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How to Make an Afro | Step-by-Step Guide & Things to Consider

One of the great things about an afro is that it looks fantastic for just about any length of hair. Your hair might already have a lot of volume, but the key to learning how to make an afro is teaching your hair to stand up. There are different techniques that help you easily create this style.

How to Make an Afro: A Summary

Image titled How to Make an Afro featuring a woman with such a style tilting her head to the left and looking down while holding her face

You always start out with clean hair, and then you should follow these steps to create your afro:

  1. Apply Coconut Oil to Your Hair
  2. Give Your Hair Volume by Fluffing it
  3. Use a Hair Pick With Flexible Teeth
  4. Apply a Styling Cream
  5. Dry Your Hair with a Diffuser Attachment
  6. Use a Concentrator Attachment to Lift Hair from Your Head
  7. Use a Pick and Shape
  8. Use a Volumizing Shampoo
  9. Set Your Hair in Place
  10. Consider Color

How to Make an Afro in 10 Easy Steps

Step 1. Apply Coconut Oil to Your Hair

The first step to making an afro is to get coconut oil. Your hair should be dry and clean. If you don’t have coconut oil, you can use another type of hair moisturizer. Some people use olive oil or shea butter, and there are different pre-made hair products.

Put some of the oil in your hands and rub it throughout your hair. Spread it with your fingers or use a comb with wide teeth. You don’t need a lot of product; just use enough to thinly coat all of your hair.

Step 2. Give Your Hair Volume by Fluffing it

Next, take your fingers and fluff your hair. Start at the roots and move slowly towards the ends, as if you are combing your hair with your fingers. This helps to break up any clumps and give your hair a fluffier style. Wiggle your fingers so that it fluffs up and has more volume.

This will help to ensure that your afro stands up when you are finished. You will increase the volume by pulling different chunks of hair away from each other. Take one section and split it in half. You need to separate it all the way down to the roots, and repeat it throughout all of your hair.

You are doing what you would do for a twist, but you won’t actually twist the two sections together. The idea is to loosen the curls so that they stand up. Each section should be the thickness of two to three fingers.

Step 3. Use a Hair Pick With Flexible Teeth

When you choose a hair pick, it is important that it is one with flexible teeth. It doesn’t matter whether it’s rubber or metal, and the length will vary depending on how long your afro is. If you have longer hair, you will want longer teeth.

Make sure that the teeth aren’t too stiff or they might create damage in your hair. A lot of people prefer metal, but rubber is going to be more gentle. If you already have damaged or weak hair, you should stick with rubber.

Take your pick, and gently pick through your hair. Stop whenever you hit a knot. Begin with the tips of your hair and work your way towards the roots. Try to detangle all of the sections of your hair. If you find a knot that is difficult to detangle, you should add some coconut oil.

This will help to make it loose. The best way to do this is to start at the bottom and work your way to the top. Hold the pick facing down towards your shoulders. Pull the hair straight out rather than upwards.

The top should be picked up, but the sides should be picked at the side and the bottom should be picked down. Continue fluffing until you have the look that you want. As you pick more, you will make your hair fluffier.

Step 4. Apply a Styling Cream

People who have fine hair that doesn’t stand up well on its own might need to use styling cream. Coarse hair doesn’t have much trouble standing up with a hair pick, so people with coarse hair often skip the styling cream.

It is important to make sure that all of your hair is damp before you use the styling cream. Apply the cream throughout all of your hair so that it will be able to stand up without any trouble.

Step 5. Dry Your Hair With a Diffuser Attachment

If you have coarse hair, you won’t need to use a hair dryer, but it will help people who have fine hair. Use a diffuser attachment and dry your hair until it is close to 90% dry. Hold it at a right angle to your head, and keep the prongs in your hair close to your scalp.

Remain there for a few seconds and then move to another section. Work your way around your head until your hair is about 90% dry. If you get the prongs too close to your scalp, it could burn you.

Take care to keep it slightly away and keep going until you get all of your hair. Don’t use your hair dryer without the diffuser attachment because the heat could damage your hair and create frizz.

Read Next: How to Rid of Hair Frizz

Step 6. Use a Concentrator Attachment to Lift Hair From Your Head

Once your hair is 90% dry, you need to replace the diffuser attachment with a concentrator attachment. This is a nozzle that will help to lift your hair up from your scalp. Take one section at a time, and start at the roots to lift your hair away from the roots.

You will pull your hair in the direction that you want it to go in the afro. Take your side pieces out to the side, while the top pieces will go to the top. The concentrator nozzle is also called a blast attachment, and it is wide and thin.

Step 7. Use a Pick and Shape

Now use your pick to shape your hair. Make sure that the prongs in your pick are long enough to get through all of your hair, and go around and detangle your knots. Use it to fluff your hair up and train it, but don’t comb it out.

Then, use your fingers to finish shaping your hair. If you want to create more volume, use your fingers to separate hair all the way to the roots. Once you finish, use some oil or gel to make your hair look glossy.

Step 8. Use a Volumizing Shampoo

Another factor in having the best afro is making sure that you take care of your hair. Use a volumizing shampoo to boost your hair because it will help give you more flexibility.

Use a shampoo for naturally curly hair that adds volume. It hydrates your hair at the same time to keep it shiny and healthy.

Step 9. Set Your Hair in Place

Once you have your afro styled exactly the way you want it, set it in place. Choose a hairspray with flexible hold to allow your afro to move naturally while it remains styled throughout the day. This is an important step so that your afro doesn’t fall. This is the most effective way to keep your afro in place.

Read Next: Best Setting Spray

Step 10. Consider Color

If you want to add a sense of flair to your afro, consider color. Some people prefer to create more natural color with shades of brown or blond. You will achieve a bold style with red or purple, and it will show off the texture of your hair.

There are many different ways to spice up your afro if you are considering a bold look. You have choices on the shape as well. One option is to round the afro or try to create a more angular look. There are many different ways to make your afro your own through shape and color.

Things to Consider

For a piece on how to make an afro, a woman stands and holds the back of her head while wearing a white shirt

Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock

Creating an afro is a great style, and you will achieve it by following the stops above. However, there are certain considerations to keep in mind:

Things to Do

  • Shampoo with a moisturizing and volumizing shampoo
  • Use a diffuser attachment on your hair dryer
  • Finish drying with a concentrator nozzle
  • Use styling cream on fine hair
  • Try color

Things Not to Do

  • Don’t comb your hair when you make an afro
  • Don’t pick the sides up towards the ceiling
  • Don’t let the diffuser attachment touch your scalp

So, How Do You Make an Afro?

The key to making an afro is to start out with clean, dry hair. You will need to use some coconut oil, a hair pick, and a hair dryer with a diffuser attachment and a concentrator nozzle. Another choice is to let your hair air dry instead, so choose the method that is best for you.

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