Because of the highly politicized nature of black women’s hair in the Western world and the intersectional pressures faced by black women , African American women’s hair care and African-American hairstyles have become an enormous industry.
Because of the highly politicized nature of black women’s hair in the Western world and the intersectional pressures faced by black women , African American women’s hair care and African-American hairstyles have become an enormous industry. Throughout the United States, there are a number of salons and beauty supply stores that cater solely to clients with natural afro-textured hair and African-American hairstyles. Online forums, social networking groups and web-logs have also become enormously popular resources for black girl, black girls and black women in the exchange of styling ideas, techniques, and hair-care procedures.
There are a number of specific hair-styles that are common styles for natural back hair. The afro is a large, often spherical growth of afro-textured hair. The afro has a number of variants including the "afro-puff" and a variant in which the afro is treated with a blow dryer to become a flowing mane. Other popular hair styles include plaits or braids, the two-strand twist and basic twists all of which can form into manicured dreadlocks if the hair is allowed to knit together in the style-pattern. Basic twists include finger-coils and comb-coil twists. Dreadlocks, also called "dreads," "locks" or "locs," can also be formed by allowing the hairs to weave together on their own from an afro. Salon, or fashion, locks, alone have a large variety of styling options that involve strategic parting, sectioning and patterning of the dreads.
Natural hair can also be styled into bantu knots, which involves sectioning the hair with square or triangular parts and fastening it into tight knots on the head. Bantu knots can be made from both loose natural hair as well as dreadlocks. When braided flat against the scalp, natural hair can be worn as basic corn rows or in other artistic patterns. Other styles include the "natural" and "microcoils" for close-cropped hair, the twist-out, "brother-locks" and "sister-locks," the fade and any combination of styles such as cornrows and afro-puff. It is important to note that an overwhelming majority of African-American hairstyles involve parting the natural into individual sections before styling.