50 Natural Hairstyles for Black Women to Try Now

50 Natural Hairstyles for Black Women to Try Now
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A new season calls for a new hairstyle. Whether you’re looking to do a big chop, dabble in a protective style or manage your bountiful curls, there are tons of chic ways you can revamp your look. From Kelly Rowland’s box braids to Yara Shahidi’s curly updos, we’ve gathered 55 natural hairstyles for Black women to try, so you can skip the endless Pinterest scrolling this time.

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Micro Locs, Ballerina Buns and 8 More Natural Hair Trends for Fall, According to Top Hairstylists

,natural hairstyles for black women messy bunTaylor Hill/Contributor/Getty Images

1. Messy Bun

It may be coined the ‘messy bun,’ but it’s far from messy. It’s the chic way of looking like you put in effort without actually doing so as proof from Ciara above. Simply wrap your hair in a silk scrunchie and let a few curls drop down for a casual updo. Even add a headwrap or a headband to complete the style (but it’s completely optional).

,natural hairstyles for black women cornrowsSteve Granitz/Contributor/Getty Images

2. Cornrows

If you’re starting your natural hair journey and looking for a protective style, look no further than simple cornrows. It’s totally up to you how many braids you’re going for (and how far apart you want them), but if you want to recreate Indya Moore’s look, grab a comb and part your hair in five sections. Begin braiding down before wrapping all of the braids into a low bun.

,natural hairstyles for black women braided ponytailJon Kopaloff/Stringer/Getty Images

3. Braided Low Ponytail

All hair types can enjoy this fun style. As soon as you place your hair in a pony, choose between a regular twist, French or fishtail braid. The best part? You can easily upgrade your braided ponytail with beads and other accessories like Aja Naomi King. Have short hair? No problem. Reach for extensions or a pony hair piece and follow the same steps.

,natural hairstyles for black women sleek bobRoy Rochlin/Stringer/Getty Images

4. Sleek Bob

Hello, silk press. A good heat protectant and a flat iron can achieve this sleek look. Try Jennifer Hudson’s side part for daytime, or try a middle part for your next date night.

,natural hairstyles for black women fluffy curlsMarla Aufmuth/Contributor/Getty Images

5. Fluffy Curls

Turn your defined curls into a voluminous curly ‘fro. Use a hair pick or comb to tease the strands for a bigger and bolder effect (and yes, to create a bit of frizz). And FYI, this look is great for third or fourth day hair as shown by Tracee Ellis Ross.

,natural hairstyles for black women curly faux hawkFrazer Harrison/Staff/Getty Images

6. Curly Faux Hawk

Want the mohawk look minus shaving the sides of your head? Go for a curly faux hawk like Tamera Mowry. You can either grab a banana clip and push your hair to the center, or, if you have thicker hair (and the thought of using a clip sends your mind straight to all the tangles and knots), try dividing your hair into three sections and creating small puffs to the center of your head.

,natural hairstyles for black women box braids high bunVivien Killilea/Stringer/Getty Images

7. Box Braids Top Knot

When you have box braids, the style possibilities are endless. Exhibit A: a high bun. To recreate Kelly Rowland’s look, begin twisting and wrapping your hair at the crown of your head and viola, you’re done. No brush or gel needed.

,natural hairstyles for black women box braids ponytailMonica Schipper/Stringer/Getty Images

8. Box Braids Ponytail

Speaking of box braids, opt for a high pony to elevate the style. Just a good ‘ole hair tie will do the trick—just look at Keke Palmer’s look above.

,natural hairstyles for black women braided half up doJon Kopaloff/Stringer/Getty Images

9. Braided Half-up Do

Staying on the box braids (or micro braids, knotless braids, etc) train, try Gabrielle Union’s half-up do. Section your hair and focus on creating a high bun (or ponytail) at the top of your hair, while leaving the rest down.

