Guide to Curls: 43 Curly Hair Ideas, Style Tips and a Tutorial!

Even more ways to embrace your curl power!

Here at All Things Hair we just love curly hair. Since we are very much into celebrating curls, we also know that there are tons of flattering hair cuts out there for all different lengths and curl structures. With your natural curl pattern and texture you can enhance your locks, opt for more (or less volume) by adding layers or losing some length by chopping it off. Whatever style you’re going for, we have you covered! Read on to check out a few of our favorite hairstyles for curly hair.

Curly Hairstyles to Check Out

curly hair pixie
A curly cut that lets you rock a shorter length. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

1. Long, Curly Pixie

Curly hair and short hair do mix, and we have been loving seen more and more iterations of this look in the curly pixie. For 2017, why not try out a combination of long curls with a shorter back. You’ll still get a little more hair to play with to make cute styles like this pinned back look.

curly hair long bangs
Rock those curls with layers for your new look.

2. Curly Layers

Two things that go hand in hand are curly hair styles and layers. Layers help to take some of the bulk out of your curly hair so it can be styled down, without giving you triangle hair. For shoulder-length hair we love to add in short layers as it allows to you create even more volume in your curly hair. If you’re going for a longer style, use some gel to help define your ringlets.

fluffy curly hair bob
Say yes to the bob in your curly hair. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

3. Curly Bob

A chin grazing bob is this ultimate 1930s throwback hairstyle that looks sultry on curls. For even more vintage flair, add in some short layers that’ll both define your curls and highlight your features.

layers curly hair
The layered look is so chic on curly hair.

4. Extra Long Layers

Long layers cut more of your hair than short layers. It’s a great way to really shape curly hair cuts. If you have curly hair that never poofs out (a.k.a curly unicorn hair) adding layers may take out a little bit too much hair.

short red curly hair
Go for a cute cut with a layered bob and some bangs. Photo credit: Dvora

5. Layered Bob and Side Bangs

We love the look of stylish curly bangs! They can add a totally gorgeous new element to curly hair cuts. If your hair is in between curly and wavy, why not try out this layered bob look with bangs. It’ll gives your curly waves an extra romantic look that you can enhance by using some of the Bed Head by TIGI On The Rebound Curl Recall Cream.

curly hair red brown tones
Take your cut to the side with this angled cut. Photo credit: Dvora

6. Angled Blunt Cut

We love dramatic haircuts, like blunt curly haircuts, that allow you to shift your hair to the opposite side. Not only will this add some natural volume to your mane, it’ll help to showcase and define your curls.

curly hair bangs
Bangs are not just for straight hair!

 7. Curly Bangs

Curly bangs can be rocked on any hair length. But, because they’re right there in front of your face you’ll want to make sure they really look good. The key to making sure curly bangs look great is keeping them moisturized and tangle-free. We love working with the a leave-in conditioner or a detangler like the Nexxus New York Salon Care Headress Leave-in Conditioning Creme to add moisture, shine and to help ease out knots.

brushed out curls curly hair
Amp up the volume for a girls night out.

8. Brushed Out Curls

Lightly combing through your curls will add some serious volume to your hair and give you that glamorous holiday feel you’ve been craving. Watch out, though, because this curly hairstyle can easily get away from you as your voluminous curls quickly turn to unmanageable frizz. A dab of some anti-frizz cream, combed through your strands will keep them smooth and voluminous without weighing them down.

curly hair fancy updo
Create some amazing coils on your curly hair for your fancy event.

9. Coiled Updo

This chic updo is the epitome of hardcore holiday glam. Start by creating a deep-side part in your hair and slick down the smaller side with a comb. Tease the roots of the larger section and then lightly comb it towards the back of your head. Create a low ponytail at the nape of your neck and coil your hair while being careful to maintain your curls. Pin the ponytail in this coiled pattern to secure it into place. To make sure your updo holds up until the clock strikes twelve, try a few sprays of some flexible-hold hairspray.

messy, curly hair updo
Simple and classic while still leaving room for some personality.

