• Men's hairstyles

Black men haircuts and hairstyles

Black men haircuts and hairstyles

The Afro is one of the most popular black men hairstyles, and this immense popularity stems from its origins. Although there is still a lot of debates on its origins most people, agree that it came into being in the 1950’s where university students wore it as a sign of pride in their black heritage and rebellion against racial discrimination. However, it became trendier in the 70’s and 80’s because it was during this period that the thick, voluminous hairs associated to this hairdo became characteristic of this style. Although a few years back it was popular for both genders nowadays it is more prevalent in men. Different variations of this style have come up over the years, and most depend on the texture of your strands and size. There are afros for short, medium and long strands, but the later is the most common.

100 Years of Black men beauty in 1 minute:

The Three Afro Haircuts Sizes

Short Haircuts

Short haircuts are quite popular with men who like to wear decent or formal black men hairstyles. It is a very versatile style despite its size and usually involves about three inches of hair with most men preferring to shave smoothly or fade the sides while leaving the longer afro at the crown.

Medium Hairstyles

Medium hairstyles strike a balance between the short and long afros and they offer an opportunity for men who do not wish to trim their hair very low or keep the full afro hairdo. It is a clean style that maintains some uniform length throughout, but you can always have it anyhow you prefer.

Long Hairstyles

Long hairstyles are the most recognizable of the three, and it is what comes to mind for most people when thinking of getting these hairdos. It is also very easy to wear as you only need to let your strands grow out and then use the afro comb to create the hairstyle.

The Different Afro Style Options


When most people think about getting the afro, the only style that comes to their mind is the big combed out hairdo. Although this might be the most famous of these hairstyles there are still many other ways you can wear these headdresses. In fact, you can even come up with your unique variation of the short, medium or long afro and still look exquisite. However, below are some examples of these styles that you can try out depending on your length.


The Afro fade is a modern hairdo for men with medium and short strands. It involves leaving the afro at the crown and reducing the sides and back. For the fade, you can go with a high or temple depending on your preferences. The afro hairs on the crown can also have the characteristic neat comb, curly or even messy. Afro fade is given different names depending on the fading pattern used and the design of the strands at the crown, for example, natural Afro fade or high Afro fade. It is very easy to wear provided you have some lovely texture and a decent length, but you also need to get professional services for the right fade. This style goes well with most face shapes, and Will Smith is probably one of the celebrities that people associate with this hairdo.


Afro taper is one of the styles that will only look good on black men due to their skin tone and type of hair. It is quite similar to the fade as it maintains longer top and short sides but there are also many differences. For example, in the taper the hairs on the side are brief but appear uniform in length as the reduction in their size is very gradual. It is also better suited for naturally kinky or curly strands. Provided you have kinky or curly hair it is pretty simple to wear but will require more maintenance than the fade. It works well for African American men with round faces since it flatters features and can also slim the face. Jaden Smith likes to rock the afro taper from time to time, and it is also quite familiar with a few other black celebrities.

Mohawk Hairdos

Mohawks provide a trendier way to wear the afro and it very popular with celebrities and young African Americans. It is also one of the simplest to wear because the only important thing is to keep a nice length and the rest will be easy. The afro is left in the middle while the sides are carefully shaved or trimmed depending on what you like. You can also choose to taper or fade the sides for a more classy finish. The longer middle can also be curly, a comb over or spiky depending on what the wearer likes. Apart from combing and redoing the sides after some time to keep them short, no other maintenance is needed, and this is the biggest merit with this headdress.

Haircuts with Parts

The above three types of the afro can also be enhanced to get a more attractive look by the introduction of a part line. For most black men the part lines are usually on the sides to separate the longer afro strands from the shorter tapered or faded sides. A part works particularly well for men who like to keep short afros and who have asymmetrical face shapes. For this hair design short curly and dark colored strands will also look fantastic.

Dreadlock Styles

Having an afro also gives you the option to wear dreadlocks which also happens to be one of the most popular black men hairstyles. There are also many options available when it comes to the luxurious locks. You can have them short, medium or long with any thickness depending your hair type and size. For this hairdo, you have the option to pull them back and tie into a ponytail or man bun, weave the locks into some intricate pattern and even shave the sides to create a dreadlock Mohawk or faux hawk. Since the strands are long, they can be worn on any face shape because the styling is what determines how they look.

Twist hairstyles

Twist hairstyles are very popular with black men nowadays mainly because they are very simple to wear. Other advantages include the fact that they are also easy to maintain and have a very natural look, but their biggest con is the fact that they are irreversible, and the only way to get rid of them is to shave. Twist designs can go with any length, but you should always make sure that your strands are clean and conditioned before the styling. Jamie Fox has worn twist on many occasions, and it is probably one of his best hairdos of all time.

Flat Top Haircut

Flat top hairstyles are very popular with black men, especially athletes. It is a pretty decent haircut that comes from a neatly combed afro that is then trimmed to create the high and flat top. The sides and back are then razor shaved short or faded for a perfect finish. It goes well with any hair type and would also be a good idea for men with smaller heads as the extra height, and flat top may help to conceal this physical feature.


Curly Hairstyle for Black Men

Some men are lucky enough to have a naturally curly hair, and so they only need to choose what style to wear by shaving them either short or keeping them long. However, even if you do not have this type of hair you can still wear curls by following a few simple steps. The first step is to determine what length you want and whether your strands can help you achieve it. You should then use a curling iron to get the particular type of curls that you wish. However, having a professional do it for you is better as you may not know how to use the tools to get the curls you want. The last step is to use a curly hair product to give them some hold and beautiful finish.

Black Boys Haircuts

Black boys are more experimental with their hairs from a very early age as they have very fine strands that make it possible to wear anything that they wish. Most prefer to keep them long in an afro that you can shape in different ways but in most cases they have intricate cuts at the fronts and razor shaved back patterns. Black boys also look great with short fade haircuts with side and diagonal part lines.


Snoop Dogg

Snoop has always kept a long hair throughout his career, and it gives him a lot of versatility for styling. He occasionally combs it into an afro and also likes to weave it into cornrows and other types of braids.


Just like most other male celebrities Usher likes to keep things short and he is famous for his fantastic fade designs, but he has also worn an afro taper a couple of times in the past.

Will Smith

Will Smith is almost always wearing an Afro fade throughout, and he has established this as his identity. Occasionally he alters the design to create a flat top on his Afro fade.

Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne is one of the countable male African American celebrities that have managed to keep dreadlocks for a very long time. He likes to tie them into a ponytail but on very rare occasions he has them weaved into different patterns.

Face Shape and Hair Type Recommendations/Contraindication

The afro hairstyles are some of the most non-discriminatory styles, and so almost anyone can have them regardless of their hair type and face shape. However, you should choose carefully as some will only go well for precise hair types. For example, the long afros are suitable for men with voluminous and thick strands and also a round, square or oval face shape. The shorter afro designs will also not be suitable for men with elongated face shapes or smaller heads as they will be more evident in this hairdo

How to get Perfect Curly Hair For Black Men:

Tips and Tricks

  • Be ready to grow out your curly hair regardless of the size you wish for your afro. The longer the hair length, the easier it will be to wear these hairdos.
  • Ditch the comb and use your fingers to detangle the hair but if you must use one the afro comb is the best and only detangle wet strands to avoid damage.
  • Limit the use of chemicals and heat on your hair as they will cause damages and breakages and hence making it difficult to get the right length for the afro.
  • Always keep the locks moisturized to avoid frizzy strands.

See more in Men’s Black & Afro Hairstyles Gallery on Fashionbeans.com

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