How To Style Your Natural Hair Under a Graduation Cap

Stunning natural hair styles to master before you walk across the stage.

Deena Campbell May, 23, 2016

We’re in the thick of graduation season and for those with natural hair, it means spending an unruly amount of time figuring out how to style your strands under a cap.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.

The mandatory accessory isn’t the most forgiving for those with textured tresses, but that doesn’t mean you should settle for a boring variation. We enlisted the help of celebrity hairstylist Vernon Francois for a quick refresher on how to make sure your hair is camera-ready before walking across that stage.

Press play and take notes! 

Hide Transcript
Hi, my name's Vernon Francois, and I'm gonna take you through three looks on how to wear your graduation cap with your natural hair. The first lady that's joining me is Julie from Essence, how are you? Good, how are you? I'm wonderful. Julie, you have amazing big hair. So what I'm gonna do is show you how to manage this beautiful afro whilst you're wearing this beautiful cap. I'm just gonna just put some heat to your roots, and that's just gonna stretch out the afro slightly. Just put it on medium heat. Just put it onto the roots. You can literally just do this at the sides, around the hairline. And this will just help to smooth the hair up a little easier. It will also help to get it in a bun a lot quicker. Don't have to be neat. Get a hairband and literally just bring your hair up like so, and pull the front out just a little bit. You can use your fingers for this. You don't have to use a comb at all. So this is the trick here, you just put it into a ponytail And you want to twist this with your hands. Uh-huh. And just bend over with the last bit of hair band, like so. The art is to condense this big hair, you just want to pin them in. So what I've done here, is literally just got the scissors and just cut in between. Just literally fold the fabric in and just cut it. What you're gonna do is giving yourself a hole, cuz this is where the magic all happens. So now we're gonna place this on, basically pin and go really, find the holes. Pinning sorry. With the front I like to have fun with that. So I just get the u pins, these beautiful things here. And literally just pick up from the ends and just twist with you finger. Then just go in and pin [MUSIC] And it's done. It takes you like five minutes and you're ready to go. Yay. So now we have Olivia here from Essence, and Olivia has dreadlocks which I am really familiar with. So you can see I'm just flat twisting hair, just use your fingers to section and part in, and just gather your thumb as your guidance. And pull going upwards. This just helps to stretch up all the side of your cheekbone and gives you a really good frame. [MUSIC] You just use a hair Just to pin it down. [MUSIC] What I'm gonna do here is just push this forward and then pin. You can be quite free with this as well, you don't have to be really directional with it, and just let it sit like so. So once again, a really good way to get this hat to sit on is just by cutting. Into it to create some holes, which would give you base to put the hair bits through. And what I'm gonna do with this one here, I'm just gonna literally scrunch it with my hands, and because of the holes that I've created it'll allow me to pin this really easily. You just find the holes and then you just push in the hat. It's very simple. And here you go, you have your little Side parting with dreadlocks. You can do this with box braids as well as a good way to work with the style and the back of it looks really beautiful. because you've created a base to work with. You've got a twist going on around here. Keeps your personality in there. I'm with Gina from Essence and Gina has beautiful short naturally curly hair. What I did earlier was to stretch it out a little bit with the hair dryer, just with my fingers, no comb needed. And just to give it a little bit more length, just around the front. So what I'm gonna do here, we've actually already adapted this beautiful hat here. And we put a headband onto it. And we're just gonna split this into half and this is where the headband is gonna sit. You can do it with a tail comb or with your fingers. It doesn't have to be really neat. We use the headband and literally just slide it in the middle, and this helps just to give it a bit more grip and sturdiness for you, and you can see already it's fitting really beautifully. Now you can choose to hold it with a grip with a pin if you want, you can use these u-pins just to blend the hair around the actual headband itself if you don't want to show that and [UNKNOWN] going back on itself and pushing it in like so And that will help just to cover it up, which looks really nice, so almost it looks like the hat's just balancing there by magic. You can start to see now, this actually disappeared which now looks even more cool. Just at the side. [MUSIC] It looks really cute, gives you a nice situation here. Or, you can bring it over to the side, and pin it. And pull it down. But it's very simple. I think you can be really versatile with a look like this actually. And you can do many things with it. I really like that. It's really important to know that all these styles are achievable with just pins and imagination. So just remember make the hat work with your hair. Not the hair work with your hat. And it's hair. So let's just have fun. [MUSIC]