It can be difficult for men to find useful or desirable tips on hairstyling among the panoply of articles and how-tos for women’s hairstyles. For black men it can be even harder, with the natural texture of their hair limiting their selection. But increasingly, black-oriented hairstylists and male fashion gurus are expanding the options and exploring variations on hairstyles for black men that work with the natural texture of their hair.
The afro is the simplest and one of the most traditional hairstyles for black men, though it is now popular among men of other races who have highly textured or curly hair. The afro is associated with black empowerment. The hair grows out naturally from the head, and may be trimmed and shaped a variety of ways. It can be styled with a hair pick that maximizes the curly texture. Smooth round afros give a retro ’70s vibe, while larger, longer afros give a wild, artistic look. Smaller afros trimmed closer to the head are more professional and appropriate for an office setting.
Bantu knots are popular among certain black male celebrities. This hairstyle is made up of small braids that are twisted up into tight knots along the top of the head. Bantu knots are also known as Zulu knots, and are another traditional hairstyle with tribal, African connotations.
Black men and women alike can style their hair by braiding it into cornrows–on men the braids tend to be shorter, terminating at the ends of the shoulders. Cornrows offer hundreds of variations on braiding patterns and styles. The hair can be worked into braids that lie in straight rows, or braids that crisscross or zigzag across the scalp. Once braided, cornrows are easy to maintain.
A part of Jamaican culture, dreadlocks are attention-grabbing and are especially easy for black men, because black men’s hair works itself into locks faster than other hair types. The hair can be styled into dreads by separating the hair into sections and working each with a special wax. Alternatively, natural dreads are formed when the hair is not brushed, washed, or styled for anywhere from 8 months to 2 years, but the hair will look unkempt and messy during this period.
References and ResourcesHair Boutique: Men's Haircut and Hair Style Terms
Hot Men's Hairstyles: Black Men's Hairstyles
Cool Men's Hairstyles: Dreadlocks Styles
Cool Men's Hairstyles: How to Make and Grow Dreadlocks