How to Rock Black Hair Color: 36 Styles and Maintenance Tips

All Things Hair | 26 June 2017
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Darker hair colors to inspire you this season.

Black hair is often considered a shade that’s too bold or dramatic. We think it’s actually quite stunning and love this darker hair color for many reasons. It has an edge, looks mature and professional, which is why in this highlight-obsessed world, is almost a refreshing palette-cleanser. The challenge? Finding the right look, style and cut that doesn’t look inky or weighed down. To help you out, we’re sharing a list of some flattering ways to rock black color, including some looks featuring the blue black hair color trend. And after you find your inspirational hue/style combo, be sure to check out our tips on how to maintain this bold hue.

36 Black Hairstyles for Women

short black hair with waves
With monochrome hair, the love is in the details, like tousled bangs and airy ringlets. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

1. Wavy Bob

A common stylist tip for creating dimension in short black hairstyles is to break things up with texture. A soft bob that falls just between your ears and chin has the tendency to feel blocky, but creating a side part and giving texture to the mid-lengths gives the look much-needed dimension. You may even experiment with bangs that are worn equally tousled. To style, run a quarter-sized swirl of mousse, like Nexxus Exxpand+ Volumizing Whiponto the lengths, and twirl sections around a curling iron—or leave to air-dry for an authentic look. Focusing near the mid-lengths and ends gives a romantic ’40s feel.

asian black hair lob
Texture (and asymmetry) is imperative when giving movement to a lob. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

2. Choppy Lob

Give an otherwise ho-hum long bob some personality by infusing some razored layers all throughout. A lot of Asian women have thick, lustrous black manes; highlight this enviable texture by asking your stylist for cheekbone-grazing layers (almost always universally-flattering, by the way) and a length that ends near your collarbones for a flirty swing. Style by blowdrying with a shine-imparting cream like Bed Head by TIGI Small Talk 3-in-1 Cream.

black hair color soft pixie
Best on thicker, straight-to-wavy hair textures, the short pixie is a surefire head-turner. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

3. Soft Pixie

A more romantic take on one of the hottest short hairstyles of 2016, soft pixies are made up of more blended lengths at the crown and hairline, and an overall blown-out texture. No piecey bangs for these short black hairstyles! The key is working with straight or wavy textures—anything curlier and you veer into moptop category. To style, run through a volumizing product on your hair like Suave Professionals Luxe Style Infusion Volumizing Weightless Blow Dry Spray (avoid texturizing paste as it separates strands) and dry the lengths upwards, then style to one side.

short black hair color close crop
Get on board with a TWA, or Teeny Weeny Afro, for the summer. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

4. Close Crop

Natural-textured women or those with kinky hair types can make the most of their coils by wearing their hair in a neat afro. What this style lacks in length it makes up for with personality, as the texture of the strands are enough to stand out. If you want a slightly longer style to play with, ask for more length at the crown and have your stylist taper slightly towards your neckline for a more millennial take. Don’t forget to apply a leave-in conditioning product during the day for a shot of moisture.

short black hair boy cut
Super healthy-looking hair? Make that your hallmark with a cut that highlights shine. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

5. Feminine Boy-Cut

Similar to the campy bob of the ’90s that featured floppy, pretty-boy volume on the top and a shorter back, this cut gets a cute, 2016 upgrade by having more blended layers throughout. It still has a taper at the nape, but is graduated softer towards the front hairline, which has a shinier peek-a-boo effect. Styled with the front lengths over one eye or with the sides tucked behind the ears, it’s a sexy way to let your features shine and draws the eyes towards that all-important erogenous zone: your neck. We also love how this black hair blue eyes look offers a stunning contrast, allowing your facial features really ‘pop.’ Distribute some shine serum, like Nexxus New York Salon Care Encapsulate Serumafter blow-drying your hair for a healthy-looking gleam.

blue black hair with braids
Box braids are such a style chameleon. Photo credit: Dvora

6. Blue-Black Box Braids

We’re big fans of box braids. They’re such a great look because they fit with any style! Want to wear edgy box braids? Use them to create a mohawk out of buns. Want a sweet look? Try a box braid bow bun! For a simple look that packs a punch, find box braid extensions in a blue-black shade.

asian straight black hair
A little practice with a round brush is all you need. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

7. Black Blowout Hair

Something else that looks great on everyone? A good blowout. We love to do an at home blowout: Just start with wet hair and spray some heat protectant on your hair. Then follow along our with our guide to getting a salon style blowout at home.

black hair wavy lob
The curly bob trend is a classic for a reason.

8. Black Curly Bob

We’re all for taking curly hair to new heights, whether that’s with curly bangs or a cute, short, curly bob. If you’ve been rocking the curly bob for a while, shake up your style with a gorgeous black hair color.

long black hair with bangs
Blunt bangs are totally gorgeous on long, full hair.

9. Straight Hair With Bangs

One of the things we love about bangs is that they can draw attention right up to your eyes. But that attention can be a double-edged sword: Leave your bangs unwashed for too long and people can be drawn right to your oily roots! It’s why you should have Dove Refresh+Care Volume & Fullness Dry Shampoo on hand. It will refresh those roots and won’t leave a white cast on your blue-black hair.

blue black hair afro
Rock a beautiful afro with a blue-black hue.

