The first thing I notice about a person is their hair.
I even had a comic page on Instagram solely focused on hair comics.
I myself have curly hair and we are so underrepresented.
And drawing hair can be really hard – it took me some time to get the hang of it.
In this post, I’m going to break down how to draw afro hair in a step-by-step way so that you can draw curly kinky hair and afro hair quickly!
I already have a few hair tutorials here if you want to check them out.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a kid or an adult beginner learning to draw, the steps are really easy to follow, and as long as you follow the tutorial step by step, you should have no difficulty drawing it.
There are many types of afro hair we’ll be drawing today – We will learn to draw curly hair 4A, 4B and 4C and we will even learn how to draw afro hair in a bun.
How to draw afro textured hair
Before I begin the tutorial, I just want to explain what afro hair actually is.
Hair is divided into 4 types:
- Straight hair
- Wavy hair
- Curly hair
- Kinky hair (or afro hair)
It is the most dense and thickest of hair types.
And afro or kinky hair can once again bedivided into 3 types depending on the type of curl: 4A, 4B and 4C.
Here’s a diagram to illustrate this better:
From the image above, here’s what we learn:
- The curls are very tight in 4A.
- 4B curls are more dense that it looks zig-zag.
- And 4C is so tight that it almost forms a thick straight line.
We need to keep this in mind when drawing afro hair.
Okay, you’ve understood the basics, let’s dive in!
How to draw Afro Hair – Easy Step by Step for Beginners
Before anything else, let’s begin by drawing the head. We can’t have hair without a head now, can we?
Let’s just draw a simple head shape.
I’m drawing the head and the face in a cartoon style of course. You can draw any shape you feel comfortable with but I highly suggest you pick up this book if you’re looking for a good book to teach you to draw in cartoon style.
How to draw 4A afro hair
Now, I’m going to start with the outline of the afro hair.
Now, let’s begin drawing the outline of the hair. I’m going to go over the outline with small non-uniform curly lines.
I’m also going to lighten the face so that we can focus on the hair completely.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. 4A afro hair is very tight so make sure the curls you draw are small, dense and tight.
Continue on till you finish drawing the whole outline.
Okay, let’s draw the inner edges of the afro.
Now I’m going to erase the overlapping lines and see if the sketch is okay.
Now, let’s color the face.
And now, I’m going to color the hair with a dark chocolate brown color.
Now, if you’re wondering how to draw afro textured hair, I got you.
Let’s begin by adding some tight curls in a darker brown color to the hair.
Doesn’t it look more natural?
These little “3” shaped coils add texture to the 4A afro hair. Just keep going till you’ve finished the drawing the curls for the whole afro.
We’ve just finished drawing 4A afro hair in cartoon style.
Wasn’t that easy?
Now, let’s move on to the next type – 4B afro hair!
How to draw 4B afro hair
Okay, remember what we went through earlier?
4B curls or 4B afro hair is so curly and kinky that the curls look zig-zag.
Keep this point in mind when drawing afro hair so that you can draw it as realistically as possible!
Okay, we begin with the head shape as usual.
If you’re having difficulty drawing head shapes, pick up these great character builder brushes from Procreate.
Okay, let’s start with the shape of the hair first. Remember, you can draw any shape you like. For this tutorial, I’m going to go with a simple medium length afro hair shape.
Afro hair is very dense and defies gravity, so remember to make the hair very voluminous.
I’m going to do a side parting for the 4B afro hair.
Next, draw the direction of the hair growth. This will help you draw the hair.
Now, let’s begin by drawing the outline of the 4B afro hair on the forehead.
Try to maintain the sharp edges and the zigzag cuts of the hair. This will add more texture to the afro hair.
Now, let’s go over the outline by drawing the outer portion of the afro hair.
Now, draw the bottom of the afro making sure that some parts of the hair jut out.
And like so, let’s complete the entire outline of the afro textured hair.
I’m going to erase the rough and overlapping lines and increase the contrast of the face outline to get a sharp outline.
Now, let’s color the face and the hair a simple base color.
Now, add the curly kinky coils to the hair but remember to make sure the coils are zig-zag shaped since we are drawing 4B afro hair.
Remember to make the coily curls a darker color than the base color of the hair!
Now let’s add more texture to the 4B afro hair. I’m going to go lighter this time and choose a color that’s lighter than the base color – so a milk chocolate brown.
