African American Hairstyles: 40 Hairstyle Ideas That’ll Last You Throughout the Year

Alyssa François | 01 July 2017
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Ready to meet your new favorite natural hairstyle? 

African American hairstyles have inspired many of the popular looks we all love today. There are so many creative, beautiful and easy styles to choose from so we can’t see how any of us could ever have a bad hair day. We went through some of our top natural hairstyle articles to find the most coveted hairstyles, and to be honest, we had a tough time narrowing down our favorite hairstyles down to 40! Scroll below to see our top hairstyles for African American women, from protective styles, to big and fluffy ‘fros and much more!

African American Hairstyles: 40 Hair Ideas for Any Curl Pattern

african american hairstyles afro
Easy, breezy and fluffy. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

1. Fluffy Afro

The afro hairstyle is one the top traditional African American hairstyles. Many women love to wear their hair in this style during their transitioning phase or as a way to just celebrate the beauty of their hair texture.

african american hairstyles twist out
Overnight curls. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

2. Twist Out

Natural African American hairstyles–like twist outs and braid outs–are simple and easy ways to achieve a stretched curly texture without any heat. To create this look, create two-strand twists on your damp hair and allow your hair to dry overnight.

african american hairstyle teeny weeny afro
Short, stylish and so easy!

3. Teeny Weeny Afro

Short haired gals would love this styling idea. To get super defined curls, you can use a gel or a sponge brush to style your teeny weeny afro.

african american hairstyles strawberry blonde
Bright and bold way to flaunt your texture. Photo credit: Dvora

4. Strawberry Blonde Fro

Want to make your hair really stand out? Why not try a bold new color. This strawberry blonde color is extremely gorgeous and looks amazing against all skin tones!

african american hairstyles short pixie
Cute style for any face shape.

5. Straight Pixie

The straight pixie hairstyle is one of those hairstyles for African American women that won’t ever go out of style. African American women can give this look a shot with their curly texture or by straightening with a flat iron. If you’re going to straighten, be sure to protect your hair with a heat protectant like TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray.

african american hairstyles space puffs
Opt for this instead of space buns. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

6. Space Puffs

Love the space buns look but still want to display and embrace your fluffy texture? Consider giving this space puffs style a shot.

african american hairstyles side pony
Super cute side ponytail style.

7. High Ponytail

Just like the bun hairstyle, we can’t ever get over the classic ponytail. Turn yours up a notch by positioning it to the side.

african american hairstyles side braid
Chunky and chic braid.

8. Side Braid

Whether you have box braids or not, this chunky side braid is a cute style for African American women.

african american hairstyles scarf updo
Fun and easy way to accessorize.

9. Scarf Updo

The scarf accessory isn’t just for taming your edges. Use it to update your entire look. Want to know how? Here are some of our favorite ways to wear a scarf on natural hair.

african american hairstyles pink afro
Get funky with your hair with a pop of color. Photo credit: Allyson Allapont

10. Pink Afro

There are so many ways to have fun with your hair. One of our favorite ways is to play around with bold and bright hair colors. Try your hand at hot pink this season.

african american hairstyles pineapple
Popular style and technique amongst African American women. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

11. Pineapple Ponytail

Don’t you love an easy and versatile hairstyle?  Use this hairstyle as a way to preserve your curls at night or use it as a hairstyle.

african american hairstyles low ponytail
Say no to boring ponytail styles.

12. Low Ponytail

Gone are the days for boring ponytail hairstyles. Give your natural hair pony an update with a braid or twist on the side.

african american hairstyles low cut
No fuss style. Photo credit: Dvora

13. Low Caesar

Some women of for a super low haircut when they just don’t feel like having to deal with styling their hair on a daily basis. On the other hand, some love short African American hairstyles just for the beauty of it. No matter your reason, this hairstyle is beautiful and we love how it accentuates any face shape.

african american hairstyles straight styles
Straight natural hair can be styled in many ways. Photo credit indigitalimages.com

14. Straight Natual African Styles

If you’re a naturalista that prefers to wear straight styles, there’s no shame in that. There are so many ways you can style your straight texture. Comb it back or opt for a curls with a curling wand or curling iron.

african american hairstyles high top
Nope, this haircut isn’t just for the boys. Photo credit: Allyson Allapont

15. High Top

Channel the hip hop era and bring back funky African American hair styles! While you’re at it, there’s nothing wrong with bringing back the fashion too. Pair your high top afro with a pair of cute door knocker earrings.

african american hairstyles halo twist
Cute and angelic updo hairstyle.

16. Halo Twist

Everyone is wearing a crown braid of some sort. Stand out from the crowd with this angelic twisted crown hairstyle.

african american hairstyles mini bun and afro
Mini bun and big fro.

17. Half Top Knot

Need a new way to style your afro? Throw mini bun into the mix.

african american hairstyles space buns
Stylish hairstyle idea for the gym.

18. Space Buns

Space buns have been on our radar since last summer. Use this style to contain your hair during workouts or sport it as your hairstyle of the day!

african american hairstyles fro hawk
Get the mohawk look with your ‘fro.