10. Blue-Black Afro

How gorgeous is this gal’s blue-black fro? The cooler tone is great if you have lighter eyes, like blue or green, because it can help bring out that color. A fan of DIY color? Read about what to keep in mind if you want to dye hair at home.

low bun vintage black hair
What’s not to love about finger waves? Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

11. Black Hair ’30s Updo

1930s styles are always gorgeous. Retro glam waves? To die for. Glam waves are also pretty easy to achieve, believe it or not. All you need is a fine-toothed comb and some gel. Use a little bit of gel over the front two inches or so of hair near your part. Then, take your fine-toothed comb and create a big S-curve wave, a.k.a a Marcel wave. Let it dry, and rock that cool ’20s style with the rest of your hair in a bun.

blue black hair straight hair
Straight blue black hue.

12. Blue-Black Pin-Straight Hair

This is a perfect example of how blue-black hair shines in the light! It’s also a great look to show that the blue tones can also look extra-flattering on a warm skin tone. Wear your perfect black hair in a sleek, pin-straight style to show off that cool color.

black hair slicked back
The slick back style with this fuzzy hoodie is a whole lot of yes. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

13. Slicked Back Blue-Black Hair

We’ll always love the look of slicked-back hair. It’s super fab because the ultra-polished look will create contrast with anything you wear. And the slicked-back style is also on-point if you need a high-fashion look in just a few minutes. Just apply some gel throughout your hair, combing it backwards and you’re ready to rock!

black hair with ombre
Dress up a simple hairstyle with some low maintenance color.

14. Caramel Ombre on Black Hair

A simple, short, and even cut, like this one, is practically begging for a little bit of fun in the color department. A caramel-colored ombre style that starts at your temples will lighten up your hair while still maintaining the integrity of your natural dark roots. Wondering how to recreate this pin-straight look? Check out our simple tutorial for how to straighten your hair and don’t forget to use some heat protectant! Color-treated hair has already seen enough damage and a heat protectant to ensure that you preserve your strands from more.

black hair with bangs
Go easy on the color and change things up by adding some fringe.

15. Slight Ombre with Bangs

Take a leap and consider a thick fringe to pair with your slight ombre. A slow transition from your classic black roots to a warm brown will add soft and flattering tones to your face while still holding onto your natural color.

jet black hair waves
Rock jet black hair with a wave.

16. Jet Black, Natural Waves

Stay with us for a second here. Coating all of your hair with a fresh layer of black hair dye will add an almost iridescent shine to your dark strands. Amp up the shine even more by using a sea salt spray. Scrunch your hair together with your fingers to rock a messy, beach look.

enhance black hair with balayage
Fake a full-blown hair color change with a less damaging shortcut.

17. The Lightest Balayage

Lighten up all of your hair with balayage highlights in a light brown. This is a way to give your black hair a lighter look without dyeing all of your strands–less damage is always a win in our books. Anytime you’re lightening your hair (especially when it’s full coverage like this) we suggest using deep conditioner or a weekly hair mask to restore any lost moisture.

chocolate dark black hair
A darker hue with some chocolate accents.

18. Chocolate Black Hair

For the best of both worlds foray into dark hair, try out this chocolate/black hair combo that’s all about some slight highlights that frame your head. Super natural and alluring, this is a great way to enhance your darker hair.

fluffy black hair
Go for a fluffy finish on your dark hair. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

19. Fluffy Dark Hair

Who says dark hair has to always been seen on straight hair? We love black hair color ideas that combine a fashionable edge where you curl your hair,  then brush them down for a fluffy finish.

dark black hair with hat
Accentuate those curls in a hat with this stunning look.

20. Bold Curls

We are digging this combo of bold, defined curls on black hair. Take this look a step further by rocking a hat with your look this season.

black hair with red
Enhance your black hair with some red. Photo credit: Dvora

21. Two-Toned Black Hue

Oh, hey, awesome color alert! What’s not to love about this bold mix that combines red and black, delivering an on-trend and modern look that’s bound to turn heads this season.

richer blue black hair
A richer way blue black hair.

22. Dark Blue Black Hair

Want to really go for the blue black hair color trend? Well then this look is for you with his richer tones throughout your head as well as its deep blue highlights that will surely accentuate your face.

black hair color with bangs
Modern and super cool way to rock black hair. Photo credit: indigialimages.com

23. Rich Jet Hair with Bangs

A modern gals’ dream look, this cut/color combo is a chic way to rock a darker shade that pairs gorgeously with a thick bang.

black hair dreadlocks
One-toned black dreadlocks.

24. Black Dreadlocks

Got dreads? Cool. Why not darker them up a bit by going for dark hair. We dig this all over color that goes with your texturized style.

white and black hair braids
Cool toned braids.

