The 7 Most Popular Afro Hairstyles Right Now, According to Lupita's Stylist

Updated 09/17/18

Even before she won her Oscar for 12 Years a Slave, Lupita Nyong'o's style was well documented. Her savvy fashion choices were applauded, and designers flocked to dress her (we still have dreams about that baby-blue Prada gown she wore to the 2014 Academy Awards). But it wasn't just her fashion sense that won plaudits; it was also her chic close-cropped hairstyle.

Over the years, Nyong'o has worn several different hair looks, whether that's plaits, quiffs or bold printed scarves. And there's pretty much one man we have to thank for these incredible styles: Vernon François. The British hairdresser is an expert on afro hair and has tended to the tresses of the likes of Lianne La Havas, Clara Amfo, and Janelle Monáe. To add to that, he even launched his own range of specially formulated products for curly and afro hair.

What we're saying is that if you want some textured-hair inspiration, François is your man. Which is exactly why we asked him to tell us which looks are the coolest right now and the ones that everyone is asking for. Click through our gallery below for seven of the most popular afro hairstyles for different textures.

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Shoulder Length

"Hair is at the forefront of Solange's identity, which we've seen with her new album. She goes for the classic bob with texture and waves, which I've found a lot of women are requesting at the moment," François says.

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Short

"I've worked with Lupita a lot, so there have been many hairstyles I've created with her," François says. "When thinking about going short, the first thing to bear in mind is that most people do suit short hair—it's not the short hair that you need to be concerned about. You just need to speak to your hairstylist and ensure you get the right look for you. For example, Alek Wek, Grace Jones and Halle Berry all have short hair that's totally different, but they all look incredible."

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Tight Curls

"Corinne Bailey Rae has beautiful long hair. She defines it using tongs but still has a relaxed hairstyle," François says. This one is great if you have tightly coiled hair.

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Big and Bold

"Clara's been wearing her hair really big recently. I actually made her do it for the the Elle Style Awards. She didn't quite know how to bring it forward, and she didn't have the right stylist," François says. This one's for women with kinky-textured hair.

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Wrapped Curls

"Alicia Key's has gone really minimal with her makeup but has been embracing her curls," François says. Curly textured hair looks great with a head scarf.

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Undone

"Lianne likes her shoulder-length hair quite heavy in the face. She likes that sort of 'undone but done but free' hairstyle. She also likes to put her hair into a beehive," François says. 

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High Quiff

"Janelle Monáe is all about the natural hair. She always goes for a high quiff or a curl and has done quite a lot of hairstyles because she knows how to manipulate her hair well," François says. 

Next up! These are 11 incredible hair colour ideas for autumn.

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