There’s nothing as freeing as embracing your natural hair, in all its glory. While there have always been women showing off their curls without fear, the natural hair trend has taken off in the last five years. Not only does it look amazing, but it’s also healthier for your hair – no texturizers required. When choosing a style, there are a few things to take into account. Start with your curl type, the porosity of your hair (that is, how much conditioning and maintenance it needs), and whether you want to keep it short or help it grow long, and go from there. Whatever the length or texture, there’s a style that will bring out your inner goddess. Here are some gorgeous natural hairstyles for black women to inspire you as you get back to your roots.
1. Cute Natural Hairstyle
Natural hair can be styled in multiple ways, letting you find a look that enables you to embrace your hair texture and reflect your personality. A cute way to wear it would be in a fluffy, voluminous style. This is also a practical option as keeping curls shorter can make them easier to maintain and reduce styling time. Brush the hair upward slightly at the hairline to boost volume and give you a youthful appearance.
2. Natural Mini Afro Hairstyle
The afro hairstyle looks great and is a way to show off your natural hair, but it is also symbolic. Wearing your hair like this is a symbol of power, strength, and Blackness. There are various afros to choose from, from big and voluminous, to mini afros. The smaller option is shorter, more compact, and easier to maintain. Keeping the hair short prevents breakage, and it is easier to keep nourished. The mini afro can be personalized to suit your curl pattern and preference; this includes adding color to it or pairing it with an undercut or fade for structure.
3. Natural Short Hairstyle
Wearing the hair short is an excellent way to show off your natural hair texture while making it easy to style. Keeping the hair short can be incredibly flattering, opening up the face and complementing strong bone structure. It is also a way to give the hair a break from heat styling avoid protective styles and any tension on the scalp. This is great for letting the hair regenerate and can make it stronger.
4. Natural Mohawk Hairstyle
The mohawk is a rebellious hairstyle defined by a strip of hair that runs down the middle of the head, with the sides clean-shaven. The appeal of this hairstyle is its attitude, and it is a way to have fun with the hair. The downside is that it can be hard to maintain and challenging to wear; enter the natural mohawk or frohawk. This hairstyle is created with curls and shaved sides, producing less contrast but giving you that edgy and cool appearance. The shaved sides enhance the volume on the top of the head and add structure to the look. Plus, the appeal of curls is that they can soften the hairstyle and give it a feminine touch.
5. Natural Tapered Hairstyle
Tapered cuts are excellent for adding structure to your hairstyle. The style is defined by the hair being longer and more voluminous on the top of the head, gradually shortening around the hairline and on the back and sides. This adds a coolness to your look, but it is also practical, removing some weight from the hair and making it easier to style. This is a great option for natural curls, which will create a subtle contrast with the hairline. Wear your curls brushed forward or cut them into a fringed hairstyle so that they fall on the face. This is incredibly flattering and will draw attention to the eyes.
6. Easy Natural Hairstyle
There are many stylish ways to wear your natural hair, from detailed and time-consuming looks, like braided hair, to effortless looks. This hairstyle falls into the latter category and is styled to make the hair appear voluminous and windswept, brushing it to one side of the head. You can also achieve this appearance with an asymmetrical cut, which is defined by one side of the hair being longer than the other; how much of a contrast you wish to create depends on your preference. This is also a great way to balance the features and can create symmetry. The volume makes it look like you just stepped off the beach, highlighting your curl pattern, and the unstructured finish is incredibly flattering.
7. Natural Braided Hairstyle
Braiding the hair is a fantastic way to style your curls. There are many different braided styles to choose from, allowing you to find a look that best suits your preference. You can opt for a simple and chic look ideal for all occasions or a detailed and expressive look. An attractive option would be two French braids worn on either side of the head or cornrow braids. This hairstyle is super cute and can also subtly frame your face. These braids can be created in different thicknesses, and you can experiment with how you want the hairline to look.
8. Natural Protective Hairstyle
The appealing thing about braids is that they are a protective style that can help retain moisture, prevent friction and breakage, and even aid natural hair growth. Braids can be created in different textures and thicknesses and worn long or short, letting you find a look that truly reflects your personality. These could be curly passion twists that are ideal for summer or simple box braids. They can also last weeks at a time, reducing daily styling and grooming. There are different details to pick, and braids can be personalized with beads or other hair accessories.
