African braids are an original hairstyle. Contrary to widespread misconception, it is not only worn by young people. Afrokos suit almost everyone. When done correctly, the hairdresser will not harm the hair and scalp. There are various styles, the appropriate one should be selected depending on the type of face, image and wardrobe.
Contrary to popular belief, not only teenage girls wear Afro hair. It is popular with older women and little girls. For men and boys, braids are most often worn by representatives of various informal youth subcultures. A man with afrocos can look very brutal, the main thing is to choose the right hair color, wardrobe and accessories.
Women should choose the most natural colors possible; one or two bright strands are permissible, no more. You should also be careful with rhinestones and accessories so as not to look vulgar.
Hairdressers do not recommend making afrokos for girls under 7 years old, since at that age the hair is very sensitive to mechanical stress. But for an active schoolgirl, such a hairstyle is suitable. You should choose options that do not last long to minimize the negative effects on the scalp.
Braids are suitable for those who play sports and lead an active lifestyle. They don’t go well with a mustache and beard. Choose dark, dull colors.
For teenage boys, choose short, thick pigtails that can be hidden under a baseball cap. So that the braids do not get in the way, they can be taken in a low tail. You should avoid bright “girlish colors”, it is better to choose cold colors.
Stars with African braids
Most often, Afrokos are worn by performers in the styles of jazz, blues, R & B. In the west, this hairstyle is more popular than in Russia. Most often, celebrities choose the classic or Thai version.
Afrokos are not only a modern fashion trend. It is also a hairstyle with an ancient history, known among representatives of ancient civilizations before our era. But if earlier it was used only in countries with a warm climate, now small pigtails all over the head are worn all over the world.
History of origin
Thin small braids in ancient times were braided not only by women and girls; they were also worn by males. The hairstyle performed a utilitarian function: it protected the scalp from overheating during prolonged exposure to the bright sun without a headdress. In ancient times, Afrokos weaving was very popular among such peoples as:
- Indians of South and North America;
- the peoples of Central Asia (Tajiks, Uzbeks, Turkmens);
This hairstyle was often worn by priests, sorcerers and shamans.
In ancient Egypt, doing a hairstyle resembling modern Afrokos was a religious ritual. The locals wore short hair because of the heat, but, due to their beliefs, they wore blue-black wigs (even children – boys and girls wore them).
Singer Linda (Svetlana Gelman) became one of the first Russian pop stars to appear on the stage with Afrokos. After that, in the mid-1990s, there was an increase in the popularity of the original hairstyle among teenage girls and girls.
Difference from dreadlocks
Visually, some types of Afrokos can resemble drudas. However, the technique will be different. Dreadlocks are strands twisted into bundles. Then they cannot be undone, they are simply cut off, and the person is left with a short haircut. Each Afrokosa is woven from three strands like a classic braid; when the hairstyle loses its shape, it is unraveled in the salon or at home.
Advantages and disadvantages of Afrokos
The following advantages of African braids can be distinguished:
- simplify hair care;
- after unweaving, the curls remain curly and fluffy for a long time;
- pigtails look stylish and help older women look younger.
Among the shortcomings, it can be noted that at first a feeling of tightness of the skin on the head can be felt. Because of this, migraines or insomnia may even develop. In case of severe discomfort, it is better to give up the Afrokos as soon as possible and unravel them.
Who are suitable
Braids are suitable for people with short hair (hair from 5 cm long) or long curls. It is best to do this hairstyle for girls or women who:
- have a pronounced eastern or southern appearance;
- differ in dark skin;
- are the happy owners of the perfect face contour;
- prefer an informal style of dress.
Afrokos are not very suitable for plump and chubby ladies. They are also not recommended for those who wear glasses.
There are different types of African braids. The easiest to do is classic and Thai. Additional materials include synthetic threads and accessories.
The classic version is the usual small braids that are braided all over the head. No synthetic materials are added. Outwardly, this option is similar to Thai braids. Sometimes, for decoration, the master can add one or two bright threads, contrasting with the hair color.
Classic African braids can be colored. To create multi-colored options, special expensive paints are used that do not fade in the sun and do not cause allergic reactions.
Two synthetics are added to one natural strand. Weaving is normal. This option is good because the hairstyle looks more voluminous than the classic one.
With threads, of yarn
For execution, acrylic yarn of bright colors is used. Three strands are fixed on the hair, then classic weaving is performed. In addition to acrylic yarn, you can use thick colored threads such as floss. The advantage of this option is easy styling. Additionally, rhinestones and beads can be added for decoration. Weaving starts from the root or middle of the strand, the ends are free. The threads are taken from natural cotton, without the addition of synthetics.
This is a simple and very popular look. First, ordinary braids are woven from synthetics in three strands. Then they are superimposed on your own hair and attached. The advantage is high density and long-term retention of shape. Zizi last longer than other options.
