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Let loose: the natural afro hair looks that ruled the s/s 2016 catwalks and how to care for them


With a focus on natural beauty, afro hair sailed down the spring catwalks. Five exciting new models reveal why this look is much more than a passing trend

Photography: Adi Admoni


Yasmin wears: biker vest, £1,300, Coach; top, £545, Marques’Almeida; Earrings, £370, Sacai x Sophie Bille Brahe


“I change my hair to suit my mood; either tight curls, looser curls or all puffed out. I find inspiration everywhere – I love [British model] Malaika Firth’s hair and I watch YouTube videos for tips on how to look after it. I just learnt a new method of scalp massage to make my hair grow – it works!”

My ultimate tip: “Sleep on a satin pillowcase. It really helps your curls to stay intact until the morning.”

Oleo Radiance Shampoo, £5.99, Botanique Nourish & Replenish Conditioner, £4.99, and Oleo Radiance Oil Elixir, £8.99, all Tresemmé (boots.com); Dramatic Volume Creation Hairspray, £3.99, VO5 (superdrug.com); Zero Drama Queen Extensions, from £30, Big Hair No Care (bighairnocare.com)

Lily L

Lily L wears: jacket, £4,695, Versace; body, £119, Wolford; ear cuff, £98, Maria Black; earrings, £2,800, Kova

Lily L

“My hair was such a big issue for me growing up – I have that coarse texture that no-one seemed to want. But now, when I see women rocking their natural hair on the catwalks, it makes me feel incredible. If young girls see us embracing our afros, it will encourage them to do the same.”

My ultimate tip: “Allow the steam from the shower to work into your hair and follow with a good conditioner. It helps to revive the curls.”

Roksanda 3D Volumiser, £7.49, Toni & Guy (boots.com); Manketti Hair Oil, £36, Charlotte Mensah; Botanique Nourish & Replenish Hydrating Mist, £5.49, Youth Boost Styling Lotion, £7.29, and Renewal Hair & Scalp Deep Conditioning Masque, £4.99, all Tresemmé (boots.com)

Lily F

Lily F wears: coat, £1,900, Coach; dress, £2785, Erdem

Lily F

“I like short hair on girls. I find it really pretty and really strong. I’ve had my hair cut like this for two years; before that I had a mohawk. Now it’s so easy – I just wake up and go. For me, having short hair feels like a kind of freedom.”

My ultimate tip: “Use a regular shower sponge to smooth over afro hair and give it a little shape.”

Oleo Radiance Creamy Moisturiser Mask, £6.99, Perfectly Undone Weightless Shampoo, £4.99, and Perfectly Undone Weightless Conditioner, all Tresemmé (boots.com); Oil Non Oil, £14.80, Davines (cultbeauty.co.uk); Light Elements Texturizing Creme, £21, Aveda (aveda.co.uk)


Sienna wears: jacket, £1,970, Chanel; body, £119, Wolford; earrings, £3,500, Kova


“For me, hair is a lot more important than make-up. It’s almost like art – it’s about creating new ideas. I’m inspired by Ethiopian women and how they braid their hair. I try to involve my [Barbadian-Grenadan] culture as much as I can with different braid styles, while giving it that modern edge.”

My ultimate tip: “I get a trim every three months and it makes such a difference to my curl pattern and texture.”

Botanique Nourish & Replenish Shampoo, £4.99, Get Sleek Protect & Polish Duo Mist, £5.49, Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner, £5.24, all Tresemmé (boots.com); BB Curl Pre-Style/Re-Style Primer, £20.50, Bumble & Bumble (bumbleandbumble.co.uk); Omega 9 Hair Mask, £47, Rahua (rahua.com)


Demi wears: top, £555, Mary Katrantzou; red string body, £140, Wolford; earrings, £105, Sorcha O’Raghallaigh


“Everyone loves the look of natural curls now. People stop me in the street to tell me they like my hair or ask to touch it. I used to relax it but then it started to break off – I’ve worn it curly ever since. It makes me so happy to see women like Solange and Amandla Stenberg – massive natural hair icons – just owning it. That’s a powerful statement.”

My ultimate tip: “I massage coconut oil into my hair and wind the curls around my finger to define them. It's great for damaged hair.”

11-in-1 Cleansing Conditioner, £17.99, Grow Gorgeous (boots.com); Curl Detangling Rinse, £22, Living Proof (cultbeauty.co.uk); Botanique Nourish & Replenish Hydrating Mist, £5.49, Beauty-Full Volume Touchable Bounce Mousse, £5.50, and Perfectly Undone Ultra-Brushable Hairspray, £5.78, all Tresemmé (boots.com)

Hair: Aaron Carlo, TRESemmé UK Ambassador, using TRESemmé
Make-up: Jose Bass using Nars
Styling: Nicholas Royal
Models: Lily L at M+P Models, Demi at Elite London, Lily F at Milk Management, Yasmin at Premier, Sienna at Tess Management



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