20 Safe and Easy African Kids Hairstyles

The texture of natural African hair is very special and as such, it needs special attention and care, especially for little kids whose hair texture is also different and delicate. Making your little girl’s hair can be a hectic task, from getting a suitable style to cajoling her to sit through the process, making your kid’s hair is not an easy duty. This is especially true for infants and toddlers who more often than not do not want their hair disturbed.

It may be a bit of a chore finding the right hairstyle for your little girl, especially because her hair is still very delicate and the pain tolerance for kids is very low. The key is simplicity. When it comes to making an infant’s or toddler’s hair, you must consider the different temperaments. It is important to keep their hairstyles as simple as possible. In Africa, it is unusual to leave a girl’s hair unattended, even a female infant has to get her hair styled, leaving mothers in the dilemma of finding the perfect style for the little one. In this sense, perfection is not only based on the intricacies of the hairstyle but also on how safe, easy, less time-consuming, and of course tolerable in terms of pain the hairstyle is. Luckily, there are several easy hairstyles for African kids that suit the African hair texture.

African Kids Hairstyles And How To Make Them

1. Mini Afro Puffs

  • Most Suitable for: Infants and toddlers
  • Styling Materials: Rubber bands, tail combs, hair moisturizer, hairbrush/combs

Afro puffs are great for kids. It is a beautiful, safe and easy hairstyle that doesn’t take so much time. Be sure to finger comb hair very gently to detangle, moisturize properly and then partition gently into sections. Comb each section gently and loop the sectioned hair with a rubber band to create a bun/puff. Make sure the hair is not tightly looped on the scalp. This style can last up to a few days.

2. Cornrows and a puff

  • Most Suitable for: Toddlers and pre-teens
  • Styling Materials: Rubber bands, tail combs, hair moisturizer, brush/combs, baby hair accessories (hairpins)

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Moisturize and finger comb hair to detangle, gently partition hair with a tail comb and braid very gently to the middle of the scalp, be sure to not braid tightly on the scalp. Leave out the ends of the braid and loop into a puff/bun. Add hair accessories like rings and beads to beautify the braids. This style can last up to a week but be sure to work with your toddler’s hair length.

3. Double Buns

  • Most Suitable for: Toddlers, pre-teens, and infants
  • Styling Materials: Rubber bands, tail combs, hair moisturizer, brush/combs

20 Safe and Easy African Kids Hairstyles
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Double buns are super easy and comfortable. Moisturize and finger comb to detangle hair, partition into two sections, loop each section with a rubber band into a bun. Be sure not to loop too tightly on the scalp. You can use a soft edge brush and gel to beautify the hair edges. This style can last for a day or two.

4. Bantu Knots

  • Most Suitable for: Toddlers and pre-teens
  • Styling Materials: Rubber bands, tail combs, hair moisturizer, brush/combs

20 Safe and Easy African Kids Hairstyles
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Bantu Knots are really beautiful and Afro-centric. It can also last for over a week. It takes a bit of time to make, so you can entertain your child with snacks and some toys. Gently moisturize and detangle hair, partition hair into sizeable sections, not too tiny or too big. Use a rubber band to loop each section at the roots, but not too tight on the scalp, and then work the hair into a knot. Repeat for each section.

5. Cornrowed Bun/Shuku

  • Most Suitable for: Toddlers and pre-teens
  • Styling Materials: Tailcombs, hair moisturizer, brush/combs, ribbons

20 Safe and Easy African Kids Hairstyles
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Shuku is a very popular hairstyle for kids in Africa. It’s a vintage style and has several variations for adults. Be sure of your child’s temperament and keep her entertained with snacks and toys especially for toddlers. Detangle hair and moisturize, partition hair into 4 sections. Each section of partitioned hair can have 3 or 4 cornrows depending on your kid’s hair length and volume. Braid each section towards the middle of the scalp to form a bun. Be sure not to braid too tightly. You can add a ribbon on the bun when you are through to accessorize hair and also use some hair rings on the cornrows. This style can last over a week.

6. Flat Twists and a Bun/Puff

  • Most Suitable for: Toddlers and pre-teens
  • Styling Materials: Tailcombs, rubber band, hair moisturizer, brush/combs, ribbons

Moisturize and detangle hair and gently flat twist the front part of her hair backward to the mid-scalp or a few inches off the front. Leave out the tip of the twists and loop hair into a bun or a puff. This style can last a couple of days. You can categorize with ribbons and hair rings on the twists or even a tiara.

