African Hairstyles for Men

Written by rhonda mcdowell
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African Hairstyles for Men
The sculptured shave. (chavez,young,sexy,cute,handsome,black,male,man,mod image by Earl Robbins from

People of African descent tend to have coarse, very curly hair that's flattered by specific hairstyles. This has been especially difficult for men. For the longest time, men of African descent were limited either to plain cropped hair or flamboyant styles associated with rap, reggae or ethnic African tribesmen.

But at the turn of the 21st century, much has changed. Forget the hair-raising afro-halo, long Jheri curls, cornrows or the "hi-top fade." According to AskMen Online Magazine, today's African hairstyles ideas for men are modern, sophisticated, and can suit a wider range of personalities.

Classic Cut

This style is best exemplified by acclaimed actor Denzel Washington. Hair is cut to a length and volume that adds to or flatters the overall shape of the skull, yet is short enough to remain unaffected by wind or movement. This hairstyle suits conservative, traditional personalities.

Sculptured Shave

This is the black man's military buzz cut, except it's got a highly-sculptured hairline. You get the same freedom associated with going bald, while still having hair that can go anywhere from red carpet to street. This will suit men who want to look like a fashionable rake, without the fuss.

You'll need a skilled barber to get this suave hairstyle. The key is in getting an even close shave throughout your head, and in shaving a sharp, well-defined hairline to frame your face shape properly. For a good example, see Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx.

360 Waves

This hairstyle literally forms a visible pattern of close-cropped, tight, uniform waves and ridges of hair around the head. This is achieved through the aid of special pomades, brushing and sleeping in a special wave cap or "durag." Dramatic without being over the top, this hairdo is best for men a casual, more flamboyant personality.One of the best proponents of this hairstyle is American rapper Nelly.


This is literally the much shorter, toned-down version of the '70s disco afro. It may look casual, but it requires careful cutting and styling for hair to achieve the same rebellious stand, without making a mess. Rock singer Lenny Kravitz sports this hairstyle. To make this look work, it's best to pair it with a trendy wardrobe--perfect for a stylish, risk-taking man.

Short Dreads

If you like the bravado of Jamaican dreadlocks, but hate long unkempt hair, you can try "short dreads" instead. Just like the Bob Marley hairdo of old, hair is sectioned off into locks, and allowed to grow. But instead of a long mane, hair is grown to only a few inches off the scalp, creating a subtle shock of locks. You can take your inspiration from singer and guitarist Kele Okereke of the British music group Bloc Party, who wears this hairdo with style. This look is best for laid-back, urban hipsters.

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