African-American hairstyles, and hair for that matter, are the most diverse ways that a person of African-American descent can style or design their locks. Since plenty of black people are born with hair that is comprised of small and tight curls, as compared to people belonging to other ethnicities, a lot of unique hairstyles made specifically for African-Americans are born. Apart from this, plenty of these hairstyles take their inspiration from African culture and history. Black hairstyles, along with curly black hair itself, are a part of black history – Beginning from tribal styles from Africans, right down to dreadlocks sported by Jamaicans, and of course, the afro haircut.
Towards the end of the twentieth century, straight hair became popular again with black people, encompassing a variety of both long hairstyles and short ones. A new product from the 80s, the jheri curl, was a special chemical that had the ability to create wet and loose curls suited for both men and women. Both genders like using dreadlocks, corkscrews, twists, braids, fades, and all sorts of hairstyles that took advantage of curly haired textures. Even though economic depression was felt in plenty of black communities, the most successful ones were hair salons, especially found in urban communities. In fact, African-Americans who live in predominantly white suburbs frequently return to black neighborhoods to make trips to the salon.
As of this year, the newest types of black hairstyles tend to lean towards stylish yet natural looks. Giving it a hint of color, provides your hairstyle with loads of personality. It doesn’t matter what your current hair texture or type is, you can always go for a brand-new look with the hairstyle that you love the most.
Things You Might Want To Know About Black Hairstyles
- Right now, black women have plenty of options when it comes to hairstyles, no matter if they possess straightened or curled hair, real or synthetic, straightened or fluffed up. You can use a whole variety of accessories for any kind of hairstyle, such as necklaces and chunky earrings.
- Hairstyles for black women not only look very decorative on one’s head, they can also help get those unruly curls of yours under control. But it doesn’t matter if you’re the type of person who’s fond of ironing your hair, or embracing your natural curls, there are plenty of options when it comes to designing your mane.
- Black women with longer hairstyles do have the tendency to stand out more, thanks to their creativity. This creativity is obvious when one notices the braided patterns on their head, alongside the curls, and glamorous buns and updos. You must also never miss the opportunity to know more about how to do these new hairstyles for black women. They won’t leave you feeling very indifferent when it comes to their different shapes and textures. Shortened ones include common themes such as chic curls, funky mohawks, and tapered styles.
- A lot of African-American women like showcasing their hairstyles on social media, and have gained a huge following. There are lots of Websites that are knowledgeable when it comes to hair care products, information, and tips for taking care of natural curls. There are also plenty of sites that focus on creating looks for natural curls. Dreadlocks and braids are slowly growing in popularity as well. A quick trip to the bookstore reveals that a lot of books regarding this subject are available.
- To tell the truth, African-American hair is diverse and good enough for building all sorts of looks – The only thing you must do is to know how to do each one until you become an expert. One of the more helpful tips here is to keep it moisturized and well-rinsed to prevent constant frizziness and dryness. For black hair trends, silky extensions, along with straightened hairstyles from ironing, are slowly phasing out. Instead, hairstyles that deal with natural curls are now replacing them. You can also pick braids, twists, and knots as well.
Best Black Hairstyles for Women
- Classic Bob – Classic bobs involve single-length cuts and layers. These methods do include a much-needed volume and weight to your hair. A bob is sure to bring out your hair’s beauty, and make it stand out despite it being a simple hairstyle. Medium-length and short-length bobs paired up with bangs look spectacular especially on shiny and smooth hair. Depending on your face shape, you can soften the contours of your bob enough by trimming the tips of your hair just a little bit. This year, some of the famous black hairstyles involving bobs include elongated front tresses, a feathered finish, and lastly, edgy contours at the bottom. There’s actually a common theme between these three bob cuts: They can define your face shape and make your hair’s imperfections much more noticeable, especially the split ends.
- Bob & Wave – Creating beautiful and glamorous waves doesn’t have to occupy too much time – You can create that kind of hairstyle with the help of an elongated bob. Wrap up your hair at nighttime and take it off right before you leave the house. Keep it styled up with the help of paddle brush or a wide-toothed comb. Use a wide iron on a cool setting if you want to install cute flips into your long bob.
- Luscious Twist Hairstyles – If the same braided, wavy, or curly hairstyles seem repetitive and boring to you, then you must try out the luscious twist. Twists are a great alternative for braided hair. Although if you compare it to braids or knots, twists are so much easier to make – Which is the reason why they are love by women who are always on the go. Twists also serve as an excellent base for plenty of other hairstyles as well. You can take your pick from Marley twists kinky twists, Havana twists, and Senegalese twists.
- Glamorous Ponytail – For those with long yet kinky hair, or at least shoulder-length, then feel free to style your hair into a ponytail. Beginning from the front side of your hair, start pulling it back and include a bit of height right at the crown area to complete this look. This look isn’t even that hard to do since your bangs are short enough. Pin them back using a cute clip – You may even add a low poof to it. Then brush your hair back, push it a bit forward, then keep it secured with a clip or a barrette. Starting from there, bunch all of your hair and place it inside the ponytail with the help of a brush or comb, then smooth out any of the strands that aren’t in place.