10. Messy Updo

If you’re looking for a hairstyle that’s tasteful and classy while still showcasing some personality, try out a chignon updo. Scrunching some of the Dove Style & Care Volume Amplifier Mousse through your damp hair will give you some lift at the roots as it defines your curls. Once your hair has dried, follow this simple tutorial to create the perfect chignon.

curly hair ideas ringlets
Ringlets are always a good idea!

11. Cascading Ringlets

We love the look of voluminous, long ringlets for the holidays (and really everyday!). To get this style, create a short side part and brush the top of your hair backwards. This step is totally optional, but you can also take a flat iron to straighten the top few inches of your hair to get a slicked back look. You can also use the flat iron or, if you are working with wet hair, use some mousse to help define your curls.

blonde natural curly hair
Rock your natural texture for the holidays with this look.

12. Springy Natural Curls

Show off your curls by wearing your hair down, without any other accoutrement. To keep your natural curls springy and bouncy, make sure that they are nourished and moisturized. Before your night out, treat your hair with a revitalizing hair mask. Once your hair is dry, use your fingers to scrunch and shape your curls.

curly hair wet look
With this style all you need is gel! Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

13. Wet Hair Look

Curly hair works well with the wet hair look. This super simple style is easiest to style on wet, freshly washed hair. When you step out of the shower, use a towel to gently squeeze the majority of the water out of your hair. Then make your usual parting and apply a liberal amount of some gel.  You can define your curls into individual ringlets then let your hair air-dry. The shiny texture of the gel will keep the wet hair look without the crunch.

curly hair faux hawk
Wear a faux hawk style to show off your curls. Photo credit: Dvora

14. Faux Hawk

Great for those who are blessed with natural curls, a funky faux hawk offers some festival edge, without requiring an insane amount of styling time. To get this trendy style, start by applying a curl defining product onto your clean, damp hair. To get that faux hawk finish, simply apply some styling gel onto the sides of your head, brush both sides back, and secure with a large clip or some carefully placed bobby pins.

curly hair fun twist
A half up, half down style is always Bohemian-chic.

15. Create a Fun Twist

Half-up, half-down styles are great for those with curly or wavy hairstyles as they create the same vibe as braided festival styles without having to create an intricate plait. Creating a beautiful side twist, for example, gives your curls a hippie-chic look that’s totally on-trend. Get the full scoop on how to create this look from the romantic knitted bang tutorial.

curly hair sporty buns
Space buns take under ten minutes to create. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

16. Sporty Space Buns

If you want a style for your curls that’s off your face, wearing a space bun style is definitely a good style to try. Achieving this look is fairly simple, as you’ll want to use a styling product like the Nexxus New York Salon Care Exxtra Hold Sculpting Gel onto your damp and clean hair. To get your buns, simply create two high pigtails on either side of the head, and wrap and tuck carefully with bobby pins to form your quirky bun style. Finish with some strong-hold hairspray to keep your style secure.

curly hair messy top knot
A top knot is an easy style to create.

17. Create Messy Top Knot Bun

Messy top knots are a no-fuss and sexy style for festival season since they can be created in minutes without any complications. This style tends to work well on second-day hair, as it gives your bun some messy volume. But if you need to give your bun some extra texture, use the Bed Head by TIGI Joyride Texturizing Powder Balm to help give your style some oomph.

sexy center part curly hair
A dramatic center part is always sexy. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

18. Try a Sexy Center Part

A bold center part is a striking and easy style to try, as it gives curly hair that gothy-cool edge that’s essentially perfect for festival season. To achieve this look, apply some gel to your hair and then create your part with the assistance of your fingers and a comb. Brush down your hair and add some mousse to your hair where you can define and show-off those awesome curls.

curly hair bold afro
Bold hair color always pumps up your curls. Photo credit: Allyson Alapont

19. Go Bold and Colorful

Bold hair color always dresses up any hair look, and allows you to show off your curls in an exciting new way. Opt for a temporary color for your festival, or ‘go for it’ by visiting your colorist before your music fest to make a bold statement. 

teased curly hair
A look with tons of volume.

