The Afro, short for African American, is a hairstyle that mainstreamed in America around the mid 1960s. It is formed by combing lengthy kinky or curly hair away from the scalp until it forms a ball. This hairstyle is known to date all the way back to the 1860s where Circassian women or the “Moss haired girls” wore their hair in afros as sexual slaves in Turkish harems. In America, African-Americans wore this hair style as a link back to Africa during the Civil Rights Era & even after. Not only was this an homage to the Motherland, it represented freedom from societal views of beauty, & independence from products formulated to force ethnic hair into Caucasian styles. Even Jewish people had their own version, known as the JewFro, a curly mass of hair sitting atop the head. The afro lost power however in the late 1970s-1980s when non-Africans adopted & tried to replicate the style. No longer was it seen as a radical or political standpoint, it was merely fashion.

Afro Tools

Afro-Pick or “Afro-Master” comb < Created in 1972 by Frank Harvey
Pomade (scalp) < You can make your own with oils & aloe vera gel or flax seeds

Afro Tips

~At night, hair can be braided or two strand twisted & tied with a silk or satin scarf to preserve sheen & prevent breakage .

~Avoid back-combing hair (combing from the shaft to the root) to achieve volume. This causes breakage in fragile, natural tresses.

~Keep hair clean & well conditioned to ensure a uniform coif

Afros Worldwide

Fuzzy Wuzzy – worn by the Hadendoa Beja of North Africa & nomadic clans of South Africa. These large, puffed intricate hair styles were shaped with butter.

In Tanzania, afros were banned in the 1970s because they were seen as neocolonialism. The country felt as though America was trying to invade their culture.

Celebrities That wear afros

Angela Davis
Pan Grier
Jimi Hendrix
Jackson 5
The Supremes
Quincy Jones

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VS+ celebrates hair care and fashions. We share the latest hair trends, celebrity hairstyles, tips, how to's and more information on hair.

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