Black women are famous for how versatile their thick, naturally curly hair is. They can go from big and voluminous with a bombshell feel, to long and wavy for that girl-next-door vibe. So many hairstyles go well with black women, complementing whatever outfit or makeup look they’re gunning for.
But because your hair is so versatile, you might not know how to style it. Should you embrace your natural curls and wear them down, or go for something bolder and more attention-catching?
Whether you’re sick of the same old braids or curls you’ve been putting your hair in for years or simply want new hair ideas for an event you’re going to, we’ve got something for you. Here are 20 different hairstyles any black woman should try out.
Black Women Hairstyles:
Weighed Down Curly ‘Fro
Black women with curly hair know how much of a hassle it is to work with super tight, coily curls that shrink into a poofy afro. One way to manage this type of hair while still looking snatched is by weighing it down a little with your favorite curl cream. That way, your hair is a little more weighed down and not as tall and voluminous, making it much easier to work with.
Long and Wavy
If your goal is to look a little sweeter and more feminine, you might want to put your hair in long, wavy tresses. It’s a gorgeous go-to if you want to feel extra glamorous on the day-to-day.
You can either do this by heat-styling your hair with a flat iron or curling wand, or by getting a weave installed so that you can enjoy wavy locks without exposing your natural hair to heat damage.
Sleek High Pony with Smooth Edges
Look trendy and high fashion with a sleek, high ponytail made popular by the one and only Ariana Grande. Comb your hair back and gather it into a ponytail. Make sure there are no bumps on your head—petroleum jelly or hair gel can help with that!
If you have any baby hairs or flyaways sticking up, use your favorite styling product to smooth them down in pretty swirls.
Don’t want to lose that naturally poofy look in your curls? Put your hair in an effortless pineapple pony instead! Tie your natural, unstyled hair up in a ponytail that sits right on the crown of your head. This creates a charming “pineapple” look which is both pretty and awesome for keeping your hair away from your face.
Poofy Pony with Box Braids
Think the previous hairstyle looks a little too plain? Add more details to it by putting a few sections on the front of your head into box braids before sweeping the rest of your hair in a ponytail (including the braids!). It’s a beautiful style that makes you look more playful and easygoing.
Single Bubble Braid with Matching Tendrils
The bubble braid is all the rage now for women of all skin colors. But when done on a black girl with textured hair, it looks insanely gorgeous and unique.
To do this look, put your hair in a sleek ponytail. Then, tie a new ponytail every inch or two below the last one, creating a bubble-like appearance with each new ponytail. Don’t forget to leave a half-inch section of hair on each side of your face to make matching bubble braid tendrils!
Medium Afro with Headband
This one’s for the hair accessory lovers out there! Instead of stressing yourself out with intricate hairstyles, simply sweep your hair out of your face with your favorite head wrap or headband. Here’s a nude-colored one that we love on short and medium-length curls.
When you have thick, coarse curls that fall right above your shoulders, they might create an undesirable triangular shape. To prevent this, put half of your hair in an easy but elegant updo. Something as simple as a quick high bun works great for this look.
Perfectly Round Space Buns
What’s cool about putting super curly hair in buns is that you don’t have to wrap your hair around itself to make that bun shape. As soon as you tie your hair, it’ll immediately take on that perfect, circular shape. Try out these pigtail space buns the next time you head for a music festival or Friday night out!
Sophisticated Braided Chignon
Looking for a sleek, romantic hairstyle to wear for a wedding? Here’s one that’s perfect for a special occasion. Plait a few pieces of your hair in French or Dutch braids moving from your hairline to the back of your head. When you get close to the crown of your head, tie all your hair together in a classy chignon.
The Braided Bob
You might have heard of the blunt bob that’s more common among Caucasian or Asian women. Well, here’s the black girl version—the beautiful braided bob. You can use any braid style for this, from box braids to butterfly braids. Just make sure the braids fall just below your chin to get that classic bob length.
Colored Bantu Knots
Lots of black women put their hair in Bantu knots before they sleep to ensure their curls are nice and defined in the morning. However, these knots make for a dramatic, eye-catching look on their own! For extra oomph, weave colored extensions into your Bantu knots. This peachy red looks awesome for this hairstyle.
Thick Braids and Waves Combo
Show off your alluring waves while putting your hair in pretty plaits too with this winning combo. Create thick braids around the front of your face and seamlessly blend them into the rest of your wavy hair. This is perfect for black women, but also absolutely anyone with wavy hair.
This braid style was made popular by black queen Beyonce in the mid-2010s, and black women have fawned over it since. It’s essentially making cornrows, but instead of them going from the front to the back of the head, they go from one side to the other, creating long braids that drape across one shoulder.
Dutch and Fishtail Braid in One
Have a fascination with braids? Here’s another look you can go for, this time combining two of the most universally flattering braids—the Dutch braid and the fishtail.
Start by creating two or three Dutch braids that go from your hairline to the crown of your head. From there, tie all your hair into a ponytail and do a single fishtail until you reach the ends.
Traditional Cornrows a la Zendaya
If you want to honor some of the more conventional protective styles black women use, put your hair in good old cornrows. Even if they’re more traditional and common, they still look ultra-fab. Just take a look at how Zendaya rocks them!
Cornrow High Pony
One way to spice up the usual cornrows is by putting them up in a long, high ponytail. The trick to achieving this look is to install the cornrows so that each one ends near the top of your head, where you can eventually tie everything together in a neat pony.
Low Bun with Swirled Edges a la Megan Thee Stallion
For that glammed-up look, try putting your hair in a sleek low bun. If you have some baby hairs sticking out, use a small brush and some hair gel to put them in swift, smooth swirls to keep them in place.
Another protective style you can go for if you want something more low maintenance is dreadlocks. Dreads are quite versatile. You can wear them down as is or experiment with half-updos and ponytails, like this one.
Half-Up, Wavy Pigtails with Swooped Bangs
Channel your inner 90s kid with this half-up hairstyle. Instead of doing a usual half-up ponytail, do pigtails instead! This popstar-inspired hairstyle looks perfect with wavy hair and swooped bangs, so make sure to heat-style your locks before tying your hair this way.