African-Americans who wear their hair without chemical straighteners have ‘natural’ hair. Natural black hair is very versatile and can be styled in many different ways. Some styles are simple while others are more complex. Besides an easy afro, you can wear Bantu knots, braids, cornrows, afro puffs, twists and many more styles that take advantage of your hair’s unique coils and kinks.
Things You'll Need
Detangle black hair before attempting to style. It’s easiest to detangle natural black hair while it’s wet. After shampooing, apply a moisturizing conditioner to the hair. Begin combing at the ends with a wide-tooth comb and work your way to the roots to get out all tangles.
Style an afro with a plastic pick. This is the easiest natural style to create and only relies on a good haircut from a barber or stylist. Begin at the ends of hair and pick the hair out into a fluffy halo. Work your way toward the scalp.
Create a chunky afro by taking chunks of hair in uniform sizes and twisting each chunk loosely. Apply a lightweight gel before twisting for added hold. Let this set for several hours or overnight, then untwist each section and use your fingers to style.
Make afro puffs by parting the hair into two or four sections. Brush each section into place and secure at the scalp with a covered hair elastic. Pick the afro hair out with a plastic pick until the hair is tangle-free.
Cornrow hair by using a rat-tail comb to create straight parts from the hairline to the nape of the neck. Begin braiding at the front of the head and as you work your way to the back, pick up hair from the section you’re working on and add it to the braid. This makes the braid lie flat to the scalp. Continue braiding to the ends of the hair.
Make Bantu knots. Begin at the back of the head and use the rat-tail comb to create even, square sections in whatever size you prefer. A one-inch square is an average size. With each section of hair, begin twisting the entire section around itself until it forms a knot. Place the end of the knot at the base of the section and use a rubber band to secure it if necessary.
Braid hair into individual plaits. Work with sections in whatever size you prefer. The smaller the sections, the more braids you’ll end up with and the longer it will take to style them. Begin at the back of the head and part your hair into square sections. Simply braid each section and let the braids hang loose. If braids are long enough, you can pull them back into a ponytail or two, or fashion them into an updo.
Create two-strand twists by twisting two sections of hair around one another. The size of your twists depends on the size sections you create. Twist two strands of hair in each section all the way to the ends.
Use natural oils like jojoba or rosemary, or shea butter, to moisturize your hair.
Cover hair at night with a silk or satin scarf or bonnet. This helps keep the style in place and also preserves your hair’s natural moisture.