African hairstyle

This hairdo took more than six hours to create

African hairstyles

Beads and clips make a colourful addition

Nowhere else on earth can compete with Africa’s hairstyles.

I am blown away by the variety and elegance of the creations I see. From large towns to small villages, women (and men) are twisting, plaiting, extending, scrunching, combing, shaving and shaping hair into works of fabulous art. I’m told that especially complicated designs last about a month.

African hairdressing

This style will take 90 minutes

The most elaborate styles can take many hours to complete. The hairdo in the first and last pictures here (taken in the village of Kambama, Sierra Leone) took more than six hours from start to finish and involved countless lengths of colourful extensions. Another less complex style (taken in the same village) was going to take about 90 minutes.

African hairstyle
African hairstyle
African hairstyles
African hairstyles
African hairstyle

Sometimes women opt for turbans and scarves in place of hairstyles. This isn’t because of bad hair days, but for convenience, fashion and to keep dust out of their hair.

African turban
African turban

Women's dance, Africa

Turbans are the fashion for an African dance

I admit to being incredibly jealous in every way. My hair is curly, frizzy, fine and fly-away. I’d love it if it could be wrestled into something stylish that would last more than six hours. Several African friends have tried to plait it and given up in frustration. Obviously I need to get them to teach me how to tie a stylish turban.

All the pics here were taken (with permission) in villages in Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast. Not all pics have captions.

 

African hairstyle

A back view of the complicated hairstyle

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