31 Best African American Hairstyles & Haircuts for 2021
Curly Pixie for Short Natural Hair
This African-American hairstyle is a perfect naturally curly pixie cut, made by hair designer Dominique from Texas.
Ladies need to know that short hair does mean maintenance. However, it’s all in the haircut. A good haircut can make or break any style. Dominique specializes in pivot point cutting. “This allows me to give each lady a cut especially for them, their head shape, their lifestyle. So, yes, the stylist who provides this cut should personalize it for you,” Dominique notes.
When it comes to products, less is best. This style is very soft. Dominique explains, “I use essential oils on the hair, so it’s very healthy. Heat is at a minimum. Just have fun with your hair long or short, discuss with your stylist in detail, and don’t forget to ask questions.”
Goddess Braids with Curls
Goddess braids with curls are regular braids with a textured twist. The cohesive blend creates an eye-catching protective hairstyle that lets you enjoy the youthfulness of your curly hair. A satin bonnet at night is used to preserve this hairstyle.
Black Girls’ Half-Shaved Style
Black girls’ half-shaved style is done on a natural side part, ending behind the ear. Women who wear half-shaved hairstyles are fearless and adventurous, as they are not afraid of trying something new.
Side-Parted Curly Bob Hairstyle
A side-parted curly bob hairstyle can create shape and highlight your cheekbones. Curly bob hairstyles can save you a lot of time and money when it comes to styling. However, it does limit your styling options. Tuck one side back and accessorize to personalize your style.
Dreads for African-American Women
Dreads for African-American women is a fashion-forward hairstyle. It can be protective or permanent while promoting the growth of Afro hair. Make a statement and embrace your natural hair by sporting a hairstyle like this.
Long Crochet Braids
Long crochet braids can be worn with little to no tension. Achieve endless benefits for your fine to thick hair with the correct braiding pattern to minimize tension on those precious follicles. Ensure hair and scalp are thoroughly cleaned, conditioned, and moisturized before installing.
Wavy Lob for Black Women
A wavy lob for black women can be effortless and chic with any hair texture. This look will introduce body and movement to your tresses when styled with a curling iron for soft waves. A good thing about this style is that women can go longer than a week without adding heat to it.
Chic & Eccentric Swirls and Braids
This African-American hairstyle is described as chic and eccentric by stylist Kay of Hampton Roads, VA.
This style can be worn as shown or taken out and worn as curls. Kay advises that knowing the hair texture is very helpful to determine which products to use and whether it would be better to do the style on dry or semi-dampened hair.
Feed-In High Ponytail
A feed-in high ponytail is very versatile. It was styled and created by professional braider, Janae Brice of Georgia.
“You can put it to the side, directly in the middle, or into a large bun! This look can be worn for any type of casual or professional event,” says Brice.
Consider a very long, luxurious, signature Waterfall Devacut on for natural black hair. This is the type of locks that create a stunning high messy bun or just a low bun.
Minneapolis-based stylist Daisy Giles-U’u states, “My favorite thing is the drama that the length brings. A close second would be the additional curls that the added shaping in her interior brings.”
African-American hairstyles like this are for black girls who have either think hair with a very strong curl pattern that doesn’t dilute much with length or those who have a weaker curl and don’t mind heavy maintenance and diffusing with each cleanse and condition.
Fulani Braids Hairstyle
This style is called “Fulani Braids”. Stylist Reya of the UK created the box braids at the back of the head, while the front of the head is a row of cornrows. It’s like taking parts from two separate African-American hairstyles and turning them into one hairstyle.
According to Reya, “This long hair can be styled a handful of different ways because the braids at the back of the head allow for easy styling and manipulation. Ultimately, these braids can be worn in an updo, a ponytail, half up half down, or even in a bun.”
Reya recommends tying down the braids at night with a silk headscarf to prevent frizzing. It’s also important to moisturize, whatever your hair type, before and after braiding to prevent the hair from drying out. Remember that this is a protective style, so make sure you protect your hair and scalp.