7. Fro-Hawk or Bun-Hawk

  • Most Suitable for: Toddlers and Pre-teens
  • Styling Materials: Tailcombs, rubber bands, hair moisturizer, brush/combs, ribbons

20 Safe and Easy African Kids Hairstyles
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This is a variation of the mohawk hairstyle for kids. You can try this style with an infant with very full hair. Moisturize and detangle, section hair into three or four parts across the scalp horizontally. Loop each section with a rubber band into a bun or a puff at the middle of each section and accessorize with ribbons. Bun hawks or fro hawks can last a couple of days.

8. Braided Mohawk

  • Most Suitable for: Toddlers and Pre-teens
  • Styling Materials: Tailcombs, hair moisturizer, brush/combs

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Gently detangle hair and moisturize, partition hair in the middle, and braid each side of the scalp to meet at the middle of the hair to form a “clap”. You can loop the ends of the braids into sectioned knots or buns. Be sure not to braid too tight or knot too tight. This style can last over a week.

9. Two Strand Twists with Beads

  • Most Suitable for: Toddlers and pre-teens
  • Styling Materials: Tailcombs, hair moisturizer, brush/combs, hair beads

20 Safe and Easy African Kids Hairstyles
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Gently moisturize and detangle hair, partition into rectangular or circular medium-sized sections. For each section, divide hair into two parts and twist both parts gently into a single twist. Repeat for all sections, and then accessorize each twist with beads. Beaded twists can last over a week.

10. Double Shuku/Cornrowed Buns

  • Most Suitable for: Toddlers and pre-teens
  • Styling Materials: Tail combs, hair moisturizer, brush/combs, ribbons

20 Safe and Easy African Kids Hairstyles
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Double Cornrowed buns or double shuku are another style variation of cornrowed buns described in number 5. Simple partition hair into two sections and repeat the instructions on number 5 on the two sections. This style can last over a week and can be accessorized with ribbons and hair rings.

11. Box Braids with Beads

  • Most Suitable for: Toddlers and pre-teens
  • Styling Materials: Tailcombs, hair moisturizer, brush/combs, kanekalon extensions, hair beads

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This style requires a little extension if your child’s hair length is not enough. Be sure to get a safe kanekalon extension and soak in apple cider vinegar, wash with shampoo, and dry before using it, to reduce irritation. Detangle hair and moisturize, partition into sections of tiny boxes, braid each section by feeding in the extension and accessorize each braid strand with beads. Box braids can last over a week.

12. Twist Ponytails

  • Most Suitable for: Toddlers and pre-teens
  • Styling Materials: Tailcombs, hair moisturizer, brush/combs, ribbons

20 Safe and Easy African Kids Hairstyles
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Moisturize, condition, and detangle hair, partition into four or more sections. Loop each section with a rubber band into a ponytail/puff and twist the ends of the puff. Accessorize with ribbons and hairpins. With adequate maintenance, this can last up to a week.

13. Three-in-one Ponytail/Rope Twists

  • Most Suitable for: Toddlers and pre-teens
  • Styling Materials: Tail combs, hair moisturizer, brush/combs, ribbons

This is another great hairstyle for kids. It can last up to a week or more. Moisturize, condition, and detangle hair and part into four sections. Loop each section with a rubber band into a ponytail/puff. For each ponytail/puff, part into three, twist each to form a three-in-one-twist ponytail. Repeat for each section. Accessorize with beads and ribbons.

14. Teeny Weeny Afro (TWA)

  • Most Suitable for: Infants and toddlers
  • Styling Materials: Hair moisturizer, brush/combs, headbands

20 Safe and Easy African Kids Hairstyles
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This style is very easy and suitable for infants and tender-headed toddlers. It can be an everyday look, but be sure to moisturize hair daily. Simply moisturize hair and fluff it out gently with your hands or a wide-toothed comb or suitable brush and use a headband to push the hair backward. This teeny weeny afro can only stay in place for a few hours. Fluff out after a few hours and even change headbands to suit her outfit.