- Blonde Boy Cut – African-American women have personalized short hairstyles and made them their own. This edgy cut is a no-maintenance style perfect for those who are searching for an elite and classy look. The blonde boy cut is perfect for women who have angular facial features. One of the reasons why people get this type of hairstyle a lot is because it shows off their defined bone structure, and gives them a bit of an edge as compared to the rest.
- Spiked Black Hairstyle – This hairstyle is flirty, unique, and creative at the same time. You can play around with it, and create plenty of styles that are perfect for different occasions. This is a hairstyle that’s simple and easy to make too – And not only that, it’s a genuine money saver. Short hair doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to maintain it on a regular basis, and get it combed and fixed on the daily. And what’s also great is that you no longer need to use hair products too often since this is a short hairstyle.
- Curly Cues – These are gigantic and very bouncy curls made using rollers. Just make sure that your hair is completely dry before removing the rollers. And don’t forget to use moisturizer.
- Pixie Haircut – A lot of celebrities have sported pixie cuts through the years, and there’s actually a good reason why this particular hairstyle is timeless. Not only are pixie cuts easy to maintain, but they’re also subtle, not to mention very stylish. A headdress adds a touch of maturity to that hairstyle – Pixie cuts are also great for work or for going out with friends. Just chop off your long locks and form it into any style you want.
- Mohawk Black Hairstyle – Not only is this hairstyle perfect for men with a wild, rebellious streak, it also suits women too. In fact, you can even wear a mohawk black hairstyle when you’re at work. Pair it up with an expensive suit and some heels, so it perfectly suits that professional working environment. College women can also rock this hairstyle, which is sure to draw attention and make them the most popular girl at that event. And since it’s a short hairstyle, it doesn’t require too much maintenance, so it’s great for stay-at-home moms who are always busy taking care of kids.
- Curls of Summer – Loose, wavy curls hanging down from your head are perfect for those who want a natural look, but not one manufactured by a salon. Soft curls are the best hairstyle to wear during the summer season. You can also use up a huge ceramic-based curling iron, and set it on the lowest heat to place in soft curls. Set these curls with the help of a styling spray. This works really well if you happen to have shoulder-length or short hair.
- Flips and Layers – This African-American hairstyle is pretty much all the rage right now, and a couple of celebrities like to wear them on the red carpet. Straightened natural hair is either flipped up or layered alongside wings that also flip back, akin to hairstyles popularized during the 1980s. Nowadays, plenty of black women’s hairstyles are becoming more and more ornate and spectacular – In fact, a lot of them have even resorted to installing weaves, extensions, and wearing wigs to achieve more fullness with their current hairstyle. The front side of the hair is loose and incorporated into the wig. Meanwhile, the back and sides of the hair are form layers. This hairstyle is great for both long and short hair types.
- Layered Curly Cut – Hairstylists have mentioned that this type of cut fits women born with natural waves or curls. The layers allow the curls to dry naturally, resulting in better placement. So to be able to replicate it, you might want to ask your hairstylist to make layers depending on the current texture of your hair. A layered curly cut focuses more on texture, so you can wear it with either natural curls, or straightened hair.
- Urban Curly Bob – Another popular hairstyle worn by celebrities is the urban curly bob. Not only does it look adorable on certain face shapes, it’s also a low-maintenance hairstyle. This is a fun hairstyle all in all, and gives your look a nice and girly vibe. Not only do curly bobs provide your hair with a whole new refreshing appeal to it, you don’t even have to purchase hair products or tools to keep it well-maintained. There are many steps you can follow if you want to achieve this hairstyle.
- Side Swept Bangs – No matter if you’re currently rocking shoulder-length hair, long hair or short hair, you can also use this style to create side bangs. It’s a very simple style to do – You just need to comb the bangs on the side that you wish. If your bangs are too thick or long, this type can actually serve as an advantage since it allows you to complete a seductive look by placing the bangs over one eye.
- Colorful Box Braids – This is perhaps one of the best African-American hair trends to come out this year. Although women have always enjoyed putting colored weaves into their hair, styling your hair into colorful box braids are just wonderful to look at.
How to do Black Hairstyles
It doesn’t matter what kind of hairstyle you’re currently sporting – As an African-American woman, you can pretty much agree on one fact: Your natural hair gets really annoying during the summertime. No matter if it ends up frizzing once you leave your house or sticks to the back of your neck in an irritating manner because of all that sweat, this whole thing is just downright frustrating. So as a result, plenty of ladies end up tying their hair in a bun or in a ponytail – And although this is normal, it does tend to get boring after a while, especially if you’re a person who likes experimenting with different variants of hairstyles for naturally curly hair.
Are you itching to do something really unique and amazing with that hair of yours? There are loads of hairstyles meant for girls with both long and short frizzy hair – Proving that there’s always a type of hairstyle meant for everyone, no matter if you have natural curls or synthetic hair. Here are a couple of tips you can use for your natural locks.
