Afro Hair is delicate and needs extra care when styling it.

Check out our guide on heat styling afro hair.

Heat Styling and Afro Hair

Afro hair is naturally more delicate and dry so it needs a little more attention when styling. While naturally straight hair grows from an almost round hair follicle, Afro hair sprouts from an oval follicle and the hair shaft comes out in a spiral fashion. This curly disposition leaves the hair more susceptible to breakage. Combs and brushes force the curls to elongate, but the curls naturally resist, resulting in breakage. Delicate care is thus needed to preserve hair growth and avoid hair damage.

the importance of temperature control

Temperature controlled Irons are essential for all hair types, but specifically for Afro hair because it is so delicate. Afro hair can be 2-3 different textures in different areas, so you shouldn’t use the same heat setting all the way around. You should use a higher heat on the curliest areas of your hair, but use the lowest heat for hair around the hairline and nape of the neck, as this section is often more damaged and broken.

Picture credit: Shalani Williams and Tracey Robinson (Francesco Group)


The Wide Iron is the perfect straightener for Afro hair. The Wide iron features seven different temperatures, ranging from 100 degrees to 200 degrees, so you can vary the temperature when styling, depending on which area of the hair you are working on. The Wide Iron also features 4cm wide plates, which will allow you to take bigger sections of hair at a time, resulting in less damage.

Michelle Thompson, Creative Director at Francesco Group and Afro Hairdresser of The Year 2015, is a fan of Cloud Nine tools and she shared some insight on styling Afro hair:

  • Why do you love using Cloud Nine tools on afro hair?

Like all her types with Afro hair you have many different textures... what I love about the Cloud Nine Wide Iron is that you can adjust the temperature. So whether you are working with a really strong curl pattern or fine density hair, you can choose a temperature that suits the hair type and you always get an amazing result.  

  • Any tips or advice for our customers when straightening their Afro hair?

To get the best results when ironing Afro hair l like to blow dry the hair using the keracare strengthening thermal protector. This lightweight product protects the hair against thermal styling and leaves the hair with body and shine.

I take small sections 1/2 inch in width, elevate the hair from the head to get the Irons nice and close to the root and gently glide the Irons through to the ends. With the adjustable temperature I feel that I am in total and utter control as to how textured or how smooth and straight I can get the hair. They are definitely my favourite Irons and I can't live without them!!

Picture credit: Shalani Williams and Tracey Robinson (Francesco Group)


Cloud Nine Style Ambassador, Angel Montague Sayers shared her top tips for styling Afro hair:

  • Always start with freshly washed hair (comb the hair through when it is wet to avoid extra damage) and lay off the oil until after you’ve finished.
  • Apply a heat protector spray, generously throughout (I like to use Cloud Nine Magical Potion) and blow-dry the hair as smooth as possible…ensure the hair is 100% dry before you go anywhere near the Irons.
  • Always ensure each movement of the Iron is slow and steady…one slow stroke of the Irons is far better than four quick strokes which cause more harm.
  • Use a higher heat on the curliest areas of your hair, but use the lowest heat for hair around the hairline and nape of the neck.
  • Bevel the Irons over slightly to ensure you are smoothing out the cuticle. 

Check out below some of Michelle Thompson's amazing editorial work using our tools!

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