19. Fro Hawk

They say fake it till you make it right? Well, even if you don’t plan on shaving the sides of your hair, you can still get in on the mohawk hairstyle with this fun fro hawk style.

african american hairstyles floral afro
Cool hairstyle idea for festival season. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

20. Floral Afro

This summer we’re having a field trip with the floral afro trend! Learn how you can use different flowers to create this masterpiece on your afro this season.

african american hairstyles flat twists
From culture to the runway. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

21. Flat Twist

This hairstyle recently made its way on the runway but it has be one of the most popular natural hairstyles for African American women for years.

african american hairstyles dreadlocks and twists
Why settle for just one style? Photo courtesy of Alyssa Francois

22. Dreadlocks and Twists Combo

Get creative with different African hairstyles. We love how this naturalista created a combo of cornrows, dreadlocks and twists.

african american hairstyles curly pixie
Quick and easy natural hairstyle. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

23. Curly Pixie

In the market for African American natural hairstyles that require little to no styling at all? The curly pixie may be a great hairstyle for you. All you need is a quick and easy wash and go styling technique and you’re good to go!

african american hairstyles micro braids
Neat protective style idea.

24. Micro Box Braids

If medium to jumbo box braids aren’t your thing, you can give the micro box braids size a shot. When styling micro braids you have to be really careful, opt for loose styles to prevent breakage.

african american hairstyles cornrow
Perfect everyday style for workouts and more. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

25. Cornrow Braids

Ladies, there are so many ways to celebrate your hair. One of our favorite styles is the cornrow style. This style is great for everyday wear, a great workout hairstyle, or simply use it as a technique for your braid out styles.

african american hairstyles updo braids
Doesn’t hurt to get fancy with your braids.

26. Coiled Bun

Tired of regular bun hairstyles? Get fancy and try intricate bun updos like this coiled bun style.

african american hairstyles bun
Simple and chic top knot style. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

27. Bun on Natural Hair

If you’re looking to update your African American natural hairstyle arsenal, don’t ever forget about the top knot style. This is a classic style for any hair type.

african american hairstyles chunky braids
Simple protective hairstyle idea.

28. Chunky Braids

Protective African American hairstyles don’t have to be boring. Try your hand at chunky French or Dutch braids and wear them out an about to any event you like.

african american hairstyles braid out
Great style for transitioners. Photo credit: Suzanne Cohen Photography

29. Braid Out

Whether you’re transitioning or not, the braid out style is one the the easiest ways to achieve stretched and heatless curls. We like to use the Dove Absolute Curls Supreme Creme Serum on damp hair to create this style. Be sure to allow your hair to dry in the braids overnight.

african american hairstyles box braid updo
Chic hairstyle for special events.

30. Braided Updo

There are so many black hair dos for women we love that can be easily done at home! While we all love heading to the salon, sometimes it’s better to just do it yourself. Try your hand at this simple braided updo style for special events or just for fun.

african american hairstyles half up braids
This trendy style works for all hair types.

31. Half-Up Box Braids

It’s not every one that loves their box braids to be free-flowing. If this sounds like you, opt for styling your hair into this trendy half-up hairstyle.

african american hairstyles top knot bun
Top knots work for braided hairstyles too.

32. Box Braid Bun

Need a new way to style your box braids? A top knot is always a great style idea for any occasion. Be sure to keep it loose to avoid tension at the roots.

african american hairstyles bob braids
The beauty of box braids!

33. Bob Braids

There’s no FOMO (fear of missing out) when it comes to wearing your hair in a box braid style. If you’re itching for a bob, all you have to do it cut your braids at chin length.

african american hairstyles bantu knots
Believe it or not, this style is appropriate for work or play.

34. Bantu Knots

We love Bantu knot hairstyles! This gorgeous hairstyle for African American women can be worn anywhere and it’s really easy to do! We also love to use the Bantu knot technique to create gorgeous corkscrew curls.

african american hairstyles formal updo
Gorgeous style for formal occasions.

35. Formal Updo

Need an easy formal updo style for natural hair? Pull your curls back into this chic updo. Set with a hairspray, like Dove Style + Care Strength and Shine Flexible Hold Hairspray, which can provide your hair with shine as it locks your hairstyle in. You don’t even need the help of a professional.

african american hairstyles puff
The bigger the better! Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

36. Big Puff

Go big or go home! If you have a really thick and voluminous texture embrace it with this awesome updo style. Make it bigger by picking your hair with an afro pick for volume.

african american hairstyles undercut
Edgy style for African American Women

37. Undercut

In the market for an edgy and short look? This undercut style is all you need.

african american hairstyles twists
Gorgeous protective style.

38. Twists

Try this twisted style with Marley hair and have fun with the many ways you can style it.

african american hairstyles yarn braids
The texture makes the look.

39. Yarn Braids

Yarn braids are a great alternative to try if you prefer not to use the extensions that are traditionally used to create box braid styles.

african american hairstyles wash and go
The popular natural hairstyle every girl wants to perfect.

40. The Wash and Go

Last but not least we have the wash and go hairstyle! Every naturalista puts in a lot of effort learning her hair type and nailing the wash an go method that works for her. Need a hand? Here’s how you can create the wash and go style on your hair.

Want more African American hairstyles? Here are some twisted hairstyles we love.

Read more