Curly hair heroes: From Chloe X Halle to Issa Rae, meet the stars who are slaying natural hair

Amra | 31 January 2018

Curls, curls, curls!


It’s no secret we love hair in every size, shape and form! But right now, we happen to think that it’s especially important to shine a spotlight on natural curly hair. You only need to turn on the news to see radical hair policies and opinions about how black women should wear their hair to know that not everyone is of the same belief.

With that in mind, we feel it’s our duty to show you the style icons who proudly showcase their ‘fros and celebrate their natural curly hair (as they rightfully should!).

So take a look to see the inspiring natural hair heroes we’re fawning over, below.


17 stars with natural curly hair we’re crushing on


close up shot of chloe and halle, wearing natural hairstyles and posing for rodarte campaign
If you don’t know about Chloe and Halle, you’re seriously missing out. Credit:

The heroes: Chloe and Halle Bailey

Meet Chloe and Halle Bailey, the musically gifted sisters that have starred in Queen Bey’s Lemonade music video and recently modelled for Rodarte’s AW 2018 collection. And as if there weren’t enough reasons to envy them, they also proudly rock gorgeous dreadlocks!

Before becoming singers, they were on the acting circuit being constantly asked to remove their dreads. However, they didn’t let those opinions stop them from showing off their beautiful manes — and look at where they are now! Credit: @chloexhalle

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about dreadlock hairstyles.

close up shot of afrodita dorado with short tapered afro, wearing minimal makeup and posing for a magazine cover
She’s been landing all the covers! Credit:

The hero: Afrodita Dorado

With her stylish baby afro and effortless cool-girl appeal, Afrodita Dorado has captured the attention of fashion’s leading magazines and landed not one, but two Vogue covers (for Vogue Japan and Vogue Madrid).

We don’t know about you, but we reckon it’s down to the fact the model’s short natural hair is seriously on-point. Oh, we wish we had your mane, Afrodita! Credit: @afroditadorado

TRESemmé Botanique Nourish & Replenish Hydrating Mist

Editor’s tip: Want to make your curls look on-point, too? You should try spraying them with the TRESemmé Botanique Nourish & Replenish Hydrating Mist!

This nourishing leave-in spray will help condition curls and leave them smelling divine (yay!).

close up shot of Sonequa Martin-Green with pineapple hairstyle, wearing white see through dress and posing at an event
Now that’s what we call a pretty pineapple! Credit:

The hero: Sonequa Martin-Green

Have you had a look at Star Trek: Discovery’s Sonequa Martin-Green’s Instagram yet? If not, you’re honestly missing out on some pretty awesome curly hair inspiration!

Whether she’s slaying protective hairstyles or schooling us all in the art of natural vintage hairstyles, Sonequa is here to remind you of all the looks you can slay, like this pineapple hairstyleCredit: @therealsonequa

close up shot of model Chanelle Törnqvist with long curly hair ombre, wearing hat and posing in a shop
Swedish model Chanelle Törnqvist is about to become your new hair crush. Credit:

The hero: Chanelle Törnqvist

With her long natural ombre curls and ability to fashion her hair into a variety of braid and updo styles, upcoming Swedish model Chanelle Törnqvist is the person you need to add on your mane radar in 2018.

She actively wants to be a part of changing women’s negative attitudes to their natural manes and we’re so here for it! We don’t know about you, but we can’t wait to see her dominating the runways. Credit: @chanellemademoiselle

close up shot of amara la negra with big power afro hairstyle, wearing red jumper and posing in a shop
Bring on the curl revolution! Credit:

The hero: Amara La Negra

Who is Amara La Negra and why is she one of our curly hair heroes? Because of her gravity-defying power afro, of course!

The Love & Hip Hop star reps hard for afro-haired beauties, showing us all how fierce and fabulous a classic, rounded afro hairstyle can be. Anyone else getting ’70s vibes from her ‘do? Us too! Credit: @amaralanegraaln

TONI&GUY Curl Lock Oil

Editor’s tip: To really make your curls #slay, work a small amount of the TONI&GUY Curl Lock Oil throughout your mane, for a frizz-free, high-impact finish!

close up shot of rochelle humes with natural curly hair styled into a half up half down ponytail, wearing black jacket and posing
#Curlslikeus! Credit:

The hero: Rochelle Humes

Last year, Rochelle Humes declared she’d be putting down her straighteners for good to embrace her natural curls, in an effort to show her daughter how beautiful curly hair can be. Awww!

Fast-forward to this year and the star is now proudly showing off her lush curls, never forgetting to hashtag her mane pictures with #curlslikeus (the tag encouraging curly-haired queens to share photos of their natural hair). Keep on slaying, R! Credit: @rochellehumes

close up shot of solange knowles with blonde afro
Don’t touch her hair! Credit:

The hero: Solange Knowles

After casting aside weaves and wigs to transition to natural hair in the public eye, Solange Knowles has fast become the ultimate natural hair hero.