Short Edgy Razor Cut for Black Women
Opt for disconnected and edgy razor-cut bangs with stunning highlights and a caramel base for black women.
Created by stylist Loriane Jackson of Chicago, this color can be achieved with Wella 7W, Blonde Brilliance bleach, and 20 volume developer by Wella. This dynamic and edgy bang was shampooed with Joico K-Pak and conditioner and molded to the shape of the head with It’s a 10 leave-in and the Nairobi foaming wrap.
Jackson states, “She was placed under the dryer for 45 minutes, then combed out. I added a pea-sized amount of grapeseed oil for styling, rubbing it throughout the hair. I used a 1/2-inch flat iron to silk out and finish the hair.”
Trendy Waves for Short Hair
Here’s a wavy look that’s classic with a modern twist! Waves are definitely trending. Georgia-based stylist Tynisha Escobar says, “The waving technique allows me to be as detailed and creative while giving a woman optimum longevity.”
Escobar adds, “I recommend this look to any lady who enjoys a low-maintenance and trendy style. It’s ideal for those with short, chemically relaxed hair.”
Side Cornrows Braid Style
These side cornrows are super edgy and worth a try!
Designed by hair artist Madaline of Georgia, she says, “it fits every woman’s face shape and it makes your appearance more appealing because it brings out your jaw structure and facial features that would normally be covered. It contours your face and neck naturally. It also makes a woman’s face look slimmer and more chiseled, no matter the body type.”
Madaline only uses one product when doing these side braids. “I use Beeswax because it slicks down any hair texture and makes it easy for me to carve my way around. Beeswax also grows your hair really fast and keeps it moisturized from the time I apply it until the time they take down the hairstyle,” Madaline explains.
These vintage waves are very classic. The style really speaks to the vintage 1920s flapper look that has resurfaced over the past few years. Virginia-based stylist Delvina Jeffries says, “My favorite thing about this style is that it’s effortless for a stylist to achieve this look and easy for ladies to maintain at home.”
This style really works best on fine or relaxed hair. It’s a great low-maintenance, get-up-and-go hairstyle that can work with most face shapes.
Protective Bob Braids
This braided bob is a protective style for most Black/African-American women. It’s an average short bob that’s perfect for the hot summer. “What I love about it is that you can just get up and go in the mornings,” states stylist Stella Styles of Palm Beach, FL.
To recreate this look, you will need six to ten packs of braiding hair and a protective styling hair jam/grease, as well as a flamed candle or flat iron to burn off the tips into the desired length.
Styles adds, “The type of women I would recommend for a braided bob would be those who would like a protective style that is less maintenance.”
No-Fuss Hair Coils
Opt for natural, no-fuss hair. The best thing about this look, created by hair designer Genevieve of Ohio, is that you can see those curls with flair!
Genevieve goes on, “The highlights help to enhance her curl type. With tighter curls, sometimes the curls can get lost, but this style helps to show them off.”
Five-Strand Feeding Braids
Consider five feeding braids with little braids in between. It’s simple and versatile at the same time, giving you an edge without being too extreme. Stylist Esther Contant of New York created this style, which is a nice day to day look that you can dress up or down.
“For this look, I used one pack of Xpression braiding hair, as well as Shine and Jam to keep the parts and braid clean. I followed with mousse, tied it down, and placed her under the dryer for about ten minutes,” Contant explains.
Loose Shoulder-Length Waves with a Side Part
Here’s a loose wave style by stylist Jasmine Flagg of Cincinnati, OH. By using this method of straightening, it allows any texture of hair to have bounce and body.
Flagg emphasizes, “My favorite thing about this style is that it is a nice, soft and elegant style. It also allows flexibility with or without chemical, since many African-American women have transitioned from using relaxers to natural hair.”
She explains, “This look rarely fails. It’s nice and sleek, yet youthful. It also doesn’t add any tension, so it’s a nice way to let your hair breathe from your normal day to day styling. The only upkeep would be to wrap it at night and cover it with a silk scarf.”
