knots - these styles will help to protect your afro hair from exposure, retain moisture, give your afro hair time to grow and minimise breakage (check out our blog for tips on how to minimise breakage when wearing braids).
But while your short afro hair is styled this way, you need to be using the right products to keep it clean and moisturised. Ever taken out braids, twists or knots and had dry crispy hair? We know the feeling.
To counteract these problems, we would suggest using natural shampoos, moisturising sprays and scalp oil. These kinds of products, used in tandem, will help keep your hair clean, moisturised and itch-free. Take a look at our Braid Care Set, for example, it has everything you need to maintain protective short afro hairstyles!
7. Wash and go
One of the easiest short afro hairstyles to do is a wash and go. As the name suggests, you wash your short afro hair, style it and go.
Of course, if you want to achieve the perfect wash and go, you need a good hair care routine. If you have a routine, it’ll be easier to know what works for you and what doesn’t.
Creating a routine can be difficult if you don’t know where to start, which is why we recommend a simple approach: cleanse, moisturise, style, repeat.
Our Afro Hair Care Guide outlines the routine in detail so you don’t have to worry about what you need to do next. Just follow our guide and you’ll have a routine that works for you and ensures your afro hair is always looking its best.
Featured image: @womaninthejungle