How to Cut an Afro

Afro hair can grow into stunning, full styles.
Afro hair can grow into stunning, full styles. (Image: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

The term afro usually refers to the texture of black African hair, which has not been changed by treatments such as straightening, perming or braiding. Afro hair usually develops in small, corkscrew frissons which have more bounce and spring than European hair, resulting in a fuller appearance and denser texture.

Things You'll Need

  • Clippers
  • Comb

Set your clippers to roughly the measurement length required by the person receiving the cut. Less is more when it comes to cutting Afros. Taking off too little can always be amended, whereas cutting too much may lead to disappointment. You can check the clipper guide that comes with hair clippers to decide what length to start trimming at.

Move the clippers around the back of the neck. Start on the left side and work in from the ear towards the centre of the neck. Move the clippers on so it comes up around the hair around the back of the right ear.

Trim the sideburns on both sides using the clippers. Most people prefer shorter length around the sideburns compared to the top. However, some Afro styles have bushy sideburns so make sure you check with the person receiving the cut.

Switch the clipper settings to a higher level if the person desires a fade cut. This results in the side areas of the head being shorter and more streamlined than the top portion. Make sure the person receiving the cut keeps their head still as you cut. Check both sides repeatedly as you cut to ensure an even finish.

Hold a comb in one hand and a clippers in the other as you work through the main body of hair. Run the comb through the hair and let the clippers follow, trimming the hair as it goes. This will help separate the hair out and ensure you achieve an even cut.

Put your clippers on a high setting to go around the area at the back of the neck. This will result in a clean, shapely finish and help the Afro hair on top stand out.

Trim afro hair around once every six weeks to keep it in shape.

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