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 texturisers 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.
Short Natural Hairstyles for Black Women
Cute Natural Hairstyle
Cute natural hair is fun, youthful and doesn’t require too much maintenance. This look is perfect if you have 3C curls and relatively thick hair. Let your curls run free – you won’t need to do much more than combing and applying your usual hair moisturisers. Just go with the natural direction of your curls.
Quick Natural Hairstyle
A quick style for short natural hair is a mini afro. There’s less chance of breakage as you don’t need to use hairbands or heat styling. To keep your mini afro healthy, make sure you comb your hair out when it’s dry instead of wet. Do regularly masks and oil treatments to maintain moisture, and wrap it in a silk scarf when you go to bed. This is also an effortless style when it grows out.
Very Short Natural Hairstyle
If you’re ready for a bold new look, why not try a super short style? Women going natural for the first time often get ‘the big chop’ as it means their hair will be all new growth with the same texture. Any relaxed or damaged hair gets cut off. Close-cropped curls are easy to maintain as you don’t need to braid or twist them. All you need is to get regular trims and line-ups to keep it looking fresh. Don’t forget to condition it too; your hair still needs moisturisers and oils to stop it drying out even when it’s super short.
Natural Mohawk Hairstyle
Also called the “Frohawk”, this cut involves a side fade with a lot of extra length and volume on top. You’ll need to start with medium length hair before getting this cut, as it needs enough hair left to form the mohawk itself. The natural mohawk hairstyle suits 4A, B or C curls as they have the most volume, and hold the shape best.
Tapered Natural Hairstyle
Tapered cuts are having a moment right now. Bouncy, kinky curls look amazing with this type of style. This is a medium-maintenance look as your hair is still kept short without needing braids or twists, but will require regular trips to the salon to keep the shape intact. This cut leaves you some extra length on top to work with so it’s versatile.
Medium Length Hairstyles for Black Women
Easy Natural Hairstyle
Let your curls run free with this editorial-inspired look. Asymmetric styles work well on natural hair and mixed textures because the density of the coils gives it lots of volume. Wild, free curls – that “just off the beach” style – is a great look for summer. You don’t need to use too many styling products or put heat through your hair.
Natural Braided Hairstyle
Braids are a classic for a reason. Not only can they be a protective style, but they’re also versatile. There are hundreds of different types of braids and braiding techniques, and you can style your braided hair up or down in a bun, loose braid or updo. Try keeping it super simple and chic with two French braids, starting high up on your forehead. Keep your edges and baby hairs in good condition and brush them back for an even hairline, so your braids look extra polished.
Protective hairstyles give your hair a break from chemical treatments, heat from styling and physical stress. Wearing them also means the majority of your hair is tucked away, so it’s not exposed to pollution or other environmental damage. If your hair is prone to breakage, protective styles are a great option. They can also be a huge timesaver and keep your hair healthy during harsh seasons like winter. However, it’s essential to make sure you don’t leave your protective style in too long or go too tight, and remember to keep your hair moisturized.
Flat Twist Hairstyle
Flat twists are a simple style you can do yourself, with a little practice. This style doesn’t require three strands of hair like a braid – simply take two pieces of hair and twist them around each other, working backward. You can either leave your twists loose or tie them up in a low bun or ponytail. Some hair textures can hold the twist without an elastic or tie, which makes this one of the easiest styles for natural hair.
Getting a weave is a way to instantly get long hair or try out a straighter style without relaxers or heat styling. It can also protect your natural hair as you grow it out. This is because your hair is braided before the extensions get sewn in on top, meaning it’s protected from the elements. Always have your weave sewn in, never glued – these bonded weaves can suffocate your scalp and cause hair breakage. Maintain your natural hair with moisturizers and make sure to get your weave changed up every four to six weeks. Also, ensure the hair for your weave is real human hair – not synthetic or animal, as this can cause irritation and even allergic reactions.
Long Natural Hairstyles for Black Women
This style involves creating cornrow braids all over the scalp, moving up toward the crown before twisting the remaining hair into a coiled updo. If you only have medium-length hair, you can recreate this eye-catching look using extensions. This look is dramatic, so it works well for an event where all eyes will be on you!
Long hair is made for braids, and Fulani braids are a favourite for many women. Originating with the Fula people in West Africa, the style combines thin to medium thickness braids. They tend to have a central braid along the hair parting, with several rows of thin braids that wrap around the head. Decorations like rings and beads take this braided hairstyle to the next level.
The cornrow hairstyle – known as canerows in the Caribbean – is one of the most well-known hairstyles for natural hair. Popular in the ‘90s, cornrows fell out of fashion for a while – but there are signs they’re coming back. This style involves working with the hair very close to the scalp, using an underhand motion to create raised braids. While they can take hours to create, you can leave your cornrows in for weeks as long as you wash them carefully and keep your scalp moisturized.
A bun hairstyle doesn’t have to age you – or make you look like a little kid with puffs. This braided bun style for long hair is not only super chic, but it also keeps the hair away from your face and tucked into a protective style. Wavy, loose baby hairs mean this look has a soft, romantic feel to it – despite the complexity of the braid itself.
Who hasn’t dreamed about rocking a mane of natural hair? This wild ponytail involves smoothing out the front sections of your hair and securing the wild, curly back section with a hair tie. Natural hair is particularly vulnerable to damage from traditional hair elastics. Instead, try using a bungee tie, a silk hair tie, or a silicone snag-free tie. This style also works if you have extensions as the more hair there is in the ponytail, the better!
Natural Hairstyles for Black Girls
Need even more hair inspiration? This YouTube tutorial is full of simple natural styles that you can do in less than a minute. All you’ll need is a comb, bobby pins, a headband and hair ties to achieve these nine styles. From classic half-up, half-down looks to puffballs, the full fro and a sleek ponytail, there’s something for every occasion and time of day. Whether you need a date night hairstyle or are just heading to the gym, let Simply Shell show you how to look your natural best.
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