15. Crochet Braids and Twists

  • Most Suitable for: Toddlers and pre-teens
  • Styling Materials: One pack of crochet extension, tail combs, hair moisturizer, crochet pins, brush/combs, ribbons

20 Safe and Easy African Kids Hairstyles
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Crochet styles are great protective styles for kids. This is also one of the safe and easy African hairstyles for kids. Different types of crochet hair extensions are sold in stores, be sure to purchase a pack that is best suited for little kids. Soak in apple cider vinegar and shampoo to ease irritation and dry before installing. Moisturize and detangle hair, with a tail comb, section the hair into the desired style, cornrow hair and then install the crochet extension with a crochet pin. Style the finished look with ribbons, beads, headbands, or hairpins.

16. Side Swept Braids

  • Most Suitable for: Toddlers and pre-teens
  • Styling Materials: Kanekalon extension, tail combs, hair moisturizer, brush/combs

20 Safe and Easy African Kids Hairstyles
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Side swept braids also called lemonade braids are great for kids, especially toddlers or pre-teens who can sit through the process with less hassle. This style can last up to two weeks. Moisturize and detangle and braid from one side, maintaining the angle until you get to the other side of the scalp. You can be creative with the slopes and design on the cornrows. Accessorize with beads, hair ropes, or hairpins.

17. Finger Coils

  • Most Suitable for: Toddlers and pre-teens
  • Styling Materials: Tailcombs, hair moisturizer, curl enhancing smoothie

Finger coils are adorable. They are one of the safest and easy African hairstyles out there for kids. Condition, moisturize and detangle hair. You can use a tail comb or your finger to section the hair. Section according to your desired size for the finger coils. Apply the curl-enhancing smoothie and gently finger coil each section into curly strands. Finish up by accessorizing with headbands or ribbons. Finger coils last a couple of days and are great for children’s party looks.

18. Middle Part/Layered Cornrows

  • Most Suitable for: Toddlers and pre-teens
  • Styling Materials: Tailcombs, hair moisturizer, kanekalon extension (optional) accessories

20 Safe and Easy African Kids Hairstyles
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Middle part cornrows can be layered or not. You can work with the little girl’s hair length or feed in a little hair extension. If you are not adding any layers, simply part hair into two sections at the middle. Braid each section towards her ears and accessorize with beads or hair rings. This style is a safe and easy African kids’ hairstyle that can last for over a week.

19. African Threading

  • Most Suitable for: Toddlers and pre-teens
  • Styling Materials: Tailcombs, hair moisturizer, hair thread

20 Safe and Easy African Kids Hairstyles
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One of the most popular, safe, and easy African kids’ hairstyles is African threading. It is great for hair growth and is also a protective hairstyle. Moisturize and detangle, section hair into desired sized parts, and thread each section into threaded strands by wounding the thread around the hair. Be sure not to thread too tight on the scalp. You can give space as you thread or cover the hair completely with the thread. You can also accessorize with ribbons or hairpins. Lasts more than a week.

20. Rubber Band Plaits

  • Most Suitable for: Toddlers and Pre-teens
  • Styling Materials: Tailcombs, hair moisturizer, rubber bands

20 Safe and Easy African Kids Hairstyles
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This is a safe and easy style, you can make it more colorful by using colorful rubber bands. Moisturize and detangle hair and section into desired parts. Be creative with your sectioning. For each section, further, partition the hair into small and not so tiny sections and loop with a rubber band. As you loop each section, intertwine the loop with the one before it to create a rubber band plait. See video for clearer instructions.

What You Need to Know and Consider When Choosing a Hairstyle For Kids

Hairstyles for kids are different from hairstyles for adults. This is because their scalp is still very tender and cannot withstand as much pressure or pain compared to adults.

Also, kids would prefer not to be bothered about their hair, and so you must make them look forward to getting their hair done by making sure you don’t braid, plait, or twist too tight on their scalp, you moisturize their hair properly to make it easy to work through.

There is a little pain and discomfort that comes with hairdressing. Adults have a higher tolerance level for hairstyling, and as such, for kids, you need to be extra gentle when making their hair.

Do not make bulky or heavy hairstyles for kids as their scalp and hair are still very fragile. Use hair products designed for kids or suitable for kids, to avoid irritation or reaction. Always consider your child’s temperament and tolerance levels before choosing a style, the simpler the better. An adult can tolerate a little bit of discomfort on their hair for a couple of days, but kids cannot, so, to avoid your child falling ill due to discomfort on her scalp, be extra careful.

Ada
Ada is a Writer, professional actor for stage and film, TV/Radio host and a Mental Health Counselor.
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