The Afro has been worn by such prominent figures as Angela Davis and Michael Jackson. More than a mere hairstyle, the Afro represents the overturning of racist beauty norms and the progress made during the Civil Rights Movement. Though it has gone out of fashion since that time, this iconic fashion statement is instantly recognizable and has come to symbolize an era. Like all hairstyles, the Afro is readily available in wig form, but making your own out of yarn can be more rewarding, as you can personalize the color and shape of the wig just as you would a real Afro.
Things You'll Need:
- Cardboard Cut To Desired Length Of Yarn
- Knit Or Crocheted Ski Cap Sans Ear Flaps (Match Yarn Color)
- Boucle Or Other Textured Yarn (Color Of Choice)
- Tapestry Needle
Try on the hat. It should cover your hair only, so fold up any fabric that covers your face. Secure it with a safety pin on the inside of the hat. Remove any pom poms or other decorations.
Cut the cardboard to the length you want the Afro to be. Wrap the textured yarn around the cardboard at least 30 times. Cut the yarn. Both yarn ends should be on the same side of the cardboard.
Cut a 6-inch length of yarn. Slip it under the the closed side of the wrapped yarn. Tie off in a double-knot, securing the yarn bundle. Cut through the other end of the yarn. Make at least 10 yarn bundles, more if you are making the wig for an adult. The more bundles you cut, the thicker the Afro will be.
Thread the tapestry needle with one end of the yarn used to tie off a yarn bundle. Thread it into the top of the hat. Do the same with the other end of the yarn. Tie them in a double knot on the interior of the hat.
Secure all bundles as described above. To achieve fullness, arrange the bundles in a circular fashion, with one side of the yarn bundle facing the exterior of the hat and one facing the inside. If you want the Afro to have a part, tie the bundles horizontally. Make more bundles if necessary and continue to attach them until the entire hat is covered.
Remove the safety pins from the inside of the hat. Try the wig on. Trim the yarn if it covers your eyes or if it doesn't comply with your version of the Afro.
Since 2003, Momi Awana's writing has been featured in "The Hawaii Independent," "Tradewinds" and "Eternal Portraits." She served as a communications specialist at the Hawaii State Legislature and currently teaches writing classes at her library. Awana holds a Master of Arts in English from University of Hawaii, Mānoa.