,natural hairstyles for black women high bunMark Sagliocco/Contributor/Getty Images

10. Top Knot

Grab a brush, some gel and a few hair ties (maybe even bobby pins) to get this sleek top knot. Apply gel before brushing towards the crown to avoid flyaways, and secure it into a ponytail first. Then, begin wrapping the pony around the hair tie to make the bun. In Nicki Minaj’s case, she used extensions to create the braided dimension effect (which is a route you can also choose).

,natural hairstyles for black women blowoutParas Griffin/Contributor/Getty Images

11. Blowout

To achieve a nice blowout like former First Lady Michelle Obama, use two tools—a blow dryer and a round brush (or stick with one styling tool like a hot air brush). Begin by sectioning your hair and using the brush to pull and smooth each strand into bouncy, loose curls for a bombshell look. Consider setting the style with rollers to give volume to your roots and help the curls hold their shape.

,natural hairstyles for black women messy ponytailPacific Press/Contributor/Getty Images

12. Messy Ponytail

We talked about messy buns, how about a messy pony instead? If you’re just binging Bridgerton or working from home, opt for a casual look like Halle Berry above that takes less than a minute to do.

,natural hairstyles for black women side sweptAxelle/Bauer-Griffin/Contributor/Getty Images

13. Side Swept

A simple side part can change a look dramatically, especially for short hair. It doesn’t only provide definition to one side, but it gives you an elegant updo that is great for a night out (or in with the beau). Also make sure to slick down the other side with a strong hold gel to avoid flyaways.

,natural hairstyles for black women halo braidJemal Countess/Stringer/Getty Images

14. Halo Braid

Channel your inner royal and sport a crown made of hair like Aja Naomi King. All it takes is a quick wrap around (that requires you to brush up on your dutch braiding skills) and securing with a few bobby pins.

,natural hairstyles for black women bangsPascal Le Segretain/Staff/Getty Images

15. Bangs

Yes, this is your sign to try bangs. Whether it’s curtain, blunt or curly bangs, try spicing up your everyday hairstyles with a new cut. Seriously, if Angela Bassett can do it, then why not?

,natural hairstyles for black women high ponytailLeon Bennett/Stringer/Getty Images

16. High Ponytail

A high ponytail is the perfect way to create some drama (and yes, even short hair can get the long pony look with a hair piece or extensions). A good, secure hair tie can have your ponytail reaching the tip of Mount Everest. Plus, have fun with your parts like Regina King.

,natural hairstyles for black women side twistsMichael Loccisano/Staff/Getty Images

17. Side Twist

A simple side twist can upgrade your coils (and give your favorite side some attention). Start by twisting the section inward and securing with a bobby pin (or a snazzy hair clip) to keep in place. This side twist style can work with your hair out (note: Issa Rae above), in a ponytail or a low bun.

,natural hairstyles for black women space bunsGilbert Carrasquillo/Contributor/Getty Images

18. Space Buns

We all love a bun moment, but how about two? Divide your hair in the middle before creating two ponytails and wrapping each section into a bun. (But if you have 4A to 4B hair, all you need to do is fluff up the buns with a hair pick.) No, it’s not just for young people—these can be rocked at any age as proven by Teyonah Parris.

,natural hairstyles for black women braided pigtailsFoc Kan/Contributor/Getty Images

19. Braided Pigtails

Janelle Monae shows us exactly how to rock pigtails as grown woman—jewels and all. Similar to space buns, divide your hair into two sections and create low ponytails. Then, braid them in any style (french, fishtail, etc) and securing the ends with hair ties or elastic bands. Elevate the look by adding jewels, beads or cuffs.

,natural hairstyles for black women marley twistsGregg DeGuire/Stringer/Getty Images

20. Senegalese Twists

FYI, this protective style requires patience (especially depending on your hair length and texture). You’ll need a comb, a styling gel and elastic bands to complete the look. Use a comb to section hair, the gel to bring shine (and make it easier to detangle and twist) and the elastic band to secure the ends once you’re done twisting. Similar to the box braids, this style is pretty versatile when it comes to dressing it down like Kerry Washington’s or creating updos.