Weightless Modern Long Curls
This African-American style of locks shows a diamond shape that accentuates the facial features. It’s nice how it falls weightlessly and how effortless it looks with her defined curls. The hair was cut curly and fully dry to create this shape. The curls were cut where they live!
Stylist Alicia Torrens of Florida advises, “Use only water-soluble products to recreate this look. Innersense Organic is one of my go-to product lines! I cleansed her hair with Hydrating Cream Hair Bath shampoo and Hydrating Cream conditioner. I styled her hair with Quiet Calm curl cream and I Create Hold gel.”
Torrens adds, “I made sure to apply the styling products on sopping wet hair, adding the cream first and finishing with the gel for hold. I scrunched the hair to remove excess water and to allow the product to penetrate. We let the hair fully dry without touching the hair.”
Once this hair is fully dry, scrunch it to break the gel cast. The curls will be plumped, soft, and hydrated!
Medium-Length Pixie with Red Highlights
A medium-length pixie makes a fun, playful, sexy look. Florida-based stylist Simone Ho-Sang loves how it’s a soft style overall with just a bit of boldness to it with the color.
This pixie cut is for the black woman who is up for a soft, cute, and edgy look. It’s great for women who want to take a little risk with their color. The ideal lady does need to have a bit of density in her texture to achieve this look, though.
Sassy Short Pixie
It’s fresh yet glamorous – this boyish pixie cut will leave you feeling breezy all day without the hassle of your hair getting on your pretty face.
Long Pixie for Straight Hair
When it comes to African-American hairstyles, this Hollywood favorite short cut is sensational! Combine this with full bangs and show off the beautiful face line you’ve got.
Short Afro-Textured Hairstyle
Short afro-textured hair has an allure of its own. Show off your gorgeous short natural locks in this super cute short hairstyle.
How to style:
- While in the shower, apply a leave-in conditioner
- Gently dry hair with an old t-shirt and apply a generous amount of curl crème
- Lightly twist ends with natural curl pattern.
- Allow hair to air dry.
- Fluff curls as desired.
For defined and conditioned curls, on your African-American hairstyles, try Kinky Curly’s Knot Today conditioner. This pixie style on natural curls will work for all face shapes.
Sleek Angled Bob on African-American Women
A cool blonde shade on straight strands is perfect for any season. Match it up with a sassy bob cut and you’re good to go!
Glamour Blowout with Long Waves
Wear the right blonde with these super stylish loose curls. Bring out the S-shape of your hair and be strikingly stunning!
Super Straight Hair with Blunt Bangs
Style by Nicki Glasgow, Studio Seven Salons, Columbia, SC
For head-turning African-American hairstyles, try pairing strong, full bangs with super straight hair.
How to style:
- Prep towel-dried hair with a blowdry lotion.
- Section hair into 4 quadrants and blow dry straight using a small paddle brush.
- Blowdry bangs by alternating blowing them down and from side to side.
- Flat iron hair by working in small horizontal sections.
- Flat iron bangs straight down and with a light bend on the ends.
- Finish style with a small amount of dry oil.
Try the Drybar’s 100 Proof Treatment Oil for lightweight shine. This style will work for all face shapes.
Lightly Curled Long Bob
This lightly curled long bob is a soft and sweet hairdo that speaks volumes. Try adding curls just to the ends of your long bob for a sweetly chic attention-grabbing style.
How to style:
- Apply a blowdry lotion to towel-dried hair.
- Using a medium-sized round brush, blowdry hair.
- Blowdry bangs using a small round brush and slightly over the opposite side.
- Using a flat iron, style bangs as desired.
- Curl hair with a 1-inch flat iron.
- Set style with a soft hold hairspray.
Finding the perfect round brush is difficult, but Olivia Garden’s 2-inch 100% natural Boar Bristle Round Brush works well to achieve a perfectly smooth blowout. When curling hair, don’t curl any higher than mid-ear to achieve the perfect curl on the ends look. This style will for oval, triangle, and oblong face shapes.
