7 Winning Natural Hairstyles for Black Women
Wearing your natural hair can be a struggle sometimes, but there’s nothing as freeing or empowering as embracing the hair that you were born with, in all its crowning glory. While black women have always rocked their natural locks in various degrees, the natural hair movement continues to grow as women are saying goodbye to straight hair and hello to their natural wavy, curly, coily and kinky hair.
Everyone, from working women to celebrities, is showing off gorgeous natural hairstyles for black women and embracing their natural texture and proud African heritage. Once you have determined your hair type and the best products to use, you can easily find a natural hairstyle to bring out your inner and outer goddess.
Natural Hair Movement in South Africa
The natural hair movement has been causing a stir globally and has reached African shores. Not only are natural hairstyles for black women trending on the continent, but the movement has changed consumer’s buying habits in South Africa, with the biggest changes being in the increase of sales of shampoos and conditioners. And while South Africans still rely heavily on relaxers, there is a global trend towards more natural hair. Big hair care brands catering to natural hair in the South African market have enjoyed an increase in sales, while other companies are working fast to service this new and exciting market.
The sway towards natural hair is driven by numerous factors; an increased interest in ‘chemical-free’ hair products that are good for consumers and the environment and an increase in black consciousness among Millennials. This nicely corresponds with a major rise in organic and natural products for hair care as it is becoming clear that hair relaxers cause serious long-term damage to your hair and scalp, including inflammation, itching, burns, breakage and even hair loss.
The trend has gained even more momentum thanks to popular and beloved black celebrities rocking their natural locks regularly, including the likes of Erykah Badu, Lupita Nyong’o, Solange Knowles and Tracee Ellis-Ross, to name a few. Local celebrities are also joining this movement, with trendsetters like Boity Thulo, Thando Thabete and Pearl Thusi going all in and showing off their natural hair and encouraging others to embrace what their mothers gave them.
Zozi Tunzi, the current Miss Universe reigning from South Africa, has indeed helped the short hair revolution take off. She is one of the leading examples globally for natural hair and her short style, now coined the ‘Universe Cut’, is huge in the country. Girls and women alike have been asking for their hair to be styled this way. In addition to Zozi, natural hair has taken the pageanting world by storm with our current Miss World as well as Miss USA and Miss Teen USA all embracing their natural hair both on and off stage.
The impact of social media can’t be ignored either as YouTube specifically has been a platform for black women to post tutorials on natural hair styling, while hair blogs offer important and helpful advice. Novel naturalists rely on social media for the latest tutorials, product reviews, recommendations and advice, which is influencing the purchasing decisions of black consumers in South Africa and around the world.
Common Natural Hair Myths
While the natural hair movement has taken off in recent years, both globally and in South Africa, there are still a lot of misconceptions around natural hair. People may be embracing and admiring the beauty and versatility of natural hair, but to get the most out of this inspiring and worthwhile movement, these myths and misconceptions must be debunked. Some of these include the following:
Natural hair is unmanageable
One of the most common misconceptions and often a deterrent for people going natural is that it is unmanageable and messy. Natural, curly, kinky, coiled or textured hair is only hard to manage if you’re doing it wrong, and especially if you are treating it like you would straight hair. Using the same tools and techniques as straight hair will not get you the desired results, leading to frustration and disappointment. Instead, learn how to treat your natural hair for a versatile and easy-to-manage everyday style.
Natural hair isn’t versatile
On the contrary, as mentioned above, the correct treatment of your crowning glory will result in great versatility. Plenty of natural hairstyles for black women exist that are not only trendy but good for the health of your hair. These include braids, afro puffs, cornrows, Bantu knots and more. What’s more, these styles can be updated, combined or altered to create something truly versatile, creative and eye-catching.
Natural hair is strong
This misconception can actually have damaging effects on your hair. Because people tend to think that natural hair is automatically healthier and stronger, mistreatment is common. The truth is that black hair is delicate and prone to breakage and must be handled with care. Instead of harsh brushing and even harsher chemicals, choose products with natural ingredients and tons of moisture. What’s more, using your own fingers to detangle is a gentler option to brushing. Also, protective styles can help maintain the health and length of your hair.