,natural hairstyles for black women fulani braidsDaniele Venturelli/Contributor/Getty Images

21. Fulani Braids

Rihanna’s look takes cornrows to the next level. This traditional braids can be styled differently with all hair textures. When it comes to fulani braids, there’s no set direction they can go, so definitely give your braider a reference when getting it done.

,natural hairstyles for black women slick backLeon Bennett/Stringer/Getty Images

22. Slick Back

The slick back gives us major editorial vibes as sported by Ryan Destiny. Once you brush back your hair, apply a styling cream or gel to give it extra shine and hold. (Looking for volume? Consider taking the front section of your hair and using a thermal round brush through it to bring some lift.)

,natural hairstyles for black women finger wavesMichael Kovac/Contributor/Getty Images

23. Finger Waves

The ocean has nothing on you if you’re showing off these impressive waves. Bring in the tides like Jodie Turner-Smith with a comb, a mousse, a gel and a freeze spray. First, part your hair before applying mousse (the more mousse you apply, the easier it will be to create the waves). Next, start at the part and work the comb downwards before lifting the hair up (almost like a check symbol). The next section is going in the opposite direction (like waves) and you continue from there. Here’s a handy tutorial to get you started.

,natural hairstyles for black women fluffy bunAraya Doheny/Contributor/Getty Images

24. High Puff

The fluffy bun is great for coily textures and shorter hair. Sported by Sanaa Lathan, this look is similar to a regular bun. However, it provides much more definition to the puff and give it some body for any occasion.

,natural hairstyles for black women twisted pompadourTibrina Hobson/Contributor/Getty Images

25. Twisted Pompadour

When you have high-textured hair like Lupita Nyong’o, you can work it into unique shapes, like the pompadour which lets you structure your hair for any event. Add a headband to turn it from a day look to night style in seconds.

,natural hairstyles for black women pixie cutGregg DeGuire/Stringer/Getty Images

26. Pixie Cut

It’s the perfect time to do “the chop,” and Teyana Taylor’s pixie cut is just the inspiration you need. This short hairstyle provides choppy layers and an overall chic look to try in 2023.

,natural hairstyles for black women zoe kravitzDia Dipasupil/Staff/Getty Images

27. Locs

Locs are a big commitment, but the end result is worth it, as seen on Zoë Kravitz. You’ll want to stay on top of maintenance, but overall, it’s one of the best protective styles if you’re looking for hair growth.

,natural hairstyles for black women curl rodsNoam Galai/Stringer/Getty Images

28. Curl Rods

There are tools to help you achieve bigger, coiler patterns. Flexi rods, rollers and even twisting your hair before bed is a great way to recreate Taraji P. Henson’s look. Note: The smaller the sections, the more fullness your style will have.

,natural hairstyles for black women afroKevin Mazur/Contributor/Getty Images

29. TWA

A TWA—a teeny weeny afro—coming right up. It’s pretty simple, especially if you have short or 4C hair. After washing your hair, blow dry (or air dry) before reaching for a hair pick to develop the shape and volume you’re looking for.

,natural hairstyles for black women dutch braidsLeon Bennett/Stringer/Getty Images

30. Dutch Braid

Whether you want one (like Danai Gurira’s) or two, the Dutch braid is a quick and easy style to recreate. It’s similar to the French braid as you divide your hair into three sections, starting with one piece and bringing it under the other (and continuing that motion all the way down).

,natural hairstyles for black women side braidsDimitrios Kambouris/Staff/Getty Images

31. Side Braids

A few small brands add subtle interest to hair of any hair length or type. If you’re an experienced braider, consider twisting several onto one side (like Danai Gurira’s) for an edgy style.

,natural hairstyles for black women shaggy curlsAraya Doheny/Stringer/Getty Images

32. Shaggy Curls

Sometimes, all you need is a shape change. A new curly haircut can be determined by the shape of your face to better show off the volume and definition. For example, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez has an oval face shape, which means her curly cut perfectly helps accentuate her jaw and cheekbones.

