How To Get The Perfect Slicked Back Bun With Afro Hair, Even On A Hot Day

Slicking down those edges isn't easy.
Tim Robberts via Getty Images

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When it’s a hot, sunny day the last thing you want is to have your hair in your face. Which is why a slicked back bun is the best hairstyle to do in the summer.

But if you’re someone who has afro hair, you’ll understand how difficult it is to slick down your hair, especially in the heat.


Did this in 15 minutes! Sadly, this is the only hairstyle I know how to do😂 #4chair #naturalhair

♬ Face Beat - Father Philis

It personally took me several Youtube videos and a lot of trial and error to achieve that perfect slicked back bun on my 4c hair.

If you’re still figuring out how to master this hairstyle don’t worry, Ghanima Abdullah, who is an afro-hair expert and cosmetologist, is on hand to help.

Start with wet hair

“I recommend you start with freshly washed, wet hair,” Abdullah says. “This is because all hair is more pliable when it’s wet, and that’s especially true for 4c hair.”

Before you even get out of the shower, while your hair is dripping wet, Abdullah advises applying a leave-in conditioner and using a detangling brush to get your hair all the way back into a ponytail.

“For this, I recommend hair coils to hold your hair, because they are the most flexible to use and don’t break off your hair,” she says.

“Even if all your hair doesn’t go into the ponytail, it will be stretched back. This is the key to having a slick style that holds. You’re starting off by training your hair into a back position.”

Tie it down to dry

Again, you want to complete this step while you’re still in the shower, making the most of the moisturising and pliability benefits of completely wet hair.

“Use a bristle brush to get it as slick as possible, then tie it down right away with a cotton scarf,” says Abdullah. “Cotton absorbs more moisture and has a better grip to keep your hair lying flat.”

Apply gel

Okay, now you can leave the shower and start to dry off, but don’t be tempted to touch your hair straight away.

“When your hair is mostly dry, take off the scarf and apply a generous amount of gel. Start at the back near the ponytail and use your bristle brush to make sure the product penetrates your hair,” says Abdullah.

“Keep applying gel and always brush back without disturbing the lay of your hair. Continue this process until you reach the front of your hair.

“Some of the best gels for this are Gorilla Snot and Ecostyler, but if you prefer a more natural option, try 4C Only Too Slick.”

Use edge control for summer humidity

Next, Abdullah recommends finding an edge cream that works for you without getting flaky. “Apply it on top of the gel, starting at the front of your hair and smoothing it back into the entire length,” she says. “This will help keep your hair from frizzing up in the heat and humidity.”


Almost there. You’ll want to re-tie your hair with a silk scarf or du-rag now, to allow it to dry fully. “You don’t want to use a cotton scarf this time as the product will stick to it,” says Abdullah.


When your hair is fully dry, remove the scarf carefully, pulling it in the direction your hair is lying.

“You can tap with a damp cloth to remove any flakes or extra product,” says Abdullah. “Style the back of your hair where the ponytail is located as desired.”


Do not waste that work. Abdullah recommends you always sleep in a silk scarf to maintain the sleekness of your style.

“In the morning, spritz it lightly with water, then smooth your hair with your fingers,” she says. “Avoid using a brush at this stage because it might make parts of your hair stick up. Tie your hair back down until it fully dries. Then you’re ready to go!”