Braids are called very thin braids. They are braided all over the head in an amount of at least one hundred pieces. They last for a long time (up to six months), while it is not difficult to weave the braids on their own.
This option is similar to harnesses. Each Afrokosa is woven from two or three strands, which are not braided, but simply twisted together. The hairstyle lasts 3 – 4 months, while it should be periodically corrected in the salon.
Ponytail lasts 3 – 4 months. During weaving, the master leaves a loose curl at the end of each rope. It can be styled and curled in any way.
Twists, mambo twist
A twist is a pre-made Senegalese braid (a plait of two strands twisted with each other). Masbo Twist is a twist with increased thickness and volume. Senegal is a thin Senegalese braid. A plait of four strands is called a cube.
When performing rastas, the original weaving method is used. Native hair is neatly braided with artificial hair according to a previously thought out scheme. Volumetric bundles are obtained, similar to hollow tubes inside. This option is a bit like dreadlocks, but done in a different way.
This method is similar to the way you perform braids and zizi. However, Thai braids are performed only on the native hair if their condition allows it. Curls should be long, healthy and not too thin, otherwise the master may refuse to do the hair.
Artificial curled curls are made in advance in large quantities. Then they are attached to their own hair. The hairstyle becomes voluminous and lush, allowing you to hide the defects of thin, weakened curls.
This option is suitable if the hair of a girl or girl is thick, lush, voluminous. There are not many braids, but they are dense and large. The disadvantage of this weaving method is the rigidity of the braids and the lack of plasticity.
Ombre is a braid made of synthetics that are attached to your own hair and create the effect of smooth color gradation and transitions from one shade to another. Additionally, colored kanekalon or other similar materials are used.
All braids can be of the same color, but in different shades, or multi-colored. Most popular colors:
- hot pink;
- turquoise and aqua;
- brown and other tones close to natural.
For girls of school age, it is better to choose a color scheme that is as similar as possible to your own hair.
Hairstyles with Afrokos
Afrokos can be worn as loose hair, decorating with a headband or hairpins, or you can collect them into original hairstyles. The first option is more suitable for women with an oval face, the second for those with a round or triangular face. Small multi-colored crabs can be used as accessories for little girls.
To complete the beam, the Afro-braids are collected in a high tail and twisted at the back of the head. The ends are hidden inward and are fixed invisibly so that they do not stick out of the bundle. This hairstyle works well for any occasion.
This option is well suited for owners of oval and triangular faces. Part of the braids is gathered at the back of the head and tied in the form of a beautiful bow, the rest of the strands remain loose and hang freely. The main thing when doing hairstyles is to observe symmetry.
You can make two braids parallel to each other or one. In the second case, the afrokos are pulled together in a tail at the back of the head, and then a spikelet is woven from them. In the second case, the strands are evenly distributed on the sides, and two “spikelets” are made.
You can pick up strands in a high or low ponytail. To add volume to the hairstyle, you can additionally use a “crab” hairpin. For girls with a round face, it is better to make two tails of the same thickness.
Braids with bangs
Usually, when performing an African hairstyle, the bangs are also woven into the braids and become completely invisible. But in some cases it is left. The disadvantage of this option is that the bangs require regular correction. To draw attention to her, it is recommended to use bright hairpins or headbands.
This option is similar to the bundle, but the ends of the braids do not hide inward, but can freely stick out of the volumetric “bun”. You can twist the strands into a knot in different ways. This hairstyle is very convenient for sports and outdoor recreation, because the strands do not interfere with movement.
The easiest way is to wear African braids like loose hair, but in practice this can be uncomfortable, especially for those with an active lifestyle. An original hairstyle can be complemented with a beautiful headband or a scarf tied over your head. The shade of the scarf should overlap or contrast with one of the colors of the strands.
As accessories for decorating your hair, you can use:
- metal crocodile clips;
- threads with rhinestones;
- hairpins for bangs;
- thick fabric headbands contrasting with the color of the braids.
It is not recommended to use more than two accessories at the same time.
We braid in the salon
The duration of the procedure is 1.5 – 2 hours, its cost can range from to, depending on the region (in the capital it will be more expensive than in the province). Also, the cost depends on the materials used. On average, it varies from 3,000 to 10,000 rubles. Braiding from native hair will be cheaper than braiding with the addition of synthetics, since the use of additional materials increases the price.
Step by step weaving afrokos at home
Braiding yourself on your own is quite difficult, but real. The easiest way is to make a classic or Thai version, as well as weaving with the addition of acrylic threads. In no case should you take ordinary colored threads from natural materials, because they quickly fade under the influence of the sun and water, which negatively affects the hair.