,natural hairstyles for black women high braid ponytailGregg DeGuire/Stringer/Getty Images

33. High Braid Pony

We love a good high pony, but when you add a braid to the piece, it just makes it ten times better. Similar to Janet Mock’s, secure it at a high point on your head, then begin to braid it all the way down. And don’t forget to use edge control for your baby hairs.

,natural hairstyles for black women pineapleLeon Bennett/Stringer/Getty Images

34. Pineapple

Some curly gals love to just whip a pineapple look, like Yara Shahidi for example, so why not rock it all the time? It’s the quickest style for curls and all it takes is a good hair tie to bring all your hair to the center (or as close to the hairline) as possible. If a few curls in the front slip out, even better.

,natural hairstyles for black women bantu knotsJon Kopaloff/Stringer/Getty Images

35. Bantu Knots

Bantu knots are one of those hairstyles that are so versatile and great for many hair types, as sported by Kiki Layne. The protective style can have as many mini buns as you like in any direction. Plus, it’s a great style to use before bed, so win-win.

,natural hairstyles for black women french braidsMichael Loccisano/Staff/Getty Images

36. French Braids

Move over, Dutch braids. This style can be done on wavy, curly or coily hair. Simply divide your hair in the middle and get to the work on the braids. Even make it your own by adding accessories similar to Alicia Keys’s.

,natural hairstyles for black women lemonade braidsRachel Luna/Stringer/Getty Images

37. Lemonade Braids

We won’t judge if you start breaking out into any song from the Lemonade album. Known as the side braids, Susan Kelechi Watson’s protective style makes us want to be the star at the next shindig.

,natural hairstyles for black women rihanna with a wavy bobJon Kopaloff/Contributor/Getty Images

38. Wavy Bob

There’s something about a wavy bob that adds an extra oomph to our hair. For Rihanna’s signature bend, reach for a curling iron (or some rollers) and brush through the curls to create a looser pattern.

,natural hairstyles for black women yaya dacosta in a headwrapDaniel Zuchnik/Contributor/Getty Images

39. Headwrap

Whether you’re dealing with the awkward growing out stage of a big chop or you’re simply not in the mood to work on an intricate hairstyles, a headwrap is a great accessory. Depending on your hair length (or the fabric itself), there are plenty of ways to wrap it around your head. Luckily, we found a helpful tutorial and a visual reference from Yaya Dacosta above to get you started.

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40. Bubble Braids

This braided hairstyle has been around for a while and it still hasn’t lost its momentum. If you want yours to look snatched like Golda Rosheuvel’s, the look is pretty simple to master at home. Make a high ponytail before adding as many hair ties (or elastics) as you like throughout the tail to create the ‘bubbles.’ FYI: Don’t be afraid to tease each section for more volume like they’re about to burst.

,natural hairstyles for black women samira wiley with a curly fadeGetty Images

41. Curly Fade

If you’re looking for a short haircut, Samira Wiley’s crop should be on your radar. The sides and back are completely tapered down, while your curls get to shine on top.

,natural hairstyles for black women china anne mcclain in a big chop styleJoe Scarnici/Contributor/Getty Images

42. Big Chop

Looking for a change? Consider the big chop like China Anne McClain. It’s a great way to start over and begin a new natural hair journey during the rest of the year.

,natural hairstyles for black women jourdan dunn in a voluminous ponytailDavid M. Benett/Contributor/Getty Images

43. Voluminous Ponytail

Va va voom! This voluminous ponytail sported by Jourdan Dunn is giving us big hair fever. If you have thick, long locks, consider beefing them up by using a comb or a boar bristled brush. Or add some extensions or a ponytail clip to get the same model-ready effect.

,natural hairstyles for black women french twistNoam Galai/Stringer/Getty Images

44. French Twist

We’re suckers for any French hairstyle and this glamorous twist sits at the top of our lists. To recreate Keke Palmer’s red carpet look, you’ll need hair gel and bobby pins to get started. Once one side is brushed back and gelled down, start twisting your hair inwards and pinning it in place. Consider leaving your side bangs out and curled to unleash your inner movie star.