Tips for Maintaining Your Natural Black Hairstyles
- Make sure to rinse, shampoo and condition your hair at least thrice a week using a strong conditioner. This helps fight frizziness and handles breakage. Leave in the conditioner for a while, and hold those curls in place using gel or mousse so you can also retain the conditioner itself. Don’t play with your hair too much while it’s still drying out. The more you touch it, the less it will frizz out.
- Leave in a good combination of gel and conditioner, which creates a good balance of conditioning and control. A good tip for applying this mixture is raking a wide-toothed comb through your hair after applying the product. This ensures that each section of your hair coats evenly. Afterwards, scrunch up your hair for a little bit of added volume. And while drying out, use a serum to remove frizz or flyaway strands.
- For thin hair, use a thickening spray since this gives the illusion that you have a thick head of hair, even if that’s not the case. Before blow drying, add a spritz of volumizer and a roof-lifter on your scalp, and fix your hair using a back comb to build up more lift. This combination allows your hair to reach its maximum length. Moisturize your locks daily to prevent split ends and breakage.
- When you’re in the shower, apply a hair mask to your hair for extra hydration. Remove tangles with the help of a wide-toothed comb while rinsing. Be careful to rinse out all of the residues produced by the hair mask – But a little bit of moisture left is still a good thing. Use shine glaze and conditioner on your wet hair, and allow it to dry naturally.
- Hold a curling iron parallel to your head, and wrap tiny segments of your hair around its barrel. This creates bouncy curls that are reminiscent of hairstyles from the 1940s. Make sure to apply this to all segments, creating curls all the way up to the center of your hair. Check the amount of curls you build on one side of your head, so you can figure out how much you have to curl on the other side. Finally, spray those tresses with setting spray and shine spray to give it a bit of a sheen.
- Deep condition your hair at least thrice a week using shampoo and a thick conditioner, since this prevents breakage and frizz. Control flyway strands and frizz with the help of a serum.
- If you want to achieve beautiful and tight curls minus the hassle of frizziness, then you must get a cut that can greatly support your natural curly hair. Before doing so, tell your stylist that you’re using natural hair for your actual hairstyle, so they can provide you with the right cut suited for you. Condition overnight during a shower, so your coarse and dry curls can get the right amount of moisture. And don’t forget to add in that serum!
- Apply shine spray to dried-out locks, and use rollers on the tips of your hair, allowing it to sit for up to ten minutes. Then use a silicone-based serum on the same ends and gradually pull out the curls. This results in soft waves.
- In case you want a modern-looking bob hairstyle using your natural hair, always make sure that your hair gets the right amount of moisturizer. Massage your scalp daily, even when it’s not yet time to wash your hair. Place small segments of your hair into rollers, and use a drying hood to dry them. Before your hair gets dry, take off the rollers and dry the remainder using a blowdryer on low heat. The last step is to iron out those bangs.
- Curly hair has the tendency to absorb moisture. So it’s great to use a leave-in conditioner while your hair is still damp, as this works as a good emollient. Whenever you leave the shower, use a light towel to dry your hair, and a wide-toothed comb to remove the tangles, while working your way from the tip to the hair’s roots. Believe it or not, diffusers are also helpful when it comes to drying your hair. Allow it to air dry to achieve the results that you want.
- Close-cropped hairstyles require lots and lots of hydration for it to stay voluminous. Use any brand of moisture-rich conditioner. Drench your hair in water and setting lotion, and allow it to sit beneath a drying hood on low heat. This helps bring out the natural texture of your hair. Don’t rinse out all of the conditioner from your hair, and just leave a little bit for additional moisture.
- Dry your hair using a small rounded brush to give the tips of your hair that added oomph.
Best Hair for Black Hairstyles
Black hair is truly fashionable. A lot of African-American women do prefer getting short hairstyles instead of long ones. Brand new hairstyles for short, kinky hair are always coming out, hoping to blend in with the latest clothing trends. Not only do they look great with the fashion, but with the women’s whole character as well. A lot of ladies who sport these hairstyles look wonderfully elegant.
Black hair itself has a unique texture, which is the reason why plenty of lengths and styles meant for average women don’t suit them well enough. A short hairstyle can compliment the look, and it’s fantastic on both short/straight hair and short/curly hair too. You can change from an extra-mini buzz, to a bob-type haircut. Find the right hairdo that surely fits your personality.
Celebrities Who Have Worn Natural Hair for Black Hairstyles
Viola Davis – The How to Get Away with Murder star and recent Academy Award winner had a memorable scene in her show, in which she took off her wig and revealed her natural hair underneath.
Erykah Badu – The controversial singer has always worn a headscarf during performances, and has made it her signature style. But recently, she has been showing off her natural curls, and it’s quite an impressive head of hair!
Oprah Winfrey – Through the years, Oprah’s look has constantly changed as a result of her fluctuating weight. But she has also sported many hairstyles as well. She revealed her natural hairstyle in 2012 after posing for the cover of O Magazine, and has not hidden them ever since.
Esperanza Spalding – The beautiful jazz singer/bassist has always been proud of showing off her big curly afro hairstyle, and has considered it to be one of her assets.