Natural Hair Patterns: 7 Hairstyles for Every Curl Type

Alyssa François | 17 November 2016
×

How to find the hairstyle that works for your hair type.

For those who are new to the natural hair world, you’ve probably stumbled upon a few gorgeous curly hairstyles (after spending hours binge watching YouTube videos) that you love, and tried to recreate them on your on hair with more failed attempts than successes. Trust us, you’re not alone! Here’s the thing: Once you understand the different natural hair patterns — its structure, shape and curl factor— you’ll also have an idea which hairstyles will or won’t work for your curl pattern.

A wash and go for a 3C hair type won’t yield the same results on a 4B hair type, but there are ways to make your most sought after hairstyles work for you. Learning your hair type is a part of the process and we’re here to help with this guide to natural hairstyles by curl type.

Natural Hair Patterns: How to Style Your Curl Type

natural hair patterns pineapple updo hairstyle
Try out this transitional hairstyle that’ll take you from the office to after work drinks.

1. Natural Hair Patterns: 3B,3C, 4A, 4B, 4C

Style: Work-friendly pineapple updo

We like to call the pineapple updo a universal hairstyle for all types of natural hair. No matter how thick, thin, or curly your hair type is you could pin your hair up into this chic work-appropriate hairstyle. One way to create the style: Gather your wash and go curls into this updo using our pineapple hair tutorial. For those who rather not style their hair with a wash and go (i.e. curl types that tend to shrink into super short curls), you can create this look on a twist out or braid out.

natural hair patterns half updo
Get in on trendy styles like the half-upo with your curly hair texture. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

2. Natural Hair Patterns: 3B,3C, 4A, 4B, 4C

Style: Half-up twistout

The half-up curly hair style is just one of the many ways you can play around with natural hair patterns, and it works for all. To get the look, wash hair with the Suave Professionals Coconut Milk Infusion Deep Moisture Shampoo and condition with the Suave Professionals Coconut Milk Infusion Deep Moisture Conditioner. After washing, apply a natural hair oil to seal your moisture in then use the TRESemmé Flawless Curls Defining Gel on small sections of hair and create two-strand twists. Use a diffuser to dry your twists or air-dry overnight. Undo your twists, separate and fluff. (Pro tip: Be sure your hair is completely dry before undoing your twists to avoid frizz.) Pin the top section up with some bobby pins and done!

1

SUAVE COCONUT MILK INFUSION DEEP MOISTURE SHAMPOO

3

TRESemmé FLAWLESS CURLS DEFINING GEL

natural hair patterns thick afro
The beauty of natural hair is the ability to rock big ‘fro hairstyles without much effort. Photo credit: Allyson Allapont

3. Natural Hair Patterns: 3C, 4A, 4B, 4C

Style: Textured ‘fro

This brushed-out voluminous afro is divine on kinkier hair textures as it packs the look with a gorgeous and fluffy texture. One caveat with the style: Maintaining the look without drying out your hair. To get over that hump re-moisturize your hair with a conditioning mist (we like: Nexxus New York Salon Care Lightweight Conditioning Mist) and seal with a natural hair oil. Use an afro pick to pick the roots and create volume.

NEXXUS HUMECTRESS LUXE LIGHTWEIGHT CONDITIONING MIST
natural hair patterns fluffy blowouts
Make a fashionable statement with your hair pattern. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

4. Natural Hair Patterns: 3C, 4A, 4B, 4C

Style: Brushed out blowout

As we told you before frizzy hairstyles are making a comeback. To get this look coveted by the street style set, simply blow-dry damp hair after washing. To begin, after washing your hair, use a leave in conditioner that also protects hair from heat, like the Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Heat Defense Leave-In Conditionerand blow-dry hair on a medium setting. The goal is to blow-dry but keep some of the texture in your hair for a fluffy finish. You can use a blowout styling product, like the Suave Professionals Luxe Style Infusion Volumizing Weightless Blow Dry Spray to give your hair a bit of volume. To finish, brush your hair with the Nexxus Ibiza Cx2 Paddle Hair Brush to help create the shape you prefer.

SUAVE PROFESSIONALS KERATIN INFUSION HEAT DEFENSE LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER
IBIZA CX2 PADDLE HAIR BRUSH
natural hair patterns afro
Make a cool statement with this high top cut for women. Photo credit: Allyson Allapont

5. Natural Hair Patterns: 4A, 4B

Style: Tapered ‘fro

This low-maintenance high and tight style works best on thick textured kinky hair types as it’s easier to mold into your desired shape. After washing, use a blowdryer to dry hair upward, use an afro pick to help create the boxlike shape. Finish your style by using hairspray, like the Bed Head by TIGI Headrush Shine Hairsprayto add shine and you’re good to go.

BED HEAD BY TIGI HEADRUSH SHINE HAIRSPRAY
natural hair patterns stretched wash and go
Use a simple hair hack to stretch your curls.

6. Natural Hair Patterns: 4A, 4B

Style: Stretched wash and go

The ideal look for girls with natural hair patterns that tend to shrink really short after washing is this stretched wash and go hairstyle. To re-create the look check out Mini Marley’s curly hairstyle tutorial. After you mastered the wash and go, take sections of your hair to create a two-strand twist. Then apply hair elastic’s down the length (from root-to-tip) of each twist. Leave on overnight and release in the morning to reveal your stretched wash and go style

natural hair patterns protective hairstyles
Learn how to master a simple updo for bad hair days, and for when you need a protective hairstyle. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

7. Natural Hair Patterns: All

Style: Natural hair bun

Although we’re sure this guide will help you with styling your hair type, when all else fails you still have the natural hair bun. Whether worn as a protective style or not, creating this ballerina bun is super easy to do. If you want this look with a straight finish, blow-dry your hair straight. For a textured bun, smooth your curls up into a high ponytail, wrap your curls into a neat bun and pin to secure. For shine, massage a few pumps of the Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion Styling Oil onto the surface of your hair.

SUAVE MOROCCAN INFUSION STYLING OIL

Need to brush up on your curl types? Check out our handy curly hair guide