,mini twists trend a photo of lupita nyongoGetty Images

45. Mini Twists

Mini twists prove to be the hottest protective style of the year—just ask Lupita Nyong’o. As one stylist previously told PureWow, “Mini twists are a traditional twisting technique that’s used to elongate, stretch and define textured hair.” There are only four steps to follow: section hair, part it into small squares, twist each small section and secure the ends.

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46. Butterfly Locs

There are locs and then there are butterfly locs, as seen on Ciara above. The ‘90s-inspired hairstyle adds more movement and shape to your hair than traditional locs. It’s also known as a gentler choice for those with sensitive scalps, as it uses crochet hair (rather than Marley hair) to create the look.

,wedding hairstyles for black women marsai martin in a braided bobGetty Images

47. Braided Bob

What happens when you combine two popular styles? Marsai Martin’s stylish braided bob. This protective style is versatile and you can add an accessory to further elevate the look. It also works with a side or middle part, so you can never really go wrong with it.

,natural hairstyles for black women yara shahidi in a wash and go curls

48. Wash-and-Go

Curly gals (like Yara Shahidi) show off their natural pattern with confidence. Now, a wash-and-go is more than shampooing and stepping out with glorious swirls. Washing is essential, but the styling portion is just as beneficial. You can follow the LOC method (aka a leave-in conditioner, a hair oil and styling cream) or follow a styling regimen that works best for your curl type. Plus, these styling products can be handy throughout the week to minimize frizz and leave shiny, defined curls instead.

,natural hair trends for fall a photo of solange knowles wearing micro box braidsGetty Images

49. Micro Box Braids

Stylists are predicting this micro style is going to be huge come fall. It follows the same technique as regular box braids, but the plaits are smaller and thinner in size and done closer to the scalp. Now, go ahead and show this Solange Knowles look to your braider.

,natural hairstyles for black women megan thee stallion in a ballerina bunMomodu Mansaray/Staff/Getty Images

50. Ballerina Bun

This bun style exudes elegance, as proven by Megan Thee Stallion here. The key is to apply a styling gel, which can help smooth down your hair and minimize frizz. Then, use a brush to create a ponytail right at the crown of your head before wrapping it around a hair tie and securing it with bobby pins. Oh, and don’t forget to lay down those edges.

,natural hairstyles for black women michael jae rodriguez in a wet look styleGetty Images

51. The Wet Look

From Ciara to Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, this wet look is a favorite among naturalistas. Use a styling mousse to enhance your natural texture and a wide-tooth comb to add definition and complete the “just stepped out of the shower” aesthetic.

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52. Curly Bantu Knots

Chloe Bailey combines bantu knots, locs and curly tendrils into one look and we’re living for it. While some of us might not be skilled enough to do this on ourselves, at least we have a helpful visual to show our stylist next time.

,natural hair trends for fall a photo of zendaya rocking a butterfly bobGetty Images

53. Butterfly Bob

Inspired by the butterfly cut, this bob style spices up the classic silk press. The look features heavy feathered layers and face-framing pieces. As one stylist explained in a previous PureWow story, ‘the butterfly bob’ “has more versatility [and] layers that match your face shape. The shape of the hairstyle [flows], which makes it easier to have effortless shape with minimal [styling].”

,natural hairstyles for black women rihanna with flipped endsJohn Sciulli/Stringer/Getty Images

54. Flipped Ends

This flipped style gives off major Aaliyah vibes—right down to the deep side part, swept over bangs and glossy color. The ‘90s-inspired look is Rihanna-approved, so naturally, we have to mimic it ourselves. The secret to creating the signature swooped ends is a round brush and a blow dryer (or applying rollers on the ends if you have some time on your hands).

,natural hairstyles for black women lupita nyongo with a low bunGetty Images

55. Low Bun

This low-maintenance style only requires a brush, a hair tie and your styling product of choice to pull together. Although Lupita is shown rocking it on the red carpet above, a low bun can be worn at any time, to any occasion, including the most casual outing.

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The 35 Best Natural Styles for 4C Hair, from Twist-Outs to Butterfly Locs

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