Natural hair doesn’t grow
This is simply not true. While natural hair does take longer to grow and the curly, coiled or kinky nature can hide true length, natural hair can grow quite long with some time, effort and patience. Again, natural products are preferable and should add moisture to your hair, which keeps your natural hair hydrated, soft and healthy. Include a good hair treatment into your routine for the best results.
You don’t have to wash natural hair
All hair must be washed to keep it clean, healthy and prevent product and environmental build-up. Natural hair needs as much attention and cleaning as other hairstyles. While everyday washing is not recommended, as natural hair needs plenty of hydration, failing to wash it regularly can result in dry and lifeless hair.
Trending Natural Hairstyles for Black Women in 2020
From braids to afros and cornrows, classic natural hairstyles are constantly being reinvented, and new styles brought to life. These days, there are many natural hairstyles to choose from that look good, enhance your natural hair texture and let you express your personal style. If you’re considering embracing your natural hair like the African queen you are, these beautiful and on-trend styles should be all the inspiration you need.
The afro has always been a popular way to show off your hair and your personal style. The afro is a hot style for both men and women, and this wash-and-go look is perfect for those wanting an effortless style, day after day.
Go bold and put your gorgeous coils on full display with a stylish updo. The sleek sides give the style a unique edge while the luscious ringlets on top add texture and volume. Use foam rollers or perm rods overnight for more defined curls, and a funky and ultra-cool look.
Rooted in African tradition, Bantu knots are a great way to embrace your culture while protecting your natural locks. This style works well for damaged and coloured hair as it prevents further breakage and maintains moisture. Add some geometric partings to give this classic look a modern and fresh twist.
Bouncy and Natural
Put the va-va in your voom with beautiful bouncy and natural curls. If volume is your thing, get the most defined curls possible using moisturising products, which also help to tame the frizz. You may need some time to find products that work best for your hair type, but once you do, it will be worth it.
Proudly show off your perfect coils for a more glamourous look. For long natural hair, regularly condition your tresses for the healthiest ringlets. Use curl-defining gels and oils to avoid breakage and promote healthy growth.
Short-haired girls can also rock a naturally curly look. Shorter curls are not only in right now but can make you look younger if that’s what you’re going for.
Show off your gorgeous face with an ultra-short hairstyle that will definitely turn heads. This bold, low-maintenance look is not only cool but will make your flawless features pop.
How to Treat and Look After African Hair
Natural hair is beautiful and versatile, but to keep it in tip-top shape, you need to take proper care of your hair. Here are some tips to look after your African hair and keep it healthy, shiny and nourished.
Preparing your hair
So, you’ve decided to let your natural hair do the talking. The first thing you need to do is undo any hairstyle you have in and detangle your hair to ensure there is little to no breakage before washing. Be as gentle as you can when detangling. Use products like the Sovereign Repair Serum and Empress Soothing Gel from the Boity Collection by Halo Heritage to stimulate hair growth, reduce scalp flakiness and sensitivity and help to make hair healthy, soft, hydrated and shiny.
Washing your hair
Again, choose hair care products that are gentle and highly nourishing so that they don’t dry out your hair, and wash your hair every third day. We love the Royal Cleanse Moisturising and Softening Shampoo from the Boity Collection by Halo Heritage as it gives you the gentlest cleanse while moisturising as well.
Conditioning your hair
Your new best friends during this process - deep conditioners. After every cleanse, use a deep conditioner to lock in moisture before rinsing thoroughly. Our favourite is the Supreme Leave-In conditioner from the Boity Collection by Halo Heritage, which gives your natural hair gorgeous shine, nourishment and hydration.
Styling your hair
When styling your hair, use a styling cream or gel. The product you choose will depend on the thickness of your natural hair and the look you’re going for. Once you have the desired effect, rock those natural locks or enjoy a more creative ‘do to show off personal style.
Wearing your hair naturally is a journey, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult one. Trust the process, look after your hair with the right hair care routine and products and treat your tresses (and yourself) with kindness.