20. Teased Hair

Or maybe you’re all about volume for your curly hair. That’s cool! Try teasing it before your festival for a head-turning look that will stay put throughout your festival. Master teasing in our teasing hair guide and you’ll be good to go.

short natural curly hair
Keep it natural for an effortless curly haired look. Photo credit: Allyson Alapont

21. Natural Afro

If you’re lucky enough to have naturally curly, textured hair, what better way to embrace your curls than to simply perk it up with a few spritzes of hair oil, like the Suave Moroccan Infusion Styling Oil, and a little time with a wide tooth comb to give it extra volume. The result will be a glimmering, softly textured fro perfect for morning, night and everything in between.

blonde curly hair updo
Pull your hair up without disrupting your curl pattern for a feminine curly hairstyle that’s super convenient. Photo credit: Dvora

22. Curly Updo/Pony Combo

Some days call for a fuss-free ‘do that will rev up your style without blowing into your face every two seconds. And on these days we have just the answer for you: updos. In a simple twist and clip motions, you’ll have the perfect curly hairstyle for an on-the-go day. Not only will this look last all day long, but it will look expertly created while doing so.

half-up curly hair
Get the best of both worlds with this half up messy bun.

23. Half-Up Top Knot

Think of this as the best of both worlds–in one simple hairstyle you get to let your mane flow freely while also keeping your face clear of any flyways. To make the most of this look, use some volumizing mousse to really perk up your flowing curls, which will create a chic contrast with your top knot.

defined waves curly hair
Create soft loose curls for a super quick, but totally stylish look.

24. Defined Curls

Some days you just want to roll out of bed and rock a lived-in look. You can either curl your hair and shake them out, or you can get a little hands-on action with your curling wand the night before and sleep on them for a more natural look.

tousled curly hair
Tousle your natural curl pattern for a more frizzed out, laid back look. Photo credit: Dvora

25. Tousled Side Part

Side parts are the perfect way to rock a curly hairstyle if you have a long, narrow face. Off-center parts are a great option for long faces because they have a way of making your face appear slightly wider. When you chop your ‘do with blunt ends it will make you look more picturesque by elongating your neck and giving a super classic, yet slightly edgy look.

cool curly hair space buns
Point blank: space buns are always a good idea. Photo credit: Dvora

26. Curly Space Buns

It’s no surprise that we had to include space buns in our round-up. This ’90s hairstyle is alive and well, and it’s especially vivacious on short curly hair because it has a way of keeping the buns as perky as possible. We also love how they can make you look effortlessly cool while getting your hair out of your face.

bang-heavy mohawk
Rock a mohawk with your curly pixie this year.

27. Bang-Heavy Mohawk

Mohawks aren’t just for the dudes. We love this look because you can create it on straight hair if you have a long on top pixie, or create it with naturally thick curly hair. For the curly girls, start by brushing your hair upwards, focusing the brush at the roots. Then, when you’ve got your hair positioned in a mohawk, pin it in place. Then apply some gel to your hair to help to create a defined look to your hair as well as help hold onto this awesome style.

natural long curly hair
Embrace the volume in your hair with this teased out hairstyle. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

28. Teased Out Volume

Have a day when you just can’t with your hair? Go for this super fun NYFW-inspired hairstyle. You don’t even need to start with defined curls. Just detangle your hair lightly with your fingers. When you don’t have any major knots to deal with, tease out the sides of your hair. This look is all about big curls that you can compliment with a chic accessory like a feminine headband.

natural curly hair flexi-rods
Flexi-rods can create defined ringlets in your hair. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

29. Perfected Curls

We love the look of these totally perfect defined curls. And, they’re actually created with flexi-rods! Check out our hair tutorial to help you recreate no-heat curled hairstyles with hair rods. It’s the perfect do in advance because in the morning you just need to un-twist, add moisture and go!

jeweled space buns curly hair
Say yes to space buns to enhance your curly hair. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

30. Jeweled Space Buns

Space buns are one of our favorite ’90s updated hairdo. On thick curly hair it looks awesome because there is so much texture! This is a great style to start off with some extra moisture. To style, apply a curl defining spray all over your hair. Then create two buns on the top of your head (much like as if you were creating pigtails). Secure with some bobby pins and get fancy by decorating your buns with little gems for a super fun and funky look.

curly hair pineapple hair
Pineapple looks amazing on curly locks.