9. Natural Flat Twist Hairstyle
Twist hairstyles can be time-consuming to create, but they look great and are an excellent way to style afro-textured hair. They can last up to six weeks and will reduce daily styling and grooming time. Twists are done by dividing the hair into sections and twisting the hair, hence the name. Twists are incredibly versatile and can be styled in various ways. You can wear them at different lengths and in various thicknesses and styles. The appeal of twists is that they can also be worked into an updo hairstyle, or you can leave them loose. Personalize them with hair accessories, including beads or cuffs.
10. Natural Weave Hairstyle
A weave is a good option for those who want to take a break from heat styling but still want to achieve a specific look. Perhaps this is long straight hair or specific color you wish to try without causing damage to your natural hair. Weaves can use natural or artificial hair and are sewn into the hair; it is important to opt for a sew-in weave to let your scalp breathe and prevent breakage. You want to remove your sew-in after around six weeks to prevent damage to the hair and for the health of the scalp.
11. Natural Updo Hairstyle
Wearing your hair in an updo is practical and stylish. It is a great way to keep the hair off the neck and is ideal for the summertime. Your updo can also be messy and deliberately undone, showing off your curls and creating a soft and romantic finish. Or you can work the hair into braids first, creating a braided style that is perfect for formal occasions; this could include a braided top bun or high ponytail. Wearing the hair up and away from the face can complement your bone structure. You could also keep a few strands of hair falling against your face, adding a softness to the look.
12. Long Fulani Braids
There are many braided hairstyles to choose from, allowing you to find your favorite. Each braid requires different levels of difficulty to complete, and they can be done on hair of varying lengths and textures. You can also use synthetic or natural hair extensions to add to the length and give more versatility with your chosen style. A popular option is Fulani braids which can be traced to the Fula people, an ethnic group in West Africa. This braided hairstyle has been adapted to different lengths and appearances, with many modern styles featuring cornrows in the front of the hair and braids thin to medium box braids in the back. They often feature a central braid along the hair parting.
13. Natural Cornrow Hairstyle
Cornrows are one of the most popular braided hairstyles and are worn by men and women. The look is braided close to the scalp using the underhand technique and creates a raised row. They are a fantastic protective style and can reduce daily grooming time. The average cornrow hairstyle will last up to eight weeks, depending on how you care for them. Installation time can vary depending on the intricacy of the look. The appeal of cornrows is also their versatility, and they can be created in various ways, including side cornrows or working the hair into a braided updo.
14. Natural Bun Hairstyle
The bun is one of the simplest hairstyles to create but is also one of the most stylish. This is an effortlessly easy way to style the hair, requiring no skill, and can be created in various ways; your bun can be worn low for a romantic and feminine finish or styled sleek and high for a more sophisticated approach that is ideal for formal occasions. Wearing your natural hair in an updo hairstyis also practical as it helps to tame the hair. You can also try a braided bun which is a protective style and will prevent breakage and friction.
15. Natural Ponytail Hairstyle
The ponytail hairstyle is yet another popular choice for how to wear your natural hair. The ponytail is effortlessly chic and practical, keeping the hair off the neck and making it ideal for going about your errands. Or to keep you cool in the summer months. The ponytail is also incredibly versatile and can be styled in various ways, including wearing it low or high or to the side for a more retro and youthful finish.
16. Natural Space Buns
There is a lot to love about space buns, and they are a fun and youthful way to wear hair. Space buns were popular in the 90s but have enjoyed a resurgence of popularity and have become the go-to way to wear your hair for music festivals and summer parties. Effortless to create, the space buns feature two buns worn on either side of the head. They can be done with all hair textures and lengths; the longer your hair is, the thicker the buns will be. It is also a gorgeous way to wear your curls, and these buns can have a messy finish with curly hair textures. Pair it with wispy bangs, or let a few curls fall around the face to give the look a softness.
17. Cute Pixie Cut with Natural Hair
The pixie cut is one of the most popular haircuts for women because it is simple, practical, and ever-so-chic. The pixie is also incredibly versatile and can be adapted to suit your hair texture, length, and preference. Traditionally the cut features short backs and sides with more length on the top, making the hair look fuller; however, there are many variations, letting you experiment with different finishes, including fringes, partings, and pairing the hair with edgy additions like an undercut or fade. Wearing natural hair in a short hairstyle makes it easy to maintain and will give you a fresh and youthful appearance.
