African American Hairstyle Names

When it comes to African-American hairstyle names, you have various options available. There are many possibilities, from wavy tops with high fades to full fros!


Cornrows are an iconic African hairstyle that can be styled in many ways. From sleek and stylish looks to those featuring tribal elements. Cornrows can also serve as an effective way to show off your heritage!

Cornrow braids have long been part of African culture. Slave women would use cornrows to express their kinship, age, religious beliefs, marital status, and power. In addition, slaves would hide maps or messages to aid their escape from plantation-controlled countries. However, cornrows can cause damage if not cared for properly. People of color who use cornrows have also faced discrimination due to wearing this style. For example, Venus Williams had to take her braids down after receiving racist backlash at the Australian Open. Many black women use relaxers or straighteners on their hair, which may alter its natural texture over time.

Jheri Curls

Throughout the ’80s, Jheri curls were among several undesirable hair trends popular with black people, particularly during that decade. Jheri curls were a type of perm that offered soft and glossy curly locks, prevalent among African-American culture. They were popularized by celebrities like Michael Jackson and rappers DJ Quik, Eazy-E, and Ice Cube. Jheri curls eventually became a cultural staple among black communities worldwide. However, Jheri curls have also been criticized for leaving a greasy residue on soft furnishings.

Bantu Knots

Bantu knots are small coiled twists perfect for medium to long-length hair. They are commonly known as Zulu knots after the Bantu ethnic group who first created them. Bantu knots are great protective styles that safeguard against breakage and moisture loss in your ends while looking great! They can be worn as-is or taken down to reveal a more voluminous curled look referred to as the Bantu knot-out style. Bantu knots represent pro-Blackness and self-love. Unfortunately, Western society has criticized, misinterpreted, and misused them.


The Afro hairstyle is a timeless classic that never goes out of style. This look exudes sophistication and masculinity, creating a clean and polished appearance. A high skin fade can pair nicely with this hairstyle for added complexity. Additionally, this haircut works well when combined with full beards.

During the Civil Rights and Black Power movements of the 1960s, African Americans adopted traditional ethnic styles as a sign of pride in their heritage. Jheri curls and Afros became hallmarks of this movement. Throughout the 1970s, celebrities like Ben Wallace and Kobe Bryant donned large Afros. At the same time, musicians Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, Macy Gray, Questlove, and Cindy Blackman featured large Afros in their music videos. Afro-textured hair helped portray black men as influential individuals while reinforcing their beauty by changing negative stereotypes of black hair.