Style by Shwanda Williams, Kenneth Shuler Schools, Columbia, SC
African-American hairstyles are perfect for both naturally curly and relaxed girls.
How to style:
- On air-dried hair, apply a moisturizing oil.
- Part hair from the top of the ear to the other ear.
- Pull the top section into a tight ponytail near the part.
- Pull the bottom section into a tight ponytail near the part.
- Create 5 sections in each ponytail.
- Divide sections in half and create a 2 strand twist.
- Secure twists with a clear elastic.
- Wrap 2 strand twists around ponytails as desired and bobby pin into place.
- Fluff twists for extra volume as desired.
- Finish style with a shine-enhancing spray.
Try Kinky-Curly’s Perfectly Polished to moisturize and add shine to your locks. This updo style will work for all face shapes.
Take on the world and get noticed when flaunting curly hair and a braided faux hawk style!
How to style:
- On air-dried hair, section offside where you want braids to be.
- Create 4 cornrow braids that go from the front to just behind the ear. Secure braids with a clear elastic.
- Spritz the rest of the hair with water and apply a curl cream.
- Allow hair to air dry and fluff curls as desired.
- Finish with a medium-hold hairspray.
Try Moroccan Oils Luminous Hairspray in medium for a flexible hold hairspray with tons of shine. This less dramatic mohawk style will work for all face shapes.
Jaw-Length Bob with Bangs
Style by PAULA RUSSELL, Kenneth Shuler Schools, Columbia, SC
For a style that’s not too short and not too long, try this jaw-grazing bob with strong bangs.
How to style:
- On towel-dried hair, apply a blowdry lotion and thermal protectant.
- Working in small sections, blow dry hair using a Denman brush.
- Flat iron hair and gently bend the ends under.
- Flat iron bangs as desired by adding a slight bend to the ends.
- Apply a shine-enhancing oil to the ends.
Use Josie Moran’s 100% argan oil for super soft and shiny locks. This style would work best on triangle and oval face shapes.
30 Best Natural Hairstyles for African American Women
Black hair is a challenge in care and styling, but if you choose the right haircut and convenient hairstyle that is also cute and stylish, you will be able to create breathtaking looks with your kinky coils. Don’t be in a hurry to get them relaxed. There are very cute hairstyles for short, medium and long natural hair we are ready to present to your attention. Here are also the pictures of latest wavy updos, twists and braids.
Short, Medium and Long Natural Hairstyles
Take a minute to have a look!
#1: Wavy Ombre with Braids
Loose waves teamed with a caramel ombre is a boho match made in heaven. Use Dutch braids around the crown to dial up the free-spirited vibes of the luscious mane and keep your edges in place.
#2: Cherry-Tinted Afro
Natural hairstyles for African-American women are a great foundation for showing off fun colors. The bright hues will bring life to your wash-and-go, giving you an effortless style, day after day.
#3: Twisted Pompadour and Bun
For a natural hairdo that’s protective and professional, try this elevated take on the bun. Recreate the look by parting a rectangular section on top of your head and twisting the hair going towards your face. Pull the remaining hair back into a bun and feed the end of the twist into the bun.
#4: African-American Ombre Frohawk
Go bold and put your colored coils on display with a frohawk. The mix of sleek sides and voluminous ringlets adds a textural and visual intrigue to the hairstyle. Use foam rollers or perm rods overnight to get curls as defined at these.
#5: Bold Undercut and Coils
If you don’t want to deal with long locks but you still want to hold onto your curls, an undercut is one of the best choices for you, out of all the bold hairstyles for African American women. The shaved sides are easy to maintain, while cute ringlets balance the edge with femininity.
#6: Fiery and Natural Twist-Out
Make your curly mane even more unique with a bold palette that puts your personality at the forefront. While this perfect twist out would look just as good in a more natural shade, the vibrant colors are a lot more fun.