18. Voluminous Ringlets
Ringlets are all about volume, and styling them in a voluminous style, like an afro, is a fantastic way to show off your curl pattern. Ringlets are defined by their corkscrew-like shape, and the texture gives the hair movement and bounce but can soften your features. Wearing your ringlets so that they fall around the face can create a framing effect that is incredibly flattering and will draw attention to the eyes and cheekbones. The only downside to ringlets is that they are prone to dryness and frizz, so you need to ensure they are regularly and adequately moisturized.
19. Natural Bob Haircut
The bob haircut is a classic hairstyle for women of all ages and is universally flattering. The bob can be adapted to suit various hair textures, including natural hair, and is a way to give your curls some structure. A curly bob is less precise than a cut on straight hair. It is also a haircut that looks gorgeous when paired with bangs, which will give the hair volume and draw attention to the features or with a parting. A middle parting can be incredibly flattering on those with symmetrical features.
20. Shag Haircut Natural Hair
The shag haircut first emerged in the 70s and was defined by its heavily layered appearance. It features fullness at the crown, with hair thinning toward the ends. It is a cut that can be worn with thick or thin hair and remains popular because of its versatility. The shag works well with all hair textures, including curls, which give it a softer and more blended appearance. The modern approach to the shag also makes the hairstyle more wearable, with layers feeling less choppy and cut in a way that frames the face.
21. Curly Wolf Cut
The wolf cut is a combination between the mullet and the shag hairstyle, taking the best elements of both. The style is edgy and cool and will give you a youthful appearance. This is yet another haircut that is incredibly versatile and looks great with all hair textures, and can be worn at different lengths. This is a fantastic cut for naturally curly hair as the heavy layers can remove some of the bulk and weight from the hair, making it easier to manage. The deliberately messy and unstructured appearance of the wolf cut also complements curls.
22. Cropped Bob with Curly Bangs
The bob haircut is so popular because of its versatility. This timeless hairstyle can be worn in various ways, including a cropped cut that sits at chin length. This is a great way to highlight the jawline and can complement the strong bone structure. The cut can look incredibly sophisticated and feels softer and more feminine when paired with curly hair. Depending on your preference, it can also be paired with bangs or parted. This is one of the most beautiful ways to style your curls and give you a youthful appearance.
23. Voluminous Afro Hairstyle
Styling your hair in an Afro is a fantastic way to embrace your natural hair texture. It is also a look that demands attention, especially when worn big, and gives your hair volume. Bigger afros take time to grow out and can be high maintenance to ensure that your hair looks thick and healthy, but the result is more than a cool hairstyle; it is symbolic. Afros gained popularity in the 60s during the civil rights movement and were worn as a symbol of Blackness and pride.
24. Pinned Back Natural Hair
Pinning your hair back is a simple but stylish way to wear it. This can be done by pinning the forelock or choosing to pin it to the side for a romantic finish. Wearing your hair pinned back can open up your face and draw attention to the eyes, which can be incredibly flattering. It can also be a way to achieve a more polished and professional appearance by pulling the hair away from the hairline. This is a look that can be achieved with all hair textures and cuts, so you can experiment with how you want to wear it and the clips you choose to use to do so; finding accessories like hair barrettes or pearl-detailed clips is a beautiful way to inject some of your fashion sense into your hairstyle.
25. Curly Hair Side Part
Curly hair is one of the most sought-after hair textures because it is texturally interesting and can make even the most simple cut look good. Curls can also soften the features, and this is especially true when they are styled in a way that can complement your face shape. A side part is the most versatile parting and can be styled in several ways; this includes a deep parting or a side-parted fringe. The parting is great for women of all ages and can balance the features. To make the side part more noticeable, you can opt for a slick back on the opposite side to wear its parts, creating contrast and producing a gorgeous, flattering finish.
26. Middle Part
The middle part is not as easy to wear as the side part but can add structure to your curls. The sharpness of the parting can also be balanced with curly hair, making it easier to wear. It is versatile in that it can be worn with hair of various lengths and added to your chosen cut, but there are some downsides to this parting. And this is certainly not the easiest parting to try out. It does not suit all face shapes, and although effortless to style, it can highlight asymmetry of the face.
27. Asymmetrical Hairstyle
The asymmetrical hairstyle is defined by the hair being longer than the other on one side of the head. There is versatility with how you choose to style it, including how dramatic the length between the two sides will be and the angles and colors you add to it. This lets you play with proportions to find a look that best suits your face shape and reflects your personality.
