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How To Grow An Afro Fast For Black Men

“How to grow an afro fast” is kind of a misleading question. Afros take patience, maintenance, and skill. The real question is what you need to do to prep your hair for an afro style and keep it that way. Based on advice from Black stylists, we have a few tips for afro success here.

Table of Contents

What Is An Afro?

Afros are the curly, halo-like hairstyle that stand out all around someone’s head. Black men and women are known for pulling off the look best – the curls and kinks of Black hair are perfect for creating the style.

Can Anybody Grow An Afro?

Not just anybody can grow an afro naturally. Black men and women with tight curls have the most success (think in the range of 3A to 4C curls).

People with straight hair can mimic afros with a long-lasting perm, but the style won’t quite look the same. Natural afro hair isn’t as uniform or commercial as a perm, though the steps for maintaining both styles are somewhat similar.

How Long Does It Take To Grow An Afro For Men?

It can take anywhere from 3 months to a year to get your mini-afro going. It all depends on how fast your hair grows and how tightly it curls.

Don’t get frustrated if you’re experiencing slow growth. Focus on healthy hair habits, like plenty of moisturizing products, a head wrap for bedtime, and a good diet (which will help with healthy hair).

You can also consult a stylist if you feel like your hair is growing abnormally slow and it’s not picking up the afro shape. You might be using a hair product that’s hindering growth, or you might need to trim your hair down more to promote healthy roots.

How To Grow An Afro Fast For Black Men

Cut Your Hair First

I know, it sounds counterintuitive. But if you really want a healthy, round-looking afro, start by cutting your hair so that it’s all the same length. This lets you start fresh with healthy hair and an even shape. 

Keep Your Hair Moisturized

You probably already know this. As you grow out your afro, don’t forget to condition almost every day, and use a deep conditioner as needed. You might add some hair oil to your routine too, if you weren’t already using it.

If you’ve kept your hair short, be aware that longer hair (including afros) need extra hydration. Your tips and ends are the oldest hair on your body, and they face a lot of exposure to drying elements on a daily basis. You may need to moisturize more often than you used to.

Don’t Wash Your Hair Too Often

It’s a mistake that we all make. Shampoos are cleansing and good for your scalp, but they do dry out your hair. So avoid using shampoo too often. Instead, to keep your hair smelling good, try using a conditioner daily or every other day. 

Wrap Your Hair

A scarf or durag will both protect your hair from tangling while you sleep. Knots and tangles can lead to hair breakage, which slows down your afro’s growth. Alternatively, if you don’t like wearing a head covering while you sleep, try swapping out your pillowcases or silk or satin instead. The slippery texture also prevents tangles.

Minimize Heat Damage

If you use a hot blow dryer, straightener, or curling iron, the heat from all those styling products inevitably damages your hair, leading to split ends and breakage. Give your hair a break from heated products. Try using your blow dryer on its coolest setting, if you can’t give it up.

Avoid Dyes

Dyes chemically treat your hair, so they present the same problems as heat damage: they’ll cause split ends and dryness. 

Talk To Your Stylist

Your stylist probably knows your hair almost as well as you do. When you go in for that initial haircut, ask for pointers. They might recommend a protective style (like braids or a wig), or they may have some insight into your specific hair needs.

How To Grow An Afro From Short Hair

All of the tips that we outlined above apply to growing an afro from short hair. The one step that lots of guys forget: trim your hair at some point so that it all sits at the same length. It’s part of keeping your afro healthy and nicely rounded.

If you’ve always had short hair, you might initially make the mistake of washing too often. The longer your hair gets, the harsher shampoo will be on your tips and ends. Use a deep conditioner regularly. You can try hair oil for more support.

How To Grow An Afro From A Fade

Growing an afro from a fade comes with a transition period. 

Remember how shaving down your hair to a uniform length is a good first step for starting your afro? With a fade, that implies that you’d need to go bald, but for some guys, that’s a big no. Instead, try growing out your fade, and keep it looking sharp by touching up your hairline frequently – that’s a recommendation from Jovance Salon experts.

At some point, when you feel ready, remember to trim the rest of your hair so that it all sits at the same length. 

How To Grow An Afro From Waves

If you have a wavy afro but want a curly afro, it’s simply a matter of switching up what products and tools you’re using.

Remember, we said earlier that a fine-toothed comb will damage your hair and strip your curls. If that’s the mistake you’re making, swap it out for a wide-toothed pick.

Your shampoo could also be the culprit. Some shampoos are so drying that they strip the curls from your hair (and you don’t necessarily need to shampoo every time you wash your hair). Try something more moisturizing, like a coconut oil shampoo. Or wash with a conditioner frequently and a shampoo rarely.

You can even find shampoos and conditioners that are meant to wave your hair, curl your hair, or add volume to your afro. Check the label to make sure that you’re using the right type of product for the look you want.

If you’re really struggling to get your afro to hold up, you might need to go back to step one and trim your hair to start with an even base.

How To Maintain An Afro For A Male

Maintaining your afro follows lots of the same steps as growing your afro. 

Remember to touch up the ends – the tips of your hair are the oldest, so they need lots of moisture, care, and the occasional trim. Use hydrating products whenever you wash or style your hair. Wrap it up when you sleep. And if you go in for a trim or an updo, remind your stylist to use protective styling techniques for you.

Frank Edwards is a men's grooming & style expert who is "internet famous" for being able to simplify complicated grooming routines into easy, yet effective rituals any man can do. As a professional analyst, he has spent years researching the biggest brands, products, experts, best practices, and breaking news in the space. He takes this analysis, tests it out on himself, and then documents everything in his writing. As a result, his experience-based articles are considered by some to be the gold standard in men's grooming and men's style.