And now the 4b afro hair is complete!
Doesn’t it look amazing?
Okay, let’s move on to the last type of kinky curly hair or otherwise known as afro hair – let’s learn how to draw 4C hair.
How to draw 4C afro hair
Remember, 4C hair is so thick and the curls are so dense that you can’t see the pattern clearly.
Refer to the initial diagram in this tutorial if you need a refresher.
So to indicate 4C afro hair, we are going to use a shadow.
Let’s start with drawing the outline shape of the afro first.
Now, we are going to draw over the outline in small squiggle like lines.
Now, continue drawing the outline and remember to keep the squiggly lines very small. The bumps aren’t too big because 4C hair is so compressed that it almost looks straight.
4C afro hair is really thick.
Now, I’m going to erase all the rough lines so we have the actual drawing in front of us.
And now, I’m going to color the face first.
And color the hair with a brown color that’s dark chocolate brown.
Now, instead of drawing curls, we’re going to indicate the afro with shadows.
So, I’m going to take the bonobo brush in Procreate and draw a shadow underneath the hair with a darker color.
I’m going to use a swirly motion and repeat the same on the other side of the hair.
And now, I’m going to color the entire shadow downwards.
And we’ve learned how to draw afro hair in 4C texture.
Now, moving on to something super easy…
How to draw an afro hair bun
An afro hair bun is super easy to draw. I’m going to start with the same head first.
First, let’s draw the hair on the head – the inner edges.
Now, remember, the afro is pulled into a ponytail, so let’s draw the hair close to head for that. The hair is also less bumpy because it’s pulled back into a ponytail.
Now, I’m just going to draw a rough bun.
Play with the size till you feel it’s perfect.
Afro buns are big because the hair is so voluminous and grows outwards instead of downwards so I’m going to draw this afro hair in a big bun!
Once you’re happy with the bun, feel free to draw over the outline. The afro hair bun is more bumpy because it is loose.
Now, I’m going to erase the rough lines and just straighten the sketch.
Let’s begin with coloring the face.
And lastly, let’s color the hair with a base brown.
And now, I’m going to add some curls just to give the afro bun a little texture.
Now, I’m going to continue adding the curls and keep them as small curvy shapes.
And we’ve completed drawing an afro bun and you’ve learned how to draw afro textured hair.
Now, I’m going to teach you how to draw afro American hair for little girls.
How to draw afro American hair for little girls
First, I’m going to start by drawing a little girl’s face.
When drawing children’s faces, make sure to make the face more round as kids are chubby and their bobe structures haven’t developed yet.
Now, I’m going to draw the basic shape of her hair just to get an idea of her hairstyle.
And then I’m going to draw the hair on her head from the inside.
Now, let’s start drawing the afro on this sweet baby girl. You can do a mix of curls, I’m going to go for something between 4A and 4B.
And I will finish the whole afro this way.
Now, I’m going to color the face.
Next, we’ll draw the hair with a base color.
And now, we’ll draw the curls over the hair in a darker brown color.
And voila! We’ve finished learning how to draw afro American hair for little girls.
Drawing hair is so much fun even though it can be confusing.
Takeaway – How to draw afro hair + Resources
I hope this in-depth tutorial was helpful to you, and you were able to learn how to draw afro hair.
I know drawing hair can be a little tricky.
But drawing hair does get much easier with practice. Trust me. Also, drawing with references help! You can look at stock photos to understand how hair works and practice daily drawing hair.
One of the best parts about drawing in cartoon style is that you don’t need to complicate things by adding too much texture. You just have to get the shape right and draw a few lines in the direction of hair growth.
I have a post that you can read on how to find your art style.
You can make things easier by picking up this Character Drawing Toolkit.
If you want to see more tutorials on hair and people, just leave a comment down below. You can check out my other posts on drawing hair over here.
I will be adding more hair drawing tutorials to this blog, so keep a lookout!
If you are looking for books on how to draw anime or how to draw anime bangs and anime hair, take a look at these:
If you’re looking to improve your drawings faster and want to really draw as a hobby or even pick up drawing professionally, I highly recommend picking up this beautiful online course that teaches you how to draw female cartoon characters.
Use code STRAYCURLS-10 to get a 10% discount!
If you are just getting started with ProCreate, I highly recommend this course: Procreate for Beginners: Digital Illustration 101