Women of colour are known for their distinctive manes which inhabit enviable properties of varying curl patterns, thickness and show stopping volume, all of which can be seen as true testimonies to beautiful hair. Whether you’re a busy career woman, mother or student strapped for time, the following are just a few of the quintessential hairstyles that are catered to those who are natural, relaxed or texlaxed which can be recreated effortlessly in the comfort of your own home without the inconvenience of taking a trip to the salon.
1. Braid out/two strand twist
Great for natural ladies as well as those who are relaxed/texlaxed - wanting to recreate their pre-relaxer locks.
- Start with dry or damp hair, if your hair is damp, apply a leave in conditioner.
- Section hair into four and use a curl defining hair crème with a dap of gel and work through each section of your hair. Decide how you wish to part your hair and use this as your guideline for the formation of your braids/twists, remember, the smaller the plait, the more defined the curl.
- Cornrow your hair using two strands of hair for a twist and three strands for a plait. This will ensure your roots aren’t straight and blend in with the overall hair aesthetic. Use small rollers or flexi rods at the ends of your hair to ensure they’re curly too.
- Brush any fly away hair down and wrap in a satin bonnet to ensure any pesky baby hair will be cooperative the following day.
- When it comes to unravelling, apply a drop of oil to finger tips and unravel carefully to avoid disturbing the curl pattern that’s been formed. Finger comb to disguise the hair section made the previous day until you achieve your desired look.
- Apply a couple of drops of oil to your palm and distribute evenly to your whole head for a glossy finish.
2. Roller set
What woman doesn’t want fresh out of the salon looking cheveux at the fraction of the price?
- Start with damp hair, detangle with a wide toothed comb and apply leave in condition, mousse for added volume. Due to the porous nature of afro textured hair, adding a couple of drops of jojoba, coconut or Argan oil is essential for extra moisture.
- Decide where you’d like your parting as this will be the guideline for your rollers, however, do not work in systematic rows to avoid these sections being prominent once you’ve dried and styled hair. Use a rat tail comb, section hair and comb hair lightly before placing hair onto the ends of hair, rolling towards to the root while simultaneously keeping the hair as taut as possible. Bear in mind that the bigger the roller, the bigger the curls. If you worry about shrinkage, use bigger rollers at the nape of the neck for a looser curl.
- Once you get to the temple area of your head, put rollers on horizontally for added volume and allow to air dry or use indirect heat via a hooded dryer.
- When dry, apply a few drops of a light oil to scalp and hair and brush gently for bouncy curls.
If you allowed hair to be about 60 to 75% dry before applying rollers, this gives even more volume to your hair.
3. Pineapple bun
This hairstyle is quick and can be achieved in under ten minutes and can be achieved on freshly washed or five day old hair.
- Brush all hair to the temple of your head and tie with a hair band, then, split ponytail into two and form the desired shape by pushing your hair forward and securing it with a butterfly hair clip.
- Use ORS edge control to complete sleek look.
The perfect curly defining tool for natural girls.
- Start with damp hair and use a cotton t-shirt to soak up excess moisture while simultaneously reducing frizz and damage. This will also prevent product from clinging to water molecules as opposed to hair.
- Part hair into four sections and apply leave-in conditioner, fingering combing to ensure that product is evenly distributed from root to tip, I recommend Africa's Best Organics Kids Shea Butter Detangling Moisturising Hair Lotion and follow up with a leave in conditioner such as Cantu Shea butter.
- Allow hair to be about 45% dry before using your diffuser, scrunching gently simultaneously to aid in curl formation.
5. Janelle Monaé Inspired Pompadour
This works best on stretched or blown out hair – the bigger the better!
- Brush all of your hair to the temple of your head and secure with a hair band.
- Begin to roll the hair inwards to form a C’ shape pompadour and secure with bobby pins, if done correctly they will remain unseen.
- Sleek down edges with an alcohol free gel such as Eco Styler’s Olive gel
6. Side Swept
Get instant Hollywood glamour in only five minutes.
- Begin with hair that has been set with rollers or flexi rods.
- Comb your hair to the opposite side of how your hair falls for added volume at the roots before securing hair in place discreetly by using bobby pins that match your hair colour.
7. Flexi Rods
This effortless hairstyle is suitable for the various hair textures of ladies of colour, whether you want Tracee Ellis Ross’ bouncy curls or a wavier variation and it doesn’t require heat.
- Start with damp hair and apply a water based moisturiser before sectioning hair and rolling onto flexi rods vertically from root to tip, keeping hair taut and securing in place with a knot once you get to the root.
- Repeat this step until all of your hair is in flexi rods. Cover in a satin scarf to protect hair from breakage while maintaining sleek edges and allow to air dry overnight.
- Rub a drop of coconut oil (which penetrates the hair shaft for extra moisture) between fingers and unravel gently, the oil will help to reduce frizz.
- Finger comb delicately until you reach your desired look.
- Finish off by adding a few drops of coconut oil in your palm, rubbing together and applying to your head to prevent the evaporation of the water based moisturiser and to add shine.