With so many suggestions available on the internet, it can get tricky choosing black women hairstyles that work for you – and this is why getting tips from a stylish and well-known celebrity might help.
South African media personality Carol Ofori has always believed that switching up a hairstyle is an easy way in which women can feel pampered, confident and sexy while embracing all their dynamic personality has to offer. As someone who is obsessed with constantly trying new styles, the radio presenter and author of the children’s book series The African Adventures of Sena and Katlego knows just how a new hairstyle affects her mood.
“I am not my hair,” she says. “One thing I do is explore. You must get to know me by my face. You can never ever know me by how I wear my hair because I will change it all the time and you will be lost.”
Carol Ofori’s black women hairstyles tips
As someone who both embraces their natural hair and enjoys switching things up with a wig every now and again, Carol shares five easy hairstyles black women across Mzansi should try out at least once.
1. Don’t box me in Braids
This is quite a common hairstyle for many black girls around South Africa – and for good reason. “Single braids, box braids and knotless braids are such a fun fashion statement and can be quite intimidating for many – especially since you will end up having around 300 on your head so it does take time to get the look!” Carol says.
“If you have weak edges, don’t keep these in for too long and remember to moisturise your scalp at all times and don’t pull them back in high ponytails because that puts even more stress on your edges. I love wearing this hairstyle really long, but it looks great short as well making it a very versatile look.”
2. Forget stay in your lane – what about design your own Cornrows?
“Cornrows are another prevalent style but one I think every black girl should try at least once,” Carol says. “Cornrows are the future! Alicia Keys is someone who has proven just how stylish and easy this hairstyle is. When she released Fallin‘, she wore them with beads and it looked really nice, proving there are so many ways to wear this hairstyle. She started the trend of having cornrows coming out of the back of your head and the front. It was revolutionary and has stood the test of time.”
3. Whip the wig back and forth
“Girl, a wig changes your life!” Carol laughs. “You can let your alter ego come out and play by wearing a wig. You can be Shaniqua, Shanayqua, Thembi or Lisa all in one day by just changing your wigs. I love wearing my natural hair in cornrows underneath and interchanging my wigs depending on my mood on any specific day. It also gives you a break from consistently styling your hair.”
Carol adds the convenience of wigs is another reason why she loves wearing them. “I can take my wigs to the stylist in the morning, go to work, go about my day, come back and I have a whole hairstyle. I can have five weeks done in half a day and interchange.”
4. Real freedom is the afro
“I used to have relaxed hair and I cut all of it off and I kept my natural hair since 2016. I believe every black girl should, at some point, wear their natural hair in its natural form,” Carol continues.
“Whatever that natural state is, you owe it to yourself to explore it at some point in your hair journey. I must be honest, it has been a learning experience with the afro because I’ve realised that the more water you have in it, the better. It loves water, it loves moisture, it loves you to be kind to it and it loves you to be patient. That hair really needs love and attention.”
5. The only micro I do is microweaving and microbonding
“I loved wearing this hairstyle back when I had relaxed hair,” Carol admits. “I remember when hairstylists used to use little elastics to achieve this look, now they use these clips that melt into your hair so that it all looks natural. I love it because it’s versatile. It gives you a little extension if you want your hair straight without wearing a wig, or it’s the perfect accompaniment for a high ponytail with your own hair combined in there.
“The downside of this hairstyle, however, is that you must have it installed professionally, you must have it removed professionally and you must maintain it professionally. You also get the clips ins that are fun and easy to put in and take out before bedtime which adds so much volume and sass to your look.”