#7: African-American Bantu Knots
Bantu knots, rooted in African tradition, are not only a great way to evoke your culture but they also protect your long, natural locks. If your hair is colored, this style will prevent breakage and maintain moisture. Plus, geometric parts give the classic hairdo a modern twist.
#8: Golden Halo Braid
A halo braid is a simple way to manage your African American hair. Style comes effortlessly with this look. Beautifully woven along the hairline, it tucks away all your strands while giving you an angelic quality. The golden hue boosts the beauty and ethereal vibes of the coif.
#9: Bouncy and Natural Curls
The key to va-va-voom volume is defined curls. Using moisturizing products regularly helps to cut back on frizz, letting your coils flawlessly stand at attention. It may take a few tries to figure out which product works best for your hair type; but once your curls are popping, it’ll be worth it.
#10: Fun Fuchsia Locks
Twists and locs are a natural-hair favorite for good reason. Apart from maintaining a timeless appeal, they keep your hair safe from damage. So, if you want to add a little color, like the fuchsia shown here, you won’t have to worry so much about the bleach wreaking havoc on your strands.
#11: Rust-Colored Fro
Afro hairstyles for women give your locks endless versatility. If you decide to straighten your tresses, you can simply wet it when you’re ready for your luscious curls to bounce back. To experiment with different types of curls, sleep with a roller set. In the morning you will have the fullest locks.
#12: Braided Updo with Highlights
Braids frame a fierce fauxhawk in this coif—a failsafe for black girls with an edgy side. Cornrows are a great way to get the close-cut look of shaved sides, without actually chopping off any locks. If you want to add even more dimension, piecey highlights are always a good choice.
#13: Lustrous Caramel Coils
Making the case for the power of a rod set, this medium-length hairdo has luscious and perfectly defined curls. Believe it or not, these pretty ringlets are achieved without any heat. The rods create big volume and you don’t have to worry about damage from a curling iron.
#14: Deep Blue Wash-And-Go
Wash-and-gos are the easiest of all the African American curly hairstyles on which naturalistas can rely. With a good leave-in conditioner and moisturizer, your curls will be effortlessly stunning. But if you want to dial-up the cool factor of your fro, you can always turn to color. Case in point is this subtle blue hue.
#15: Braided Fauxhawk with Extensions
Feed wavy extensions into your cornrows to create an elevated fauxhawk with lots of texture. The beauty of this particular hairdo is its versatility. Updos are traditionally dressy, but braids dress it down with everyday wearability.
#16: Perfectly Coiled African-American Style
The wonders of natural hair don’t discriminate against age. If you are older, you can proudly show off your beautiful coil too. For long natural hair like this, make sure you regularly condition your tresses. If you want to avoid breakage and promote healthy growth, curl defining gels and viscous oils will be your best friends.
#17: Natural Teeny Weeny Afro
Passing on eclectic braids and color, this simple and natural bush hairstyle makes cute curls its central focus. Short, black afro hairstyles are great for when you are first growing out your natural tresses. Super easy to maintain, the look is a failsafe for black women.
#18: French Braids with a Spiraled Bun
Don’t let its intricate appearance fool you; this plaited hairdo is a cinch to DIY. Start with an asymmetrical part and do two French braids along the sides. Then spiral the ends into a bun at the nape of the neck to complement the hairdo’s sleek appeal.
#19: Blonde Tresses with Shaved Sides
An epic design etched into this fade gives it an artful yet edgy finish. Your scalp can be a fun canvas for expressive tattoos. Wear the top tresses straight when you want a sleeker look, or opt for natural curls when you’re craving more texture. What’s more, this style works for gents and females, alike.
#20: Natural Twisted Updo
Changing up updos, this twisted rendition not only looks amazing, but also safeguards your tresses. Going heat-free is always best for maintaining healthy hairstyles for African American natural hair. As an added bonus, when you take out these twists, your hair will have the most beautiful bounce and curls.
