Beauty

5 easy hairstyles Black women can do at home

Lockdown showed us the importance of knowing how to care for your hair without access to a salon. Here, Vivienne Dovi runs through the five hairstyles she relies on for easy styling at home.

Between doing my own hair and styling other people’s, I’ve spent the past seven years on a wonderful journey learning about my 4C curls.

Doing my hair within the confines of my bedroom feels normal to me, but I understand why some Black women prefer to visit hair stylists instead. Hairdressers are usually a lot quicker and to be 100% satisfied with your look, some things are best left to the professionals.

But Covid-19 has quickly taught us that things can change at the drop of a hat so we need to know the basics of haircare when we’re left to our own devices. During lockdown, all hair salons were closed, meaning some Black women had to pay more attention to their hair. In fact, I noticed conversations around at-home haircare popping up on social media more frequently.

So, I’ve rounded up five hairstyles I often rely on for easy styling at home…

You may also like

“Laying down frontals and dream hairstylists: these are the lessons I learned while getting my first wig”

Twist outs

easy-hairstyles-for-black-women-twist-outs
Credit: Vivienne Dovi

Low maintenance and delivering plenty of definition, twist outs can last up to seven days – but will shrink over time. 

Ensure your hair is detangled – I use a Denman Brush, £8.50 – and follow the LOC (liquid, oil, cream) or LCO technique before twisting. My favourite LOC products are Kinky Curly’s Knot Today, £14.99, sweet almond oil, and Camille Rose’s Almond Jai Twisting Butter, £13.50.

The downside? When twists outs go wrong, you could end up with a head full of frizz. Avoid this by allowing your twists to completely dry before lightly coating your hands in oil to separate them, like Byooti’s Sweet Almond Oil, £5.99.

Start with small-to-medium twists and sleep with a bonnet, like Afrocenchix’s satin one, £14.95. Also, touch up your hair throughout the week with Flora Curl’s Hydrating Hair Mist, £16, seal with oil and lightly stretch your strands before using an afro pick for your roots.

Watch this tutorial to achieve the hairstyle:

High puffs 

easy-hairstyles-for-black-women-High-puff
Credit: Vivienne Dovi

When it seems like you are approaching the last few days of your hairstyle, throw your hair into a high puff. Cute and convenient, high puffs are perfect for when you don’t want to re-twist your hair, or a great backup hairstyle when the style you’re trying to do doesn’t go to plan. Your hair doesn’t have to be defined to rock it and it’ll give you a few extra days before you have to wash it.

High puffs work for both short and long hair. To ace this style, grab Aunt Jackie’s Flaxseed Curling Gel, £9.99, a soft or hard bristle brush and a hair tie – a shoestring or a headband made from tights will also do the job. Edge control is optional but if you do use it, a toothbrush and KeraCare Edge Tamer, £10.34, make a solid combo.

We all have lazy hair moments, but it’s important to detangle and moisturise your hair regularly to avoid breakage. At night, wrap your hair with a scarf or remove the hair tie and redo it in the morning. To preserve your edges and relieve tension, don’t make the tie too tight.

Watch this tutorial to achieve the hairstyle:

You may also like

Best beauty buys for afro hair: the ultimate shopping guide for all curl types

Crochet braids

easy-hairstyles-for-black-women-crochet-braids
Credit: Vivienne Dovi

If you are looking for a cheap, beginner-friendly protective style, this is it. You can crochet any type of extension to your hair – straight, afro, braids, locs – and it will last for four to six weeks.

Wearing your natural hair in cornrows is the best base for attaching the extensions, but it can also work with your hair in single braids. Crocheting may be fiddly at first, but they are quick to install. The extensions also feel light and rarely feel sore.

With every great hairstyle comes a few caveats, though. Sometimes, hiding your cornrows underneath can be tricky unless you do individual crochets around the perimeter. Wash day is a challenge, too. Your braids won’t come out but it’s harder to access your scalp without washing the crochet braids too. This could result in the crochet extensions getting matted, tangled, or no longer looking new.

Also, regularly sliding extensions through your hair can cause friction and long-term damage, so having a healthy foundation is crucial. Follow the LOC technique before installation and don’t cornrow your hair too tightly either. Wear a bonnet to bed and use As I Am CocoShea Spray, £8.99, on occasion to avoid matting. Don’t over-moisturise though!

Watch these tutorials to achieve the hairstyle:

Wigs

easy-hairstyles-for-black-women-Wig
Credit: Vivienne Dovi

A natural-looking hairstyle that we can whip off at the end of the day? We stan. Creating a wig is relatively straightforward and, when using virgin hair, it can last for ages.

Plus, you can do whatever you want: wash, cut, bleach, dye, or curl, with your natural hair remaining unharmed. Easy access to your braids underneath while being able to drastically change your hairstyle is the real game-changer.

Wigs are an investment though. Lace frontals, closures and hair bundles come with a hefty price tag, so be confident in the look you want before purchasing. If you make the wig too tight, this will put pressure on your edges. Customising wigs can be tricky too – lace frontals and closures are delicate and if you don’t handle them well, your wig could start to look… wiggy. Easier options include a full wig with a fringe or a U-part opening.

To maintain, buy Tresseme’s Moisture Rich Shampoo and Conditioner, £8.69, Heat Defence Spray, £3.67, and Botanique Nourish Curl Conditioning Mousse, £3.66. John Frieda’s Frizz Ease 6 Effects Serum, £4.65, and Glossing Mist, £3.95, are must-haves, too. KeraCare’s Wax Stick, £12.35 is the holy grail for flyaways. I like to secure my wig with bobby pins.

Watch these tutorials to achieve the hairstyle:

Headwraps

easy-hairstyles-for-black-women-Headwrap
Credit: Vivienne Dovi

Available in a variety of patterns, headwraps complement outfits with a pop of colour, can jazz up your hairstyle or simply hide a bad hair day.

My favourite headwraps tend to be custom-made from ankara prints by a tailor, or you can buy them pre-made like Knots UK’s Crush Headwrap, £24. Opting for a thinner material is great for hot weather, but a sturdier choice is ASOS’ Large Plain Headscarf, £9.60. You may end up buying multiple headwraps to match different outfits, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!

The biggest challenge will be deciding what style to do, as it’s not easy to improvise. However, the styles themselves take a matter of seconds and there are numerous tutorials online.

Watch these tutorials to achieve the hairstyle:

Sign up for the latest news and must-read features from Stylist, so you don't miss out on the conversation.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Images: Vivienne Dovi