African Tribal Hairstyles

By LeafTV Editor

African hair styles are unique and different. If you are interested in paying homage to the African culture be sure to read the information below. You will find out how you can incorporate traditional tribal hair choices into your regular routine. The Zulu, Samburu, and Ashanti tribes all make their own individual contributions to African heritage and tradition through the expression of their unique hair styles.

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African Tribal Hairstyles

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Zulu Tribe Hairstyle

The Zulu tribe is the largest in South Africa and is well known for bright colors and big accessories, particularly beads. Beaded hair styles are a favorite of the Zulu nation. Men, women, and children all decorate their hair with bead patterns. Wearing beads and seashells on the end of their hair is popular. Braiding the hair up into a ponytail and accessorizing with beads is another popular hairstyle. African women tie their hair with seaweed.

In the Zulu tribe cutting the hair extremely short to a length similar to that of a U.S. Caesar cut is socially accepted and seen as a statement of true beauty.

In the Zulu tribe women are not measured by the length, texture, or color of their hair but by their facial beauty, fertility, and domestic customs. But if you are interested in paying homage to the Zulu nation, then it is best to bead the ends of your hair or to accessorize with seashells.

Ashanti Tribe Hairstyle

The Ashanti people are located on the western coast of Africa near Ghana and are known for their love of silks and distinctive patterned designs. The Ashanti people incorporating patterns of social status, clan, and sex into their clothing and hair. It is not rare to see a unwed woman wearing clothing that tell the men of her village that she is available.

Tribal designs cut into the hair are all meaningful. Kente designs are a visual representation of history, philosophy, ethics, oral literature, moral values, social code of conduct, religious beliefs, political thought and aesthetic principles. A hair cut with Kente designs crafted into it is a proud African statement and seems more meaningful than star patterns, which rock stars have made very popular in American hair-cutting industry.

Samburu Tribe Hairstyle

The Samburu people are located slightly south of Kenya. Women in the Samburu tribe, like women in the Zulu tribe like beads and bright colors, but also are known for their festive headbands. Feathers are another hair accessory that the Samburu have incorporated into their daily wear. Short hair cuts are also socially accepted in the Samburu tribe for similar reasons as the Zulu nation.

On special occasions like a wedding women with longer hair traditionally cut their hair off as an offering to their new husband, representing loyalty and obedience. In order to achieve a Samburu hair style be sure to accessorize with a colorful tribal headband. Very short or low hair cuts that are evenly shaped will resemble the hairstyles of Samburu women.