25. Toned-Braids

Amp up your braids by enhancing them with some color. The contrast of white/black hair on braids looks super fierce and modern. Definitely a must-try look this season.

crimped black hair
Crimps are back and better than ever. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

26. Crimped Hair

Crimps are back and better than ever! Get in on this 80s-inspired trend on your darker hair as you showcase an awesome contrast on your black hair.

black hair half-up
A classic combo that we adore. Photo credit: Dvora

27. Beehive Half-Up

A vintage look with some major modern vibes, we are digging this half-up beehive ‘do that’s all about volume! Get in on the beehive hair trend by checking out our hair tutorial.

jeweled black hair space buns
A fun way to style your black hair. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

28. Jeweled Space Buns

Have fun with your black hair by rocking the resurgence of the ‘90s space bun. Add some jewels (or your favorite hair accessory) to add even more personality to your hair.

natural hair black hair afro
Rock your natural afro this season.

29. Afro

Another take on the afro, we are all about this big, fluffy version that’s all about owning your hair and your personal style to boot. Keep your afro hydrated and moisturized by using a hair oil on the daily.

black hair color side updo
A side style for your darker hair. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

30. Regal Side Style

Take your hair to the side with this hairstyle idea. We love how it taps into some major regal vibes as your black hair is pulled back into a low updo and featured on one side of your face.

shag cut black hair
A popular ‘do that looks awesome on black hair. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

31. Shag Haircut

Get in on one of the hottest trends of the season with the black hair color shag. Opt for long bangs to frame your face or go for something cutting-edge by opting for a micro fringe.

updo volume black hair
An updo that speaks volumes. Literally.

32. Voluminous Updo

Accentuate your dark hair even more by opting for bold style like a volume-rich updo. Pair this look with a bold lip for a fierce combo.

vintage black waves
Polished waves look gorgeous on dark hair. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

33. Polished Waves

Tap into Old Hollywood with these polished waves. Gorgeous for a wedding or special event, we love the combo on darker hair. Check out our waves tutorial so that you can master this look at home.

black hair high top
Revive the ’90s on your hair with the high top.

34. High Top

As we mentioned, the ’90s are back so we are really digging some of the styles that have been making a come-back like the high top. After you brush your hair upward, be sure to use some gel to ensure that this style stays intact all day long.

straight hair black hair
A polished way to rock your dark hair. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

35. Polished Lob

Rock the look of the season with a sleek finish. After you blow-dry your black hair straight be sure to apply a serum throughout your hair, which will result in hair that’s soft and frizz-free!

polished bun black hair
A gorgeous way to get your hair off your neck in the warmer months.

36. Polished Mid-Bun

Not all buns are the same and we’re really digging this middle, polished bun that gets your hair off your neck while also looking super fashionable.

 

Maintaining Hair Dye Colors for Black Hair

black hair maintenance tips
Maintain your rich black hair longer with some simple tips. Photo credit: Dvora

1. Start with healthy hair.

Black hair color holds best onto strands that are healthy and not damaged. This is difficult if you find yourself in a cycle of heat styling and constant dyeing. Before you take the plunge and get really dark black hair, make sure to trim your ends (it really depends on your own personal level of damage) and use a moisture-rich hair mask at least one-month prior to dying your hair.

2. Know your hair dye.

Not all hair dyes are created equally. The dye you get from your drugstore is dramatically different than what you get from your salon. If you are trying black hair for the first time, we suggest going to the salon where you will get a high-quality, salon-grade formula for your hair. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to ask as many questions as you may have to your colorist.

3. Avoid washing for 48 hours.

Your colorist will give you this news, but we want to soften the blow by letting you know that your color will need time to settle into your hair. If you wash it beforehand, your color can seep out of your hair causing a washed out look instead of that gorgeous midnight black you were going for.

4. Wash less.

We all know that washing less is the best way for you to hold onto the natural oils in your hair.  It is also the best way to hold onto your color since over shampooing can cause the color in your cuticle to escape.  If you can get away with it, try washing your hair every other day and soak up hair oils by using a dry shampoo.

5. Stay away from heat.

This rule is for anyone that colors their hair. You really should avoid further damage from heat styling and opt for heatless styles (as much as possible).  If you just have to create a look with heat be sure to do so sparingly! This also applied to the heat from the sun, which you should avoid as much as possible, or get a signature hat to cover up your locks.

6. Use cooler water.

Just like you are avoiding heat, you’ll also have to stop using really hot, or even warm water when you want to hold onto your color. Hot water can open up the cuticles in your hair, causing your black hair dye to escape.

7. Use the right shampoo and conditioner.

After you dye your hair, you’ll need a formula for color-treated hair such as Suave Keratin Infusion Color Care Shampoo and the Suave Keratin Infusion Color Care Conditioner.  This system works to prevent your black hair from fading while also helping to make your hair smooth.

8. Stay away from the pool.

Chlorine is awful for dyed black hair. In some instances, it can change your color. You can still enjoy your time in the pool this season, but make sure to use a swimming cap and limit your time in the water.

9. Maintain your color.

Dying black hair can be a lot of work and maintenance. If that’s the look you are going for you’ll need more sure to get regular root treatments and touch-ups. Your colorist will give your the specifics on this but it’s usually around every six to eight weeks.

Looking for even more hair color for black hair ideas? Check out these cool long black hairstyles.

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