31. Pineapple Hair

Easy, protective styles are a must-have in any curly girl’s repertoire. The pineapple hair look is perfect for days that you want your hair off your neck, or you’re just dying to style your favorite bandana. To master this look, check out our easy pineapple hair tutorial.

curly hair shag
The shag is back and better than ever. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

32. Curly Messy Shag

You might say that we’re a bit obsessed with the shag hairstyle with curls. It’s a ‘70s #throwback hairstyle that we hope never stops being cool. To make sure the shag looks like a cute way to style curly hair, make sure you define your curls. After you wash and condition your hair, use a blowdryer with the diffuser attachment on, and prep your hair with some mousse. Shagtastic!

style curly hair into an updo
A simple updo lets your curls do their thing as it gets your hair out of your face.

33. Half-Up Curly Hairstyle

Bored of your bun or ponytail? Try the super quick and easy half-up hairstyle instead. We know the overall effect is pretty much the same, but we love how versatile it is to style the half-up hairstyle. Prep your dry hair with a couple of drops of hair oil, then pull half of your hair into a half ponytail and you are good to groove!

fishtail braid curly hair
Master braids as a way to show-off your curly hair.

34. Intricate-Looking Braids

There is no reason you can’t do fun braids with curly hair. It’s one of the more ridiculous “hair rules” we’ve ever heard. You can (and should!) do a fishtail braid in curly hair! We think it looks totally gorgeous because naturally curly hair has so much texture! You’ll get a more interesting braid that will actually stay braided. So perfect.

curly hair side swept
Go dramatic with your hair and enhance your curls with this side-swept look.

35. Side-Swept Bangs

Do you want to wear curly hair with bangs but don’t want to commit to the cut? We totally get that! Getting bangs can be kind of scary. If you’re more into the fake it till you make it group, try the hair flip style! With hair that is about shoulder length, doing the flip can let you play around with the look of having curly bangs, without needing to actually cut curly bangs. Keep your style in tact with a light mist of some hairspray.

big hair curly hair
Create even more volume on your curly hair this year.

36. Very Voluminous

We love how this curly style is wearable but totally ’80s. All you need to do to get this big fluffy hair look? Break up your curls or tease the sides! If you have a tighter curl structure, you may be able to get this kind of volume just by fluffing out your hair with your fingers. For wavy/curly gals, just take a teasing brush and lightly pull back on your curls. It gives crazy volume without having to deal with tons of knots later.

curly hair rich girl hair
The ultimate lazy-girl sexy curl: the rich girl bend. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

37. Uptown/Downtown M.O.D.*

The model off-duty’s* take on unnatural curls? None at all, if she can help it. Which is why we’re loving this iteration, which features that coveted rich-girl bend popular in recent seasons, with just the faintest hint of a blowout. Easy as pie to recreate, this could very well be a wash-and-wear look for women with some natural texture, such as wavy hair, to work with. Otherwise, it’s just a matter of spritzing on some texturizer for a street-er feel to salty waves.

curly hair natural bob
A chic way to rock your natural bob. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

38. Low-Key Natural Bob

The natural/afro haircuts for curly hair is one of our favorite curly hair down dos, as it showcases some major texture in a cool, on-trend length. We’ve seen several fashion mavens rock this look at chin-level with a center part, and diffusing the coils ever-so-slightly (as above), earns it even more street cred. To keep your coils from frizzing out too much, squeeze in a leave-on onto your hair around once a day, or as needed.

