11 Ways to Style Different Black Hair Types

Learn your hair type and find your favorite style. 

Hair typing has become the go-to method for women when it comes to figuring out what their hair needs, as well as lock down the right styles to wear for their texture. Many women are opposed to hair typing, but it can be very helpful to know the different Black hair types and what they look like. This way you can take hairstyle and hair care inspiration from women that have similar hair types as well.

To make it easy for you, we’ve rounded up images of black hair types to help you visually understand the difference between each one and the hairstyles that you can wear with each:

Straight Black Hair

There are some Black women that may have naturally straight hair due to genetics. However, majority of the time, if you see a Black woman with straight hair, she either has relaxed hair or is natural but uses heat styling tools like a flat iron or blow dryer to straighten her locks.

black hair types: long straight hair
Style your hair bone straight or with a curl.

1. Long Straight Hair

Whether relaxed or natural and straightened, there are so many ways to style straight black hair types. Add body to your straight styles with loosely curled ends.

black hair types: short straight hair
Cut straight hair into a short pixie.

2. Short Straight Hair

There’s nothing like a short style pixie haircut. Try a short pixie style on straight hair if you prefer a hairstyle that helps you put your face shape on display.

Wavy Black Hair

This hair type is made up of hair that has curves that are shaped like a stretched-out S.

black hair types: wavy hair
Undone waves add more texture to your style.

3. Long Wavy Hair

Add a bit more texture to your waves with Catwalk By TIGI Texturising Sea Salt Spray. Add it to freshly washed hair and air dry for a natural finish.

black hair types: wavy curls
Add a hint of color to the ends.

4. Wavy Curls

Some waves are tighter than others. This hair type above has a more defined wave. Use products that help define your wave or curl pattern. If you’re looking for super defined hair, apply TRESemmé Make Waves Shaping Gel to each section of hair and diffuse to dry.

black hair types: wavy ombré
Add dimension with ombré. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

5. Wavy Ombré

Make your curls stand out with a pop of color. Try an ombré or balayage for a natural look.

Type 3 Curly Black Hair

Curly Black hair types can be made up of one or more curl patterns. Think of Type 3 hair as curls that create a super defined S, or noodle shape.

black hair types: curly hair
Brushed out curls for a big effect.

6. Curly Afro

There are so many ways to style curly hair. Try this brushed out style to create a big afro style.

black hair types: short curls
Try a low-maintenance haircut.

7. Short Curls

Keep your look short and sweet with a pixie. Use a gel, like TRESemmé Flawless Curls Defining Gel, to define your curls. If you prefer a brushed-out look, you can opt for gently brushing your curls out after styling.

Type 4 Coily Black Hair

This hair type is made up of tight curls that have a zig-zag shape.

black hair types: coily afro
Wear your coils wash and go style.

8. Coily ‘Fro

If you want to wear your hair in its true coily form, consider wash and go styles.

black hair types: stretched coils
Stretch it out with to combat shrinkage.

9. Stretched Coils

If shrinkage on your coils drives you insane, try twist out styles to help stretch them out.

Super Tight Coils

These coils are often referred to as kinky hair. The curls found on this hair type are super tight and gain about 50 percent (or more) of their actual length when straight.

black hair types: kinky afro
The bigger, the better. Photo credit: Allyson Alapont

10. Voluminous Afro

Blow out your texture out to create big afro styles. For protection and shine while you blow-dry your hair, use a product like Dove Smooth & Shine Heat-Protection Spray.

black hair types: kinky hair
An afro with a precise shape. Photo credit: Allyson Allapony

11. Medium Afro

A good haircut will help you achieve afro styles with a great shape. Black hair is prone to split ends like everyone else, and constant styling and brushing can wreak havoc on your strands. Be sure to keep up with your trims and your natural hair care routine to maintain the healthy state of your hair.

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