16 Easy and Modern Hairstyles for Thick Curly Hair

Get in on looks that marry style + manageability.

We’re loving that more and more people are embracing their thick, curly hair and wearing it as is. But like any hair type, those with curly hair might get bored from time to time, so it’s always good to have hairstyles for thick curly hair on-hand. Having go-to styles that are both easy to create and fit for the modern gal (a.k.a. looks that are manageable and on-trend!) will make getting ready so much easier. From space buns to the ever-trendy top knot, we’ve got you covered!

A word to the wise though: Thick curly hair is drier than straight or wavy hair. That’s why it frizzes out faster than any other hair type! Pro tip: Keep your locks frizz-free and healthy with a deep moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, and fall in love with the inspiration we’ve culled for you below:

1. Deep Side Part

curly hairstyles for long hair brushed out
Brush through your curls for some added texture.

Show off your long curly hair with a deep side part. To get this easy hairstyle, spray Nexxus Between Washes Smooth & Clean Day 2 Refresher Dry Shampoo Foam at the root on dry hair. Then simply create a deep side parting, focusing on creating volume and depth.

2. Fishtail Braid

hairstyles for thick curly hair fishtail braid
Switch it up and go for a herringbone plait instead of the regular three-strand version.

Fishtail braids are totally doable hairstyles for thick curly hair. To master this look, check out our full tutorial where we show you how to create a fishtail braid on curly hair. Then, swoop your braid to the side and you’ll be good to go.

3. Space Buns

hairstyles for thick curly hair space buns
Break up bulk in your hair by creating space buns.

Try out this cool ’90s hairstyle with a twist. To create your space buns, start off by parting your hair down the center. Then, create two pigtails and wrap each section in a messy bun, enabling you to show off your thick curly hair at the same time.

4. Frohawk

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A frohawk shows off that awesome afro while giving it a bit more structure. Photo credit: Verity Jane Switch

Create a cool frohawk (afro + mohawk, but you knew that) by pinning back the sides of your thick curly hair with a trendy hair accessory. To create the slicked back sides, start by using your fingers to comb back your hair. A bit of gel, like Dove Amplified Textures Shine & Moisture Finishing Gel, helps get things under control!

5. Two-Minute Half Updo

hairstyles for thick curly hair half updo
Break up some of the thickness in your hair by rocking a half-up hairstyle.

This simple half updo is one of our favorite hairstyles for curly thick hair because it looks great on every face shape, and, you guessed it, is a cinch to do. All you need to do is section off the top part of your hair and pull it together in a ponytail, and you’re out the door.

6. Half-Up Top Knot

fun curly hairstyles half updo
Half up, half down, perfect for the indecisive gal!

Just like the half updo, this half-up top knot takes about three minutes to complete, tops! For this style, section off the top of your hair, then coil it around to create a bun. Thick curly hair works this look the best, as the added texture gives an extra shot of fullness and pouf.

7. Braided Low Ponytail

hairstyles for thick curly hair low ponytail
Pull all of your hair out of your face and create a low ponytail.

Add extra interest to your average ponytail by incorporating Dutch-braided or cornrow accents into your ponytail. For complete details on this look, follow our tutorial to help you recreate this two-sided braided ponytail. It’s super cute and should only take a couple of minutes to create, and is one of those hairstyles for curly thick hair that looks just as fab from coffee to cocktails.

8. Pineapple Updo

hairstyles for thick curly hair Pineapple updo
A chic pineapple hairstyle is a must-try on your thick, curly hair, particularly if you have a natural texture.

We love the look of pineapple hair! They’re really fun thick curly hairstyles, and as a bonus, can give you an extra day or two between washes too. Follow this tutorial to get the perfect pineapple hairstyle.

9. Long and Loose

hairstyles for thick curly hair -long hair
The trick to long hairstyles for thick curly hair is long layers: Layers set your curls free! Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Thick curly hair can be worn long and loose; it’s a gorgeous way to show off your hair. Tell your stylist that you want long layers. Layers add movement, help give curls a bit more shape and are super versatile. To style, keep curls bouncy with Suave Professionals Captivating Curls Mousse Cream. It’s lightweight, resists frizz and keeps hair soft.

10. Braided Knot

hairstyles for thick curly hair curly top knot
Curly top knots are quick go-to hairstyles for thick curly hair.

Of course, thick curly hair can go into a top knot; they’re not just for gals with straight hair. Braided knots are great for when you’re #gettingthingsdone, and are a practical yet cute look when hitting a festival (or any time of the year, for that matter). To help style, apply a small dime-sized amount of TRESemmé Flawless Curls Defining Gel on palms when gathering hair up to aid in curl definition and shine.

11. Two-Tailed Braids

curly hairstyles for long hair braid
Add an easy braid to your curls!

You can create two small three-strand braids on each side of your head behind each temple then either turn it into one braid, or tie them together and you’ll have a ponytail. Once you learn the trick to braiding, you’ll find that they’re a really quick way to change up your look while still showcasing your texture. Start with clean strands by using Dove Amplified Textures Hydrating Cleanse Shampoo and Dove Amplified Textures Super Slip Detangling Conditioner.

12. Voluminous Bob

curly hair spray fi
Bobs and lobs are on-point hairstyles for thick curly hair.

When you have curly thick hair, you can create hairstyles with lots of volume. Let your curls go wild! For hairstyles like this one, start with a volumizing mousse like Bed Head by TIGI Foxy Curls Mousse to prep. Create a few pin curls scattered through your hair, then blow-dry your with a diffuser.

Once hair is completely dry, release the pin curls and finger-style your hair. To get extra volume and style staying power, flip hair over and spray TIGI Copyright Custom Complete Volume Finishing Spray, and then spritz the roots at the crown and on the sides of your head. The hairspray is long-lasting, adds shine and really locks in a style.

13. Elevated Curly Afro

hairstyles for thick curly hair -elevated afro
So chic!

Thee elevated curly afro is easy to recreate: Use your hair pick on your hair until you get the volume and height you want to achieve.

14.  Curly Pixie With Bangs

hairstyles for thick curly hair - curly pixie bangs
Shake it and go with the hairstyles for thick curly hair curly pixie with bangs. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

Welcome to your most stylish shake-your-head-and-go look! Keep your curly thick hair healthy with Suave Professionals Define & Shine Serum Gel. It’s a leave-in conditioner that can be used on wet or dry hair, and instantly adds shine while it nourishes your tresses.

15. Curly Pixie

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Curly pixies are a retro-charming cut. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

Believe this or not, curly pixies were called “poodle cuts” in the ’50s (? we see it!). This curly pixie is another cool way to shake your curls and head out the door… while looking fab, of course.

16. Curly Shag

curly shag hairstyles for thick curly hair
Layers showcase your curls with this curly shag. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

The curly shag is like a lob with layers, and one of the most on-trend hairstyles for thick curly hair this 2018. The shag works well with most types of curls (except 3C). Keep strands healthy with Emerge My Mane BFF Leave-In Conditioner as ringlets tend to knot up easier than straight hair. This leave-in conditioner that you gently comb in helps untangle, all the while nourishing your curls.

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