Weddings

African Wedding Hairstyles

Consider these dramatic looks for short or long hair

By Yu Qing

Black Woman in White Dress
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Accentuate your African heritage on your wedding day with a special African wedding hairstyle. Your hair is a proud sign of heritage: Its rich texture can hold many different types of hairstyles and create regal shapes. Select a hairstyle that will leave a lasting impression on your fiance and guests. Whether your hair is short, medium or long, you can create a hairstyle that flatters your features and complements your wedding dress.

Short Hairstyles

Prepare your short hair for your wedding. Make an appointment with the hairstylist to cut your hair in chic layers. This gives your hair added dimension and style. Seek accessories that match your gown, jewelry and bouquet. For example, adorn your short hair with delicate white orchids to match your bouquet. Or scatter tiny rhinestones or beads through your coif. You may want to purchase a headband or tiara to create a formal wedding hairstyle. A headband will make your hair look put together, while a tiara will add a romantic touch.

Elegant Updo

If you have medium to long hair, try an elegant updo. Wash your hair a day or two before your wedding so your hair's natural oils can help hold the hairstyle together. On the day of the wedding, comb your hair with a wide-toothed comb. Leaning forward from the waist so your head is upside-down, blow-dry your hair from the roots to the tips, while combing your hair with your fingers. Brush your hair into a smooth, high ponytail. Section your hair into small parts, and use a thin curling iron to create springy ringlets. Choose to either leave the ringlets loose in the ponytail, or gather them with hairpins to elevate the hairstyle. Add hairspray to make sure your updo doesn't come apart. Consider adding a few hair accessories to dramatize the look. Use pearl hairpins that match the pearl detailing on your dress, or set a tiara at the crown of your head.

French Twist

The French twist is a timeless look that looks beautiful with African hair. To create a French twist, smooth your hair and gather all of your hair in a fist in the same way you would if you were to tie a low ponytail. Start at the base of the ponytail, and twist the length of the hair upward. Make sure the twist lays flat against your head. Secure the twist with bobby pins, beginning at the base of the twist (near the nape of your neck) and along the edge of the twist. Make sure the bobby pins reach your scalp. Tuck the remaining hair at the top into the twist. Or create an artful effect by leaving the tips of your hair loose. You can choose to add a lot of pomade to emphasize the shine of your hair or dust your hair with a metallic powder to add some glitter.

About the Author

Yu Qing is a freelance writer and has worked in the bridal jewelry and event planning industries.

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Bridal Hairstyles for Long Hair

VIDEO: Bridal Hairstyles for Long Hair

Brides with long hair have the most hairstyle options, such as keeping it long and sleek or sweeping it into an updo.... Watch Video

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Profile of bride with flowers in her hair

Get hair savvy

Don't know what hairstyle you want? Some experimentation is in order. Try curls, straightening, braids or updos -- not to mention hair products. Keep in mind any veils or hair accessories you plan on wearing. Make sure your hairstyle complements rather than competes with the accessory.

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Wedding Glossary

BRAZILIAN BLOWOUT

A process to straighten hair with a flat iron, with a combination of formaldehyde and keratin. Results may last up to 12 weeks, enabling a bride to get the treatment any time in the weeks leading up to the wedding.

View the Full Weddings Glossary
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