22 Afro Hairstyles That Embrace Your Natural Texture

portrait at the coffeeshop


Chanda Hopkins / Getty Images

In the 1960s, the afro became a symbol of Black self-acceptance and an iconic figure of the Black power movement. Famed entertainers like Diana Ross and Pam Grier, along with political activists like Angela Davis, were representative of this new movement in popular culture and politics. Black hair is and will always be political, and passing of laws like The Crown Act, which bans Black hair discrimination in schools and the workplace, proves that point. Though the legislation is now only in five states (California, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and Colorado), the progress makes me hopeful for the next generation.

The latest natural hair movement is reminiscent of the groundwork of Black voices that came before us. We now live in age where we see the representation of Black hair across all mediums, encouraging Black people everywhere to rock their hair as is without reservation. As a 4C girl who has learned to embrace my fro, I have found that seeing other naturals embrace their coils has helped me lean into my own.

Here, find 22 stunning Afro hairstyles that will inspire your next cropped cut or give you the courage to unapologetically allow your coils to take up space.

01 of 22

The Classic Afro Puff

Essence Gant with a classic Afro puff hairstyle

@theessenceof_

If you're not following Essence Gant, you're missing out. From makeup tutorials to afro-puff how-tos, her page and stunning fro are worth the follow. 

02 of 22

Big Hair Don't Care

Ciara wears an Afro hairstyle with major volume

@ciara

My internet friends got so excited when Ciara debuted this larger than life fro. You might not be able to wear this look every day, but you can undoubtedly take note of her accessories game. 

03 of 22

Pick Your Fro To Perfection

Ebonee Davis wears a voluminous Afro hairstyle

@eboneedavis

Ebonee Davis is a beauty icon, model, and social activist who wears her perfectly round fro well. To recreate this look, you'll need a pick and a stylist to cut your hair into this shape, so you can easily recreate this look at home.

04 of 22

Small and Mighty

Lupita Nyong'o wears a short Afro hairstyle

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Lupita Nyong'o is always switching it up, and here she shows us small Afros can pack a big beauty punch. 

05 of 22

Take The Sides Off

When I saw this, I immediately thought of Grace Jones. A tapered fro look is a great way to add a new spin to an iconic classic.

06 of 22

Embrace Your Coils

Woman with Afro hairstyle and colorful makeup look

@tayloranise

Afros are a go-to for influencers like Taylor Anise, who has 4C hair. I love to see it because it takes away from the false narrative that 4C hair isn't worth praise too. 

07 of 22

Fluff and Go

Yara Shahidi wears a parted Afro hairstyle

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Yara Shahidi's parted fro is super easy to try. With a blow dryer on low heat and a brush or pick of your choice, you'll have this look recreated in no time. 

08 of 22

Get A Shape Up

Woman with a defined curly Afro hairstyle

@curlygallal

This face-framing fro is poppin'. If you find yourself struggling with the shape of your curly fro, don't be afraid to reach out to a pro.

09 of 22

Show Off Those 4C Coils

Woman with a voluminous, curly Afro hairstyle

@folahontas

Some try to say type 4 hair doesn't grow, but Fola's full, back-length fro disproves that theory.

10 of 22

Go Low

Marsai Martin wears a pinned-down Afro hairstyle

@marsaimartin

Many of us were first introduced to Marsai Martin on the primetime television show Black-ish. The young star has since blossomed into a beauty and style icon right before our eyes. Here, she shows us how to rock Afro puffs in full glam. 

11 of 22

Curly Chic

Logan Browning wears a curly Afro hairstyle

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Logan Browning has one of my favorite fros of all time. With the Curl Doctor, Shai Amiel, at the shears, how could we expect anything less than perfection?

12 of 22

Let Your Features Shine

Woman with a short Afro hairstyle

@bee_yaz

Not only do short fros show off your unique features, but cropped fros are also even easier to style. Really want to wash and go? It might be time to try something new.  

13 of 22

Try A Lighter Hue

Solange wears a platinum blonde Afro hairstyle

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Solange pulls white blonde off like no other. If you're interested in mimicking this hair color, you'll want to tread lightly to ensure you don't end up with damaged coils. 

14 of 22

Play Up Your Natural Texture

Model wears a natural Afro hairstyle

@_andreathomas_

Fros don't represent just one look. You always have the option to play up your natural texture. Using a curl-enhancing gel or cream is the best way to play up your coils.

15 of 22

Add Depth With Balayage

Adding color to your curls is one of the most effective ways to add depth, but with any color service, you'll want to be sure the integrity and health of your hair come first. 

16 of 22

Throw It Up

Woman wears an Afro hairstyle in a high puff

@milkayemima

This glorious puff shows that an Afro, like other styles, can be versatile.

17 of 22

Embrace Those Roots

I'm not sure if Cole's ombre fro was done on purpose or if she's growing our her hair color, but either way, the auburn tips are a fun beauty choice. 

18 of 22

Stretch With Care

Model wears a stretched Afro hairstyle

@anima.agyeman

A stretched fro is always a good idea, and here Anima opts to add a side-swept element. A few bobby pins and dash of edge control, and you're out the door. 

19 of 22

Don't Shy Away From Tapered Designs

Woman with mohawk Afro hairstyle and tapered sides

Hair by Marjorie Lightford/@marjthestylist

Ryan Michelle Bathe has become one of my red carpet beauty favorites. She, like so many ladies on this list, proves natural coils and afros can be molded into whatever our hearts desire. 

20 of 22

Fro Those Curls Out No Matter The Length

No matter the length of your hair, a fro is always a beautiful possibility. 

21 of 22

Pay Homage

Byrdie writer Bianca Lambert wears an Afro hairstyle

@bianca__lambert

I didn't pop myself in here for a shameless plug, I promise. With the help of celebrity hairstylist Ursula Stephens, I learned how to get creative with my natural curls and try a 1970s look.

22 of 22

Try On Some Fringe

Woman wears an Afro hairstyle with bangs

@datchikwitdafro

Rocking a fro with a bang might seem like too much maintenance, but if you're afraid of trimming your fringe on your own, you can cheat it with bobby pins. It may take some trial and error to get the right length, but once you've got it, you'll have a hair trick you can use forever. 

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