#21: Side-Parted Bouncy Spirals
Teyana Taylor’s long hair is textured into bouncy spirals. When your natural locks feature defined curls, the hairstyle seems more compact, while the envious volume of gorgeous black hair is still there. A side parting in modern Afro styles for women is a very popular detail.
August Fairchild / Shutterstock.com
#22: Short Textured Curls
Angela Bassett knows that a short hairstyle has a unique property: it makes you look younger. When you also style your short haircut into lovely fluffy curls, the effect is enhanced twofold!
HelgaEsteb / Shutterstock.com
#23: Micro Braids for Natural Hair
Micro braids allow experimenting with sophisticated braided patterns and creating one of a kind looks. Jill Scott’s front braided section actually serves as the sleek section we achieve when wear headbands. The fluffy curls frame your face but do not get in the way – lovely, unusual and convenient!
Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com
#24: Ultra Short Hairstyle with a Side Part
Expressive facial features and the ideal head shape are the two main requirements for extra short haircuts for curly black hair. Danai Gurira has also introduced some spice into her short hairstyle – the trendy side part. This look needs a flawless makeup and eye-catching accessories.
HelgaEsteb / Shutterstock.com
#25: Updo with a Crown Braid
Jhene Aiko presents a very creative evening look for black hair. In case your hair is not long enough to make a crown braid, use a chignon attachable braid. Leave face framing curls and style cute curly side-swept bangs diagonally.
HelgaEsteb / Shutterstock.com
#26: High Afro Puff Updo
Naturi Naughton’s afro puff flatters round faces and looks good as an evening or casual hairstyle. Try to achieve the ideal sleekness off the line of hair growth. Use Organics olive oil edge control for your edges.
Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com
#27: Curly Updo with a Headband
How to style your black hair trendy this year? Curly updos are on. Anika Noni-Rose shows off her variety of a voluminous curly pony that is sitting high on the crown. The delicate, wispy tips of the curls add it an added feminine appeal.
s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
#28: Front Bun
Although we have seen similar hairstyles, made from box braids, it’s still rather unusual to wear a bun pushed onto your forehead, but Yaya Da Costa copes well with this hairstyling experiment. If you need an elegant updo for natural hair, this is a lovely new idea to try.
Featureflash / Shutterstock.com
#29: Asymmetric Curly Updo
Teyonah Parris confessed that her disobedient kinks made her cry not once. It’s hard to believe because in the photo the cutie is smiling, showing off her gorgeous updo for natural hair. Here once again the asymmetry makes a splash. Be sure, if you manage to achieve the sleekness on one side and fix the sweep securely, you will look as adorable as Teyonah.
Featureflash / Shutterstock.com
#30: Medium Length Layered Curls
A layered haircut is the most flattering choice for medium length natural hair. Voluminous curls need a good silhouette to look their best. Garcelle Beauvais has tried different lengths and textures. This is one of her most flattering hairstyles, indeed.
Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com
If you think you still haven’t mastered your natural hair, it means you haven’t revealed its full potential. There are really more than a few ways to look good with natural locks of any length. Choose the hairstyles you like and consult a trustworthy stylist if needed to define your hair perspectives.
65 Best Short Hairstyle Ideas for Black Women
No matter what's going on in the world, hair doesn't have to be complicated. Enter low-maintenance short hairstyles, which can simplify your life with quick styling options. For the natural girl with a TWA (teeny weeny afro), you have the option to get a low fade, twist-out, or just comb it into a classic fro. For the woman transitioning from relaxed to natural hair, you can wear short braid hairstyles, hot press curly hair, or rock cornrows. And for the woman with relaxer in her hair, you can sport a pixie cut, bob, fingerwave... the options are endless!
With the plethora of hairstyle options Black women have, you may not be sure where to start. For guidance, we asked Sabrina Porsche, celebrity hairstylist in Los Angeles who has styled the coifs of A-listers like singers Beyoncé, Solange, and Jennifer Lopez to reveal the hottest hair trends of 2021 so you can enjoy the year in style.
Additional reporting by Nicole Blades and Danielle Gray
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