African Haircut: 13 African Hair Pride

Do Africans have haircuts peculiar to them as other nations do? Well, there is what we call the African haircut. Africans have hairstyles they can confidently call theirs. One of these haircuts is what is we today call dreadlocks.

The African haircut is common with the Africans and also the African Americans because they both have similar hair types, texture, and look. African haircuts have existed as far back as the 18th century. Since then, African haircuts have birthed different beautiful styles.

Over the centuries, African haircuts have brought about unforgettable unique styles that have become old but are still always a trend.

Below is a list of haircut styles that have existed among men since the 18th century, till date. Since the millennium, different haircut styles have existed.

1. Afro African Haircut

afro hair

Afro hairstyle has been in existence since the 18th century. It became more popular among African Americans in the 1960s. You can achieve the then afro haircut with the natural and kinky-textured hair of African men.

Afro is created by combing the hair from the root up to the top, making it form a bulb bulky shape. The hairstyle is not just popular among men but also women. In recent times, we have seen men and even women recreating this style just to show the beauty of the African hair type.

SEE: Should You Shampoo Daily? All You Need to Know About Hair Care

2. Short Afro African Haircut

short african haircut

The short version of the Afro hairstyle became popular also in the late 1990s. To get the perfect look for this African haircut, comb your hair from the root to the top and trim it into desired length and volume.

The short Afro haircut style is not as voluminous as the full, bulb and kinky type. Nonetheless, it is still a very admirable haircut. The short afro hairstyle is mostly common among African men other than African women.

3. Punk African Haircut

punk afro

The punk haircut is a traditional hairstyle that originally is a Mohawk style. However, the advancement in culture and fashion has allowed the modifying of the Mohawk style into the punk cut. To achieve the punk haircut, keep the topmost part of your hair high; similar to the mohawk style. Then have the sides shaved in a clean fading cut.

The middle part of the hair stands straight and tall. To look more stylish, you can curl, twist, lock, or plait the highest part of the haircut in a cornrow.

4. Dreadlock African Haircut

dreadlocks african haircut

From ages past, dreadlocks have been known to symbolize spiritual and supernatural intent. It used to be a natural hairstyle that symbolizes good luck in some parts of Africa and any child born with a natural lock is a special child.

However, locks have been a trending hairstyle among males and females of different ages recently.

The African soft kinky natural hair can naturally turn into a lock if you refuse to comb it for a very long time. There are also different locks extensions that ladies use these days to imitate the locks style. The locks have a longevity that can last for as long as you want to keep them on. 

SEE: How to Style Dreadlocks: 16 Styles That Are In Trend

5. Fade African Haircut


Fade symbolizes the emancipation of hip hop and urban music. It is styled by having long and full hair on the top of the head while the sides and back of the hair are shaved or cut neatly to give an impressive look. 

The afro on top of the head can be high, very low, or medium. This particular hairstyle is not popular among ladies. However, there are fashion runway events where the models have a punk hairstyle on.

Getting the long-term longevity of this hairstyle is nearly impossible because when hair grows back, it reduces the quality of the fade cuts.

6. Shape-ups Fade African Haircut

shape-ups fade african haircut

Shape-ups also known as edge-ups are the trendy cuts among men today.  The shaping involves using a shaper or razor to shape up the sides and back of the hair. You can style this haircut in simple shape-up haircuts, shape-ups with sideburns, and partial shape-ups.

The longevity of this hairstyle is slim. To keep this style for a long time, you have to keep shaping it when the hair grows out.

7. Bald African Haircut

bald haircut

This is a haircut that has been in existence for a millennium. There is no special style to this haircut. If you want this hairstyle, simply shave off the hair on the head completely to show off the skin.

This hairstyle is not just common with guys, these days we see ladies beautifully rocking this hairstyle.

8. Sporty Waves African Haircut

sporty waves

A sporty wave is a hairstyle that was very common for black guys years ago. Although it comes naturally to some guys, it doesn’t to others. Some guys use wave cream to achieve this kind of hairstyle. The sporty haircut is a cool hairstyle that is perfect for short hair.

SEE: Protect Your Hair’s Natural Oil With Sulfate-Free Shampoo

9. Obama African Haircut


The Obama haircut was gotten from the former president of the united state of America.  The Africans started calling it Obama style because it was mostly the hairstyle he always had on.

Asides from being popular because of the former president of the United States, it symbolizes recognition of the African brotherhood. There is no special way to shape this style, simply cut all the hair up to the front middle part. Then shaping the top remaining hair to a high or low top.

10. High Top African Haircut

high top hair

This style was common among African men in the 1980s. It was first seen on the popular actor Will Smith back then. This haircut is achieved by cutting off the hair on the sides and back of the head.

You can choose to completely cut off the sides and back of this style or keep it low. The result of this style shows a high afro on the top of the head. To maintain this hairstyle, reshape the sides once the under hair resurfaces.

11. Low Top African Haircut

low top hair

This haircut is the opposite of the high-top style. Instead of leaving the top of the head in an afro high top, some people prefer it to be left in a low afro top. Just like the high top, maintaining it requires you to reshape it whenever the undergrowth resurfaces.

12. Frohawk African Haircut


The frohawk style originated from the Mohawk style. It is a cool version of the Mohawk hairstyle. Unlike the Mohawk style, the frohawk haircut can be with a fade or shaved sides with long or short hair on the top.

You can leave the top of the frohawk haircut in an afro curly or an ordinary afro.

13. Mohawk African Haircut

mohawk african haircut

The Mohawk hairstyle is commonly known as gallas. The hairstyle became popular when a football player Gallas had the haircut on during a match. It is a hairstyle that is achieved by shaving both sides of the head and leaving a line of long hair in the middle of the head.

Depending on what you prefer, you can leave the long middle hair in a twist, cornrow, locks, or braids. The hairstyle is easy to maintain.

SEE: 20 Trendy Haircuts for Men – Best Haircut Ideas to Make Them Look Good Again


Can any hair type have a sporty wave?

No, it can’t. While waves can be applied to any hair type, not all hair types have a natural wave. 

To determine if your hair has a natural wave, grow out your hair to about two or three inches. Once done, check out for curls or waves in the strands. If your hair stands straight like a sharp cut, your natural hair doesn’t have a wave. 

Can you relock your dreads and how often?

Relocking your dread is entirely up to you. If you want a neat and clear scalp, it’s time to relock that dread.

The frequency of relocking your hair should be determined by you. However, to avoid unnecessary shedding of hair, there should be at least two months intervals.

How do you maintain your high fades with twist?

Maintaining high fades with twists should occur every two or three weeks

The routine should be shampooing and conditioning the hair, moisturizing, spraying, etc. You should always lose out on your twist every four weeks to re-twist.


There are thousands of African haircuts and styles that have existed. However, the ones that are now trendy these days are like the modernized version of the old haircuts.

African haircuts are unique in their way and can be beautiful on anyone as long as your hair is of the African or African-American texture and type.

Thanks for reading.

Africana Fashion provides suitable hair care articles to help improve your hair growth journey.