How to Shape an Afro

By Charmiane Wilson

Afros are low-maintenance hairstyles which highlight the unique texture and sculpting abilities of ethnic and tightly curled hair. As easy as afros are to care for -- shaping is still required -- in order to maintain a neat, well-shaped head of hair. Once you have learned to properly treat your hair, it will be easy to mold it into the desired shape on a daily basis.

The Afro of the 70's is not the only style option available.

Step 1

Wash and condition your hair on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Your hair needs to be clean in order to hold a style. The type of products you use should be ones with an emphasis on adding moisture and removing tangles.

Step 2

Towel dry hair gently and braid up, while it's still slightly damp. After washing and conditioning your hair, braid your hair into individual braids or cornrows, in order to create extra texture and height when it dries.

Step 3

Remove the braids when your hair is almost dry, and moisturize it with water-based hair moisturizing spray or lotion or natural oil. Avoid using heavy products such as petroleum jelly or mineral oil. These products are too heavy and create unwanted buildup.

Step 4

Use your hands or a wide-toothed pick to mold your Afro. Which tool you use is dependent upon the look you want to achieve. For a modern, chunkier Afro, use your fingers and hands to lift hair from the roots and then pat into the shape you desire. For a more retro Afro, use a wide-toothed plastic pick to lift and detangle your hair and pat it into shape as you go.

Step 5

Start at the back of your head, then pick out the sides, and finally the top and front sections. After shaping, you can also slip into a headband or scarf to slick your Afro back in the front and then shape up the back using the methods mentioned above.

Step 6

Rest your hair on satin at night. Purchase a satin pillow case or satin sleep cap or scarf to use at night. The silky texture of these items will protect your fragile natural hair from friction and subsequent breakage.