And really, who can forget all the amazing natural mane moments from her Don’t Touch My Hair music video? Not us! Credit: @saintrecords

lupita nyong'o with an afro pompadour wearing a black outfit and pink lipstick
How cute is this afro puff updo? Credit:

The hero: Lupita Nyong’o

No curly hair list would be complete without naturalista babe Lupita Nyong’o. The 12 Years a Slave actress has been the poster girl for the TWA (AKA teeny weeny afro) ever since she burst onto the scene and became our not-so-secret hair crush.

Come on, just look at her pineapple updo hairstyle! What’s no to love about such an effortlessly chic style? Credit: @lupitanyongo

shot of Alicia keys with colourful box braids posing
Lately, Alicia Keys has been rocking her natural hair in box braids. Credit:

The hero: Alicia Keys

When Alicia Keys announced to world that she would be going make-up free, she also decided to forgo weaves and wigs, choosing to flaunt her natural hair.

Nowadays, the star is rocking her natural mane in colourful box braids. Just look at how she’s styled them into a half-up, half-down knot and then you’ll understand why we’re so obsessed with her. Credit: @aliciakeys

close up shot of gabrielle union with ponytail puff hairstyle posing
Guess who’s just invented a whole new hairstyle? Gabrielle Union! Credit:

The hero: Gabrielle Union

Looking to keep things simple, but still look like you made an effort? Then, this ponytail puff hairstyle we spotted Gabrielle Union rocking is all you need to make statement.

Tip: To earn extra sartorial points, try copying Gabrielle’s choice of glitzy hair accessory and you’ll be winning the hair game. Credit: @gabunion

close up shot of yara with curly diana ross curls with bangs posing
Curly bangs are in, don’t you know? Credit:

The hero: Yara Shahidi

Swirly locks always look adorable, but if you’re in the mood for a style refresh, consider getting some curlicious bangs cut in, just like Yara Shahidi has done.

This ultra-femme style allows you to jump in on the ever-popular bangs trend, all while allowing you to show off the beautiful texture of your coils. Anyone else double-tapping this look? Credit: @yarashahidi

shot of tracee ellis ross with cornrow hairstyle, wearing glittery dress posing
When you mix cornrows + bantu knots together, you get the dreamiest hairstyle ever. Credit:

The hero: Tracee Ellis Ross

Let’s face it, Tracee Ellis Ross’ protective mane game is always on-point – and this braided look is certainly no exception. The actress has married together cornrows and beautiful bantu knots, for an elegant style that’s destined for the red carpet and beyond. Credit: @traceeellisross

back shot of model with short curly hair wearing beret cap and biker jacket
Think berets and baker boy hats are out of the question? Think again. Credit:

The hero: Dilone

Whoever said curls and berets don’t work together, clearly didn’t take this ultra-stylish and protective look into account.

As Dilone (AKA the breakout model of the moment) demonstrates, short curls pair perfectly with this statement French girl hair accessory, especially when some of your curls peek out underneath. Credit: @_dilone

shot of janelle monae with hair accessories in her hairstyle posing
She’s the queen of accessories! Credit:

The hero: Janelle Monae

Uh, in case you haven’t noticed, Janelle Monae is kind of winning the red carpet mane game right now. Why? Well, she’s schooling us all in the art of dressing up natural hair, by rocking it with an array of gorgeous hair accessories.

We’re talking about space buns with stars and googly eyes, updos wrapped in pearls and more. Take notes ladies, take notes! Credit: @janellemonae

close up shot of lion babe with big blonde curly hair, wearing jumper in a studio
Blonde hair + curls = a match made in hair heaven! Credit:

The hero: Lion Babe

Blonde afro strands are taking over the beauty scene (we’re looking at you again, Solange!). This warm-toned, fashion-approved shade isn’t for the fainthearted, but will definitely have those around you wondering if you stepped off a catwalk! Isn’t that right, Lion Babe? Credit: @lionbabe

TONI&GUY Illuminate Blonde Shampoo

Editor’s tip: If you’re tempted get a blonde afro hair colour, remember to use a wash and care system specifically formulated for dyed blonde hair.

We’re currently fawning over the TONI&GUY Illuminate Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner, as it helps hair look frizz-free, all while helping maintain your hue’s vibrancy.

close up shot of maria borges with short afro hairstyle, wearing black dress
Grace Jones is that you?! Credit:

The hero: Maria Borges

Grace Jones, is that you?! Victoria’s Secret model Maria Borges shared this gorgeous snap on Instagram, showcasing her beautiful (and bountiful) short natural black hair.

This voluminous, high-rise style is a major throw back to Grace Jones’ trademark geometric high-top afro, and we simply adore it. Credit: @iammariaborges

close up shot of issa rae with a curly ponytail with a headband silk scarf on, wearing earrings and posing
Pimp up that go-to bun with a lovely silk headband and you’ll be good to go. Credit:

The hero: Issa Rae

Issa Rae is best know as the creator of the Youtube web series Awkward Black Girl (and if you haven’t watched it, you should, pronto!). And lately, she’s been serving up some killer styles for her red carpet appearances.

We particularly love how she’s styled her chocolate curls into a high bun updo, which she takes to star-worthy heights with a beautiful silk headband. Ooh la la! Credit: @issarae