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Bella Glossary: The Afro Hairstyle

Definition: The Afro


You've probably seen, or maybe even worn, an afro. But do you know about the history of this hairstyle? This natural look became widely popular in the late 1960s to 1970s, during which the Black Power and Black Is Beautiful cultural movements were in play. The style became a personal-is-political statement from African-Americans who wanted the world to see that their natural beauty (both hair texture and skin color) should be considered equally as beautiful as that of Caucasians.

Afros are maintained by using a hair pick, and compared to the stress and pain of relaxing hair, many people find it's easier to go natural. Even though afros are less common today than they once were, curly-haired people continue to wear them proudly — including Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu, who sports a version of the afro in the new Tom Ford ad campaign.

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