What materials and tools will be needed
The necessary tool is a plastic comb with sparse teeth. It is not recommended to take a metal one, so as not to accidentally injure the scalp. Before the procedure, you should comb your hair with a massage brush. Required materials – kanekalon, acrylic yarn for knitting, various hair accessories (hairpins, hairpins). You will also need clips to hold the hair in place on one side while braiding the other.
There are various weaving patterns. The easiest option is to evenly distribute the braids over the entire head. You can also leave part of the hair loose on both sides and braid the afro-braids only on the back of the head, so that later you can make an original ponytail. The first option is suitable for an oval face, the second for a triangular face.
The markup allows you to make your hair neat. If not done, strands from different afrokos will become entangled with each other. All hair on the head must be marked with squares, by analogy with a chessboard. They begin to weave only from the back of the head.
Step-by-step instructions for performing afrokos at home are as follows:
- the hair is carefully combed, from the ends to the roots;
- markup is in progress;
- with the help of a comb, one strand is highlighted (first on the back of the head, and then you should gradually move away from the center and move to the sides);
- the strand is divided into three parts;
- not too tight weaving is performed;
- the braid is fixed at the end (the strands are hidden inward) or a free tip is specially left (poniteil).
In total, you need to make from 100 to 120 braids, depending on the volume and thickness of the hair.
How to fix ready
Pre-made blanks are woven through a French braid. Strands are dragged into the native hair with a special crochet. Another simple option is to use local (point) weaving.
How to care
Many women and girls are afraid to do this hairstyle because they think that caring for Afrokos is very difficult. But this is not the case. On the contrary, such pigtails have many advantages in terms of ease of maintenance.
How to wash your hair
It is enough to wash your hair once every ten days, using a washing foam. Do not use conditioner and conditioner, because traces of it will remain on the braids and ruin their appearance. If kanekalon was used during weaving, you will have to abandon the hair dryer and curling iron; this material begins to deform at high temperatures.
Correction may be needed if you have bangs that have not been woven into the Afro hair. It is better to consult a specialist, as correction at home can take a long time. For wearing with bangs, it is better to choose pigtails that do not last long.
How long can you wear a hairstyle
Qualitatively braided pigtails stay on the head for a long time. The average length of time to wear a hairstyle is 3.5 to 6 months. It is not recommended to wear it longer: braids lose their spectacular appearance, and hair ceases to cope with the load.
How to unravel
Unbraiding the original hairstyle takes longer than braiding, as there is a high risk of injury to the hair. False braids are cut at the junction of native hair and synthetics. After that, you should alternately unbraid the braids on your own hair.
What hair looks like after weaving
After unraveling, the hair resembles an African’s hairstyle for a long time, because the hair remains wavy. The illusion of additional volume is created. In general, the appearance of the head resembles the state after a perm. This situation persists for 1.5 – 2 weeks after untwisting.
The condition of the hair after the braids is different, depending on how well the braiding was done. It is worth doing such a hairstyle if a person does not work in an office with a strict dress code and does not attend official events, spending most of the time in an informal setting. Hair will not deteriorate from a single weave, but those who often wear Afrokos can suffer from hair loss and increased fragility.
Contrary to common misconception, Afrokos are not the cause of increased hair loss. In a healthy person, hair falls out every day, because they die off and are replaced by new ones. Only with a normal hairstyle, this process is practically not noticeable (unless we are talking about progressive baldness). And when the Afro-braids are unweaved, the strands that should have fallen out for a long time fall out all at once, therefore, the illusion of a large hair loss is created.
In order for the original hairstyle to bring only joy, you must:
- do not use when weaving materials that may cause an allergic reaction or injure the scalp;
- do not keep afrokos on your head for more than 6 months;
- do not neglect regular hair washing;
- do not use when washing products that are poorly washed off and remain on the pigtails for a long time, negatively affecting their appearance;
- weaving by an experienced craftsman with a good reputation.
Before deciding on unusual braids, you need to think over your new style of clothing. You may need to purchase a few informal and youth-style items. Afrokos do not go well with classic business attire and evening dresses.
The chosen shade of faux braids should match your complexion and makeup well. Women with pale skin are not advised to wear braids of bright “acid” colors, as well as cold (blue and green shades). But the most natural tones will suit them well.
Dark-skinned girls, on the other hand, are well suited to cool shades, including turquoise and purple.
During unweaving, it is necessary to separately comb each loosened strand. If you neglect this advice, after restoring the normal look of hair, there is a high risk of tangles, which are then practically impossible to comb. When all the hair is loose, you should rinse your head, using as the final stage of washing the application of a special tool to facilitate detangling.
African braids are a great option for a creative girl who is not afraid of originality and wants to create a bright, unusual image. However, with poor-quality performance, Afrokos can negatively affect the condition of the hair and scalp, therefore, hairstyle should be done only in a proven and reliable beauty salon with a good reputation. It is not worth saving on hair health to avoid sad