curly hair micro bangs
The high contrast between a straight fringe and wavy lengths in these curly hair down dos is both confident and futuristic. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

39. Clubby Waves + Micro Fringe

Techno-punk meets athleisure was another big movement we’ve spotted on the streets, and this translated to hairstyles that were edgy and had a bit of a club-kid aesthetic (check out our space buns post!). A baby bang paired with some seriously chunky Z-shaped curls took this trend to the fore, and we can almost see this going hand in hand with slit-side elephant trousers, raw-edge denims and wide boat-necked tees. For the fearless fringer, ask your stylist for a length that hits a few centimeters above your brows, and urge in those rad bends with a texturizing powder, scrunched on the lengths.

 

hairstyles for curly hair afro
Curls that are worn with their natural texture always look fresh and confident.

40.  Natural Curls

For the ready-in-five-minutes girls of the world, this look is for you. When you’re blessed with naturally curly hair and already have it prepped in a fun afro look, all you have to do to freshen things up for your date is to add some shine cream to infuse your curls with moisture and de-frizzing benefits, but most of all, gives a gorgeous shine.

curly hair updo
A pineapple-inspired high pony shows off a delicate neck and collarbone area.

41. Curly Updo

Although we call this an updo, it’s really much simpler than the word lets on. Essentially all you have to do is flip your hair up and secure it with pins in the back around the nape, or tie with a hair elastic, in order to keep your curls flowing from the top in a pineapple look. Since your ends will be free, the look helps give you a whimsical, flirty vibe that’s perfect for laid-back date nights, where you still want to show off some feminine style. To finish, crunch some curl defining cream onto your curls for more definition.

long curly hair updo
Business up top, party on the ends (and all night long). Photo credit: Dvora

42. Half-Updo

The half-up hairstyle is having a bit of a moment these days with celebs, models and everyday folks rocking this ’90s look from the runways to the streets. Since it’s the best of both worlds—hair is conveniently out of your face but still has the lengths free-flowing—this is the look to rock on blind dates or surprise getaways, when you’re not quite sure where the night will take you (oh, all that possibility!). A volumizing hairspray, such as TRESemmé 24 Hour Body Finishing Spray, imparts your look with controlled bounce.

bantu knots curly hair
Looking for a fun hairstyle idea? Try out some bantu knots on the midline of the crown.

43. Unicorn Knots

If you want to take your look to the next level, or are going to a fun, kicky date such as an amusement park, tailgate party or music festival, why not try your hand at a standout half-pony instead? As far as hairstyles for curly hair go, this evokes a younger, more casual vibe that also has a slightly edgy feel. Twist a few bantu knots into place to serve as your very own #unicorn accent. Pair with ends that are loosely twirled around a curling iron for some uptown funk. Don’t forget to prep with a heat protectant to keep strands from frying on your tongs.

How to Maintain Your Curly Hairstyle

curly hair maintenance with pin curls
If you’re wearing your hair in loose curls, maintain the look with pin curls at night.

1. Pin curl your hair.

Stretch the life of your amazing curls, loose ringlets or drop curls with some trusty pin curls. This method takes a little practice, but it’s definitely not rocket science. Use pin curls as big or as small as you want and start at the end of your hair. Then, roll your hair upwards using your left and right pointer fingers until you have landed at the roots with a loop. Your hair itself should resemble a hair roller.

While holding onto the curl, proceed to lay it flat onto your head and set it in place with a bobby pin (or multiple, if needed). When pin curls are laid flat onto the head, it makes them much easier to sleep in. Continue this method throughout your entire head. In the morning, gently remove the pin curls and separate them to achieve your desired style.

2. Twist or braid your hair at night.

For twist-outs, braid-outs or hair styled in loose waves, maintain your hairstyle with this method. At night, without combing to prevent losing that perfect curl you’ve been rocking all day, grab a section of your curls and mold them into a two-strand twist. Continue this process on the entire head. Braids work well for loose waves and braid-out hairstyles. If you’re constantly fighting a battle with curl shrinkage, this method can help stretch curls out over time while keeping their natural bounce.