The asymmetrical hairstyle compliments curly textures because the angles appear less precise, and you are left with a style that is less fashion-forward and more practical. It is a fresh and modern way to wear your hair.
28. Hair Design and Pixie Cut
The pixie cut is a classic short hairstyle for women, and suits most face shapes. It can also be adapted to suit various hair textures, and you can experiment with different finishes, including hair design. Hair design creates patterns, shapes, or interesting angles by shaving the scalp and making your hairstyle look edgy and cool. It is a way to make your haircut individual and let your personality shine. Pairing this with a pixie cut is a fantastic way to create a contrast and removes weight and bulk from thick curls.
29. Hair Accessory with Updo
Natural hair looks great when styled in an updo hairstyle. This is an easy way to tame curls and can also look fantastic for formal occasions or can be created to look deliberately messy, creating a soft and romantic finish. You can also use hair clips to slick back the hair, creating a voluminous bun or ponytail at the end. There are many variations, so you can easily find the look that best suits your preference and complements your hair texture. Hair accessories are also a way to reflect your personality as there are many styles, colors, and patterns to choose from.
30. Short Natural Hair with Side Braids
Side braids are incredibly stylish and a great addition to natural hairstyles. With this look, you keep the curls at the top of the head but create structure by adding braids to the side. The contrast between the braids and the rest of the hair makes for a striking look. The top of the hair also appears more voluminous. The braids can be of your choosing, depending on the length of your hair and the skill level and detail involved. A popular choice would be cornrows, a versatile braiding technique that can vary in the intricacy of the patterns. They are created using the underhanding method and braided close to the scalp.
31. Natural Hair with Bright Colors
Natural hair is gorgeous and a wonderful way to show off your hair texture. Whether you have ringlets or tight curls, there are various ways to style them, including experimenting with color. Bright colors are a guaranteed way to draw attention to the hair and can highlight your curl pattern. It is also a wonderful way to show the world your playful side. Or it could make a subtle statement about your thoughts and feelings; different colors have varying symbolism associated with them. Blue hair is appealing because it is universally flattering and linked to calmness and serenity. Or orange hair, which represents positivity and warmth and is a happy color, which will bring a smile to your face.
32. Natural Hair with Balayage
Natural hair looks gorgeous with different colors. You can experiment with bright and bold hues if you want something fun and expressive or try a more natural approach, like balayage. This coloring technique is excellent for giving the hair depth and dimension and is done by hand-painting color directly onto sections of the hair, creating a sweeping effect. The coloring method is less damaging than traditional foil highlights and is less maintenance as you do not have to worry about regrowth. For the best results, choose a color that is only a shade or two lighter than your natural hair.
33. Curtain Bangs Natural Curls
Curtain bangs are gorgeous because they are easy to style and flattering on all face shapes. They can also be worn in various lengths and thicknesses and frame the face and complement the features; this is done by the parting in the middle, leaving hair on either side of the face. With natural curls, curtain bangs flow into the hair and look very natural. It is also a wonderful way to soften and balance sharp features.
34. Bantu Knots
Bantu knots are a protective style with origins in the Zulu tribes of South Africa. They have a cultural and ancestral association and are a great way to style natural hair. This is tone by sectioning off the hair, twisting it, and wrapping it to create a knot. These knots can be worn in various thicknesses and achieved on hair of all lengths. Another pro to this style is that it is inexpensive and can easily be created yourself with minimal effort.
35. Faux Bangs with Headscarf
Bangs are an excellent addition to any hairstyle, and styling your natural hair in bangs can be incredibly flattering. Full bang styles can take a lot of work and can be challenging to style with curly hair, so a great alternative would be to create faux bangs. This is done by positioning the hair forward to create the illusion of bangs and covering it with a headscarf or a hair accessory of your choosing to disguise it. These bangs have all the benefits of real bangs, including drawing attention to the face and giving you a youthful appearance, but none of the hassle.
What hairstyle can I do with natural hair?
There are so many hairstyles you can do with natural hair. Try a mini afro, super short, a mohawk, tapered curls, an asymmetrical bob, braids, twists, a weave, an updo with braids, cornrows, a bun, or a ponytail.
How do you style short natural black hair?
There are plenty of ways you can style short natural black hair. Wear it in a mini afro, as cute free curls, trimmed super short, as a mohawk, or taper the back and sides, leaving extra length and volume on top.
What is African hair called?
African hair is often referred to as Afro-textured hair and is generally type 4 kinky hair or type 3 curly hair.
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