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20 African American Hairstyles To Get You Noticed

Modern, edgy and classic African American hairstyles always stand out in a crowd.  Like the perfect accessory, they bring a whole look together. Whether you prefer simple and chic or textured and funky, these styles are sure to get you noticed!

1. Conservative Mohawk

For a look that goes from day to night try this conservative mohawk style. It is work appropriate while still showing off your edgy side.

Conservative Mohawk with Edgy SideStyle by ANTAVIA CRAWFORD, Studio 17 Hair Designs, Mobile , AL

How To Style:

  1. Starting with blow dried hair, apply a thermal protectant.
  2. Working in small sections in the back, smooth and gently flip hair out.
  3. Continue working up the back of the head.
  4. Working in small sections in the crown, smooth hair upwards while gently flipping ends out.
  5. Apply a small amount of shine enhancing styling crème to ends.
  6. Style bangs as desired.
  7. Finish style with a shine enhancing hairspray.

Product Recommendation:

For moisture, shine and smoothness, try Alterna’s Caviar CC Cream For Hair 10-in-1 Complete Correction.

Face shape:

This conservative mohawk style would work best on oval, triangle, or square face shapes.

2. A Sleek Bob

If you have a thing for walking the line between reserved and sexy, this classic sleek bob with a heavy side bang is perfectly alluring without being over the top.

Sleep Bob with Heavy Side BangStyle by Tammy R. Herod, Tammy’s Hair Gallery, Oxford, MA

How To Style:

  1. Starting with towel dried hair, apply a styling crème.
  2. Blow dry hair straight using a Denman Brush
  3. Section off the top of your hair and begin flat ironing hair in the nape of the neck.
  4. Work in small sections and lightly bend ends under.
  5. In the bang area, flip bangs backward to create movement.
  6. Apply a small amount of argan oil to mid lengths and ends.
  7. Apply a light mist of flexible hold hairspray to ends.

Product Recommendation:

To revitalize and rejuvenate your locks I recommend Moroccan Oil’s Treatment rich in argan oil and reparative protein.

Face shape:

This sleek bob style will work best on oval, triangle and round face shapes.

3. Give Me Volume

Nothing beats the tried and true look of soft curls. Full of shine and volume, this African American hairstyle is perfect for an evening out or a weekend shopping trip.

Long Hairstyle with Volume and CurlsStyle by Karen Chavez, Lady of Grace, Peoria, AZ

How to style:

  1. Starting with dry hair, prep hair with a thermal protectant.
  2. Using a curling wand, or 1 1/4 inch curling iron, curl hair vertically working in medium sized sections.
  3. Flat iron bangs as desired.
  4. Using a hair donut, or Bump It, place the donut just under the crown of your head and secure.
  5. Backcomb around hair donut.
  6. Smooth hair over donut and pull hair into a slight side ponytail just under the hair donut.
  7. Arrange hair over shoulder and finish as desired.
  8. Set hairstyle with a medium hold hairspray.

Face Shape:

This voluminous style will work for all face shapes.

4. Golden Highlights

What better way to play up a simple bob than with a splash of color? Peekaboo highlights add drama to this gorgeous hairstyle.

Medium Hairstyle with Peek A Boo HighlightsStyle by KIM CHALMERS, Waves Links Hair Studio, Fayetteville, NC

How to style:

  1. Starting with towel dried hair, apply a styling crème from roots to tips.
  2. Blow dry hair straight using a denman brush.
  3. Working in small sections, flat iron hair and lightly bend ends under.
  4. In the front, flat iron hair away from face.
  5. Smooth a small amount of argan oil onto ends.
  6. Lightly mist hair with a shine enhancing hairspray.

Face shape:

This bob style will work for all face shapes.

5. Funky Curls

Nothing says “look at me!” like African American hairstyles full of volume! Show off your funky side with this swoon worthy curly upstyle.

