Styles for black consumers with short, natural hair are not just created with ostentation in mind. Short natural hairstyles are intended to protect hair from the elements by either keeping the hair close to the scalp where oil is generated or binding the hair to prevent hair from drying out. Products containing coconut oil, tea tree oil, castor oil, almond oil, olive oil and jojoba oil provide maximum conditioning, detangling and moisturization for natural black hair.
The afro is the simplest natural hair style for short black hair. It is simply natural hair cut in a rounded shape and maintained by healthy style choices that don’t include chemicals. Proper afro care includes weekly washings with hydrating shampoos. Weekly conditioning should not only include a moisturizing conditioner, but also hot oil treatments. Hot oil treatments ensure hair manageability and scalp health. Hair can then be lifted away from the scalp with a pick and rounded by patting with the palms of the hands. Daily styling is complemented with the use of oil sheen for shine and detangling.
As the name implies, double-strand twists are created by parting the hair into equal sized sections, putting a dab of holding gel on each section and twisting two sections together to form one strand that looks like a rope. The hair ends may be held together with rubber bands. When taken out, this style leaves a wave pattern in natural hair. This hairstyle is easily maintained by applying oil to the scalp between sections, wrapping with scarf before laying down and you can even wash your hair with the twists intact to avoid reparting. For versatility, double-strand twists may be placed on rods for a spiral curl look as well.
Cornrows or canerows, as they are sometimes referred, is a long-lasting style option for short, natural hair. It involves braiding the hair close to the scalp, making braid unraveling nearly impossible. Cornrows do not lose their style until they are removed or the hair closer to the scalp is ruffled by laying on it or rubbing it on abrasive surfaces like the inside of hats. Cornrows are maintained by frequent application of oil to the scalp and wearing stocking caps before laying down.
Bantu knots, also known as Zulu knots, look like bumps of hair on the head. The style is easily achieved by parting hair into equally sized sections, twisting each section and coiling the hair around itself. Applying leave-in conditioner to the ends of hair can add to manageability and ensure hair health while it is knotted up.
References and ResourcesTyte Curl: All About Two Strand Twists
Tyte Curl: Basket Canerow
Care Fair: How to Make Bantu Knots