3. Try the pineapple method.

A quick and easy way to maintain those cute curly hairstyles is with the pineapple method. Simply use a headband or large hair tie that you let slide up and onto your hair as if you were creating a high ponytail. Allow your curls to flow freely on top. Lastly (but optional), tie a silk scarf around the base of the head to keep your edges intact. In the morning, release, shake and go!

4. Try the multi pineapple method on short hair.

We find this method particularly convenient and ideal for thicker, kinkier and shorter curl lengths. Instead of creating one pineapple ponytail, create two or more all over your head. Release it the next day by just shaking it out and tousling with your fingers.

5. Sleep on a silk pillowcase.

We all have those nights when you just want to jump into bed (okay, more like every night). Before you go head first onto your mattress, use a silk pillowcase to keep your stylish curls in place. Silk pillowcases can help retain moisture in your hair and reduce friction on your strands, as opposed to pillowcases made from materials like cotton that draws moisture out, and can even tangle your hair while you sleep. The smooth surface of silk allows the hair to move smoothly across the pillowcase, and not stick or rub or cause breakage. We love this super low-maintenance method.

curly hair maintenance
The key to a great curly hairstyle is moisture. Dry and parched hair can result in a bad hair day.

6. Moisturize at night.

The amount of moisture in your hair also plays a huge role in the upkeep of your curly hairstyle. If your hair is dry, your style and hair will become lackluster. Take the time to re-moisturize at least three times a week or when needed. Trust us, those quenched curls will thank you and look pretty incredible to boot. One way to do this is to use a product that moisturizes your hair like Dove Quench Absolute Supreme Creme Serum, or simply spritz with water at night, then proceed with one of the methods explained above.

Tutorial: Hairstyles for Curly Hair: Daytime Curls

1

Wash your hair.

Nikki starts by shampooing and conditioning her hair to give it a fresh start for this hairstyle. She uses Dove Regenerative Nourishment Shampoo and Dove Regenerative Nourishment Conditioner, which leaves her hair feeling hydrated and refreshed. Plus, she loves how it makes her hair smell!

2

Prep your hair with mousse.

After the shower, Nikki uses a palmful of TRESemmé Flawless Curls Extra Hold Mousse and scrunches it through her hair to define her natural waves. She then lets her hair air-dry.

3

Comb through and separate.

After her hair has dried, Nikki combs through her hair with a brush, focusing on pieces that are extra tangled, or in the way. Then, she divides her hair in half and places it in a half messy bun in preparation for curling.

4

Curl your hair.

Nikki then uses a curling iron to curl her hair. Her secret to beachy waves is to curl her hair in different directions. This gives the hair a less polished look. She also leaves the ends of each section out of the curling iron to encourage a beachier effect. She then curls her bangs away from her face with a wide clamping curling iron. Once she’s done, she pins them in place to let her hair cool down.

5

Spray into place.

After her hair cools, Nikki sets the look by using TRESemme Perfectly (Un)Done Hairspray for a tight hold and curls that are still brushable. She then runs her fingers through her hair to encourage that messy beachy vibe.

Hairstyles for Curly Hair: Nighttime Look

1

Re-curl your hair.

To amp up this hairstyle and take it from day to night, Nikki brushes her hair to smooth things over. Then, she uses a curling iron to re-curl section of her hair that have fallen out or gotten frizzy during the day. For a more polished look, she curls her hair in the same direction.

2

Twist and pin.

Then, Nikki takes a small section of her hair that she split into two smaller sections. She then twists them around each other before pinning them where they meet in the back of her head. This creates a rope-like hairstyle. Repeat this step on the other side of your hair.

3

Bask in those Bohemian vibes.

The finished result is a beautiful rope crown that manages to be flowy and natural while still having a polished feel.

Looking for even more curly styles? Check out these recap featuring some of the best short haircuts for curl hair.