African American Short Hairstyle with Funky CurlsStyle by Tiffany Cunningham, Tiffany’s Salon, Atlanta, GA

How to style:

  1. Apply a curl crème and a medium hold gel to towel dried hair.
  2. Allow hair to air dry.
  3. Starting in the back, gently finger comb hair to the center.
  4. Using hair combs, slide the comb into place to on both sides.
  5. Repeat until you reach the crown.
  6. At the top, pull sides up toward top of head and secure with haircombs.
  7. Arrange top of hair as desired.
  8. Set style with hairspray.

Product Recommendation:

For smooth and defined curls, try Kinky Curly’s Curl Custard.

6. Wild Side

This gutsy style will have heads turning. Show off your inner bad girl with this half shaved look.

Half Shaved Straight African American HairstyleStyle by JASMINE EDWARDS, Kenneth Shuler Schools, Columbia, SC

How to style:

  1. Starting with clean and blow-dried hair, apply a thermal protectant.
  2. Flat iron hair smooth and lightly bend ends under.
  3. Set hair in Velcro rollers and allow hair to cool.
  4. Remove rollers and gently finger comb hair.
  5. Finish style with a light mist of a shine spray.

Product Recommendation:

I recommend Bumble and Bumble’s Shine On Finishing Spray for all day shine with definition and separation.

Face Shape:

This half shaved style will work for all face shapes.

7. Classically Blown Out

A classic blowout always looks effortlessly polished.

Classic Blowout HairstyleStyle by LACEY SINGLETON, Upscale Hair Salon, Savannah, GA

How to style:

  1. Apply a thermal styling crème from roots to tips.
  2. Gently comb through hair with a wide tooth comb.
  3. Section hair into 4 quadrants.
  4. Using a natural bristle round brush, blow dry hair in small sections.
  5. Continue working until all hair is dry.
  6. Resection hair and begin flat ironing hair in small sections.
  7. Apply a small amount of argan oil to the ends.

Product Recommendation:

Try using Carol’s Daughter Smoothing Blow Dry Cream Chocolat, for smooth and frizz free locks.

Face Shape:

This classic blowout style will work for all face shapes.

8. The Farah

This Farah Fawcett inspired do is as stylish as the day it was created, so go ahead and flip your curls for an undeniably chic look!

The FarahStyle by YSheeka Corbin, Micah Thomas Studios, Covington, GA

How to style:

  1. Starting with freshly blow dried hair, prep hair with a thermal protectant.
  2. Section off the top of your hair.
  3. Using a 1 inch curling iron or curling wand, curl the underneath in vertical sections.
  4. Releasing the top section, curl the side sections.
  5. In the bang area, wrap hair around curling iron horizontally.
  6. Allow curls to cool.
  7. Gently finger comb through curls and arrange as desired.
  8. Finish style with a light mist of soft hold hairspray.

Product Recommendation:

For smooth curls that last all day long, try Davines’s No. 9 Structuring Mist.

Face shape:

This Farah inspired style will work on all face shapes.

9. Perfect Curls

Curls of all kinds have been all the rage recently and these perfect curls are no exception. The defined, frizz free nature of this style makes it all the more swoon worthy.

Short Frizz Free Hairstyle with CurlsStyle by Alfonso Hart, Dudley Beauty College, Charlotte, NC

How to Style:

  1. Starting with towel dried hair, apply a curl crème and medium hold gel from roots to tips.
  2. Lightly twist different sized sections of hair.
  3. Diffuse hair on low.
  4. Once hair is dry, gently finger comb through curls.
  5. Touch up an unruly curls with a ½ inch curling iron.
  6. Finish style with a shine enhancing spray.

Product Recommendation:

For extra moisture and all day shine, try Carol’s Daughter Tui Moisturizing Hair Sheen.

Face shape:

This curly hairstyle will work for all face shapes.

10. Long Loose Curls

Long loose curls give an air of sophistication that is simple and understated. Go for demure glamour with this style.

Long Loose CurlsStyle by Alex Orsulic – Tiffany Winiarczyk, The Brown Aveda Institute, Mentor, OH

How to style:

  1. Prep blow dried hair with a thermal heat protectant.
  2. Using a 1 ½ inch curling iron, curl hair vertically.
  3. Allow curls to cool and gently shake out.
  4. Apply a small amount of shine enhancing texture cream to ends.

Product Recommendation:

Try Bumble and Bumble’s Brilliantine for separation and definition with shine.

Face shape:

This sophisticated style will work for all face shapes.

11. Short and Sassy

Short hair doesn’t have to be boring and lifeless! Try this spunky style to get the attention you desire.

Short Sassy Hairstyle with BangsStyle by Taryn Booker, All About You Salon, Peoria, AZ

How to style:

  1. Starting with towel dried hair, apply a blow dry lotion from roots to tips.
  2. Blow dry hair straight using a small paddle brush.
  3. Working in small sections, flat iron hair up in the crown and out on the sides.
  4. Apply a small amount of oil to mid lengths and ends.

Product Recommendation:

Try Ojon’s Rare Blend Oil Total Hair Therapy in Rich for shiny, glossy and nourished locks.

Face shape:

This sassy style will work for all face shpes

12. Long Pixie

With the long eye grazing bangs and fullness through the crown, the long pixie is a head turning hairstyle.

Long Pixie Hairstyle with BangsStyle by RASHEEDA CLARK, Samiyah’s Hair Styling Salon, Charleston, SC

How to style:

  1. On towel dried hair, apply a blow dry crème from roots to tips.
  2. Blow dry hair straight using a small paddle brush.
  3. Using a small flat iron and working in small sections, flat iron hair straight out from the head.
  4. Style bangs as desired.
  5. Apply a finishing crème to ends.

Product Recommendation:

Great style starts with deeply moisturized hair. Try Ojon’s Damage Reverse Restorative Hair Treatment for moisturized locks.

Face shape:

The long pixie style will work for all face shapes

13. Naturally Curly Pixie

Afro-textured hair has an allure of it’s own. Show off your gorgeous natural locks in this super cute short hairstyle.

Naturally Curly African American Pixie HairstyleStyle by Nancy Hamilton, Lady of Grace, Peoria, AZ

How to style:

  1. While in the shower, apply a leave-in conditioner
  2. Gently dry hair with an old t-shirt and apply a generous amount of curl crème
  3. Lightly twist ends with natural curl pattern.
  4. Allow hair to air dry.
  5. Fluff curls as desired.

Product Recommendation:

For defined and conditioned curls, try Kinky Curly’s Knot Today conditioner.

Face shape:

This natural pixie style will work for all face shapes.

14. First Lady

The elegance of a carefully layered cut shines through in this style. Channel the ever-so-stylish Michelle Obama with this swoon worthy bob.

Short Layered Bob HairstyleStyle by KANITRA BARRETT, Micah Thomas Studios, Covington, GA

How to style:

  1. Prep towel dried hair with a blow dry lotion.
  2. Section off top of hair and blow dry hair using a medium sized natural bristle round brush.
  3. Flat iron hair starting in the nape of the neck and lightly bend ends under.
  4. Flat iron bangs as desired.
  5. Apply a moisturizing oil to ends.

Product Recommendation:

A gorgeous blowout starts with clean and moisturized hair, try Carol’s Daughter’s Black Vanilla Moisturizing Hair Duo for sleek and shiny results.

Face shape:

This layered bob style will work best for oval, triangle, and oblong face shapes.

15. Glamour Girl

 This style screams, “high glamour goddess!” Everyone will have to stop and look at you in this  perfectly curled long layered hairstyle.

Long Layered Hairstyle with CurlsStyle by MARCUS DOSS, Marcus Doss Salon, Fayetteville, NC

How to style:

  1. Starting with freshly blow-dried hair, prep strands with a thermal protectant.
  2. Section of the top and wrap the underneath in hot rollers.
  3. While rollers are cooling, use a flat iron to smooth and the bangs away from face.
  4. Remove rollers and gently finger comb through curls.
  5. Apply a small amount of shine enhancing spray to ends.

Product Recommendation:

To protect your locks while heat styling use Carol’s Daughter’s Macadamia Heat Protection Serum.

Face shape:

This glamour girl style will work for all face shapes.

16. Super Straight

For head turning African American hairstyles, try pairing a strong, full bang with super straight locks.

Long Straight Hairstyle with BangsStyle by Nicki Glasgow, Studio Seven Salons, Columbia, SC

How to style:

  1. Prep towel dried hair with a blow dry lotion.
  2. Section hair into 4 quadrants and blow dry straight using a small paddle brush.
  3. Blow dry bangs by alternating blowing them down and from side to side.
  4. Flat iron hair by working in small horizontal sections.
  5. Flat iron bangs straight down and with a light bend on the ends.
  6. Finish style with a small amount of dry oil.

Product Recommendation:

Try the Drybar’s 100 Proof Treatment Oil for lightweight shine.

Face shape:

This style will work for all face shapes.

17. Lightly Curled Long Bob

This lightly curled long bob is a soft and sweet do that speaks volumes.

Lightly Curled Long Bob African American HairstyleStyle by LACEY SINGLETON, Upscale Hair Salon, Savannah, GA

Try adding curls just to the ends of your long bob for a sweetly chic attention grabbing style.

How to style:

  1. Apply a blow dry lotion to towel dried hair.
  2. Using a medium sized round brush, blow dry hair.
  3. Blow dry bangs using a small round brush and slightly over the opposite side.
  4. Using a flat iron, style bangs as desired.
  5. Curl hair with a 1 inch flat iron.
  6. Set style with a soft hold hairspray.

Product Recommendation:

Finding the perfect round brush is difficult, but Olivia Garden’s 2 inch 100% natural Boar Bristle Round Brush works well to achieve a perfectly smooth blowout.

Face shape:

This style will for oval, triangle, and oblong face shapes.

Styling Tip:

When curling hair, don’t curl any higher than mid ear to achieve the perfect curl on the ends look.

18. Knotted Beauty

This head turning hairstyle is perfect for both naturally curly and relaxed girls.

Knotted Updo African American HairstyleStyle by Shwanda Williams, Kenneth Shuler Schools, Columbia, SC

How to style:

  1. On air dried hair, apply a moisturizing oil.
  2. Part hair from the top of the ear to the other ear.
  3. Pull top section into a tight ponytail near the part.
  4. Pull the bottom section into a tight ponytail near the part.
  5. Create 5 sections in each ponytail.
  6. Divide sections in half and create a 2 strand twist.
  7. Secure twists with a clear elastic.
  8. Wrap 2 strand twists around ponytails as desired and bobby pin into place.
  9. Fluff twists for extra volume as desired.
  10. Finish style with a shine enhancing spray.

Product Recommendation:

Try Kinky-Curly’s Perfectly Polished to moisturize and add shine to your locks.

Face shape:

This updo style will work for all face shapes.

19. Tough Girl Mystique

Take on the world and get noticed while doing it!

Tough Girl Mystique Cornrow BraidsStyle by LASHONDA HOWARD, First Impressions, Ft. Walton Beach, FL

How to style:

  1. On air-dried hair, section off side where you want braids to be.
  2. Create 4 cornrow braids that go from the front to just behind the ear. Secure braids with a clear elastic..
  3. Spritz rest of hair with water and apply a curl cream.
  4. Allow hair to air dry and fluff curls as desired.
  5. Finish with a medium hold hairspray.

Product Recommendation:

Try Moroccan Oils Luminous Hairspray in medium for a flexible hold hairspray with tons of shine.

Face Shape:

This style will work for all face shapes.

20. Jaw Grazing Bob

For a style that’s not too short and not too long, try this jaw grazing bob with a strong bang. I promise all eyes will be on you!

Jaw Grazing Bob HairstyleStyle by PAULA RUSSELL, Kenneth Shuler Schools, Columbia, SC

How to style:

  1. On towel dried hair, apply a blow dry lotion and thermal protectant.
  2. Working in small sections, blow dry hair using a Denman brush.
  3. Flat iron hair and gently bend the ends under.
  4. Flat iron bangs as desired adding a slight bend to the ends.
  5. Apply a shine enhancing oil to the ends.

Product Recommendation:

Use Josie Moran’s 100% argan oil for super soft and shiny locks.

Face shape:

This style would work best on triangle and oval face shapes.

No matter your personal style, any one of these African American hairstyles is bound to attract attention!