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!

Edgy Razor Cut

Q&A with style creator, Loriane Jackson
Master Cutter / Hairstylist @ In God’s Hands Beauty Salon, Inc. in Chicago, IL

How would you describe this look and what is your favorite thing about it?

This is a disconnected and edgy razor cut bang with stunning highlights and a caramel base.

What tips or products do you recommend to recreate this look?

This color can be achieved with Wella 7W, Blonde Brilliance bleach and 20 volume developer by Wella. This dynamic and edgy bang was shampooed with Joico K-Pak and conditioner and molded to the shape of the head with It’s a 10 leave-in and the Nairobi foaming wrap. She was placed under the dryer for 45 minutes, then combed out. I added a pea-sized amount of grapeseed oil for styling, rubbing it throughout the hair. I used a 1/2-inch flat iron to silk out and finish the hair.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This edgy classy look works best on medium textured to coarse hair and can be worn on all face shapes by simply adding or taking away the length of the bangs. This look is excellent for working class women that make a point to balance their lives with leisure entertainment and the nightlife.

Trendy Waves

Trendy Waves hairstyleInstagram @t.techniques

Q&A with style creator, Tynisha Escobar
Hairstylist @ StarTaki Hair Lounge in Sandy Springs, GA


How would you describe this look and what is your favorite thing about it?

I would describe this look as classic with a modern twist! Waves are definitely trending. My favorite thing about this look is that the waving technique allows me to be as detailed and creative as I like, all while giving the client optimum longevity.

What tips or products do you recommend to recreate this look?

I recommend using Influance Honey Foam for molding and shaping the client’s waves. After client is fully dry, use a small amount of Influance Therma-Seal on the hair before curling. As finishing aids, I use Influance Holding Spray and Influance S3 Spray for shine.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

I recommend this look to any client who enjoys a low maintenance and trendy style. It is ideal for clients with short, chemically relaxed hair.

Side Cornrows

Q&A with style creator, Madaline
Sudanese Artist @ Madaline Braiding in Atlanta, GA


How would you describe this look and what is your favorite thing about it?

I would describe this look as side cornrows. My favorite thing about this look is that is fits every person’s face and it actually makes your appearance more appealing because it brings out your jaw structure and facial features that would normally be covered. It contours your face and neck naturally. It also makes everyone’s face look slimmer and more chiseled, no matter the body type.

What tips or products do you recommend to recreate this look?

I will have videos demonstrating tips on my Instagram (@braidsbymadline) on how to achieve this look for any hairstylists that are interested. It’s not easy to explain and there are a lot of hidden details that are easier to grasp once you watch how it’s done.

I only use one product and that is Beeswax because it slicks down any hair texture and makes it easy for me to carve my way around. Beeswax also grows your hair really fast and keeps it moisturized from the time I apply it until the time they take down the hairstyle.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

I’ve worked in braiding since I was 10 years old. I’m now 24 years old and I’ve seen thousands of different hair textures and I can work with them all. I recommend this look for everyone, even if you have a patch with no hair. This is a great look for covering it up!

Vintage-Inspired

Vintage-Inspired hairstyleInstagram @hairbydelvina

Q&A with style creator, Delvina Jeffries
Hairstylist @ Hair by Delvina in Alexandria, VA


How would you describe this look and what is your favorite thing about it?

This look is very classic to me. It really speaks to the vintage 1920s flapper look that has resurfaced over the past few years. My favorite thing about this style is that it’s effortless for a stylist to achieve this look and easy for the client to maintain at home.

What tips or products do you recommend to recreate this look?

To recreate this look, I definitely recommend a foaming wrap lotion or soft hold gel. My product of choice is Narobi Foam Wrap. Also, a good oil sheen spray is great to add shine and finish off the look.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This style really works best on fine or relaxed hair. It’s a great low maintenance, get up and go hairstyle that can work with most face shapes.

Protective Bob

Q&A with style creator, Stella Styles
Cosmetologist Student and Certified with a Braiding License @ Salon Hair Design Institute in Palm Beach, FL


How would you describe this look and what is your favorite thing about it?

I would describe this look as a protective style for most Black/African-American women. It’s an average short bob that is perfect for hot summers. What I love about it is that you can just get up and go in the mornings.

What tips or products do you recommend to recreate this look?

To recreate this look, you will need six to twn packs of braiding hair and a protective styling hair jam/grease, as well as a flamed candle or flat iron to burn off the tips into the desired length.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

The type of clients I would recommend for a braided bob would be those who would like a protective style that is less maintenance. This style is great for kids as well!

No Fuss Hair

Q&A with style creator, Genevieve
Hair Senior Director @ The Charles Penzone Grand Salon in Gahanna/New Albany, OH


How would you describe this look and what is your favorite thing about it?

This is natural, no fuss hair. The best thing about this look is that you can see those curls! The highlights help to enhance her curl type. With tighter curls, sometimes the curls can get lost, but this style helps show them off.

What tips or products do you recommend to recreate this look?

DevaCurl all the way. Start with No-Poo and then use One Condition to add the moisture. Use B’Leave-In and Light defining gel and appy it section by section, making sure to encourage the curl as you go. Dry by using a hood dryer and fluff at the end.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This look is perfect for just about anyone with curls! This is an easy and quick way to show them off.

Five Feeding Braids

Five Feeding Braids hairstyleInstagram @styledbyesss

Q&A with style creator, Esther Contant
Independent Stylist @ StyledbyEs in Saint Albans, NY


How would you describe this look and what is your favorite thing about it?

This look is five feeding braids with little braids in between. It’s simple and versatile at the same time, giving you an edge without being too extreme. It is a nice day to day look that you can dress up or down.

What tips or products do you recommend to recreate this look?

For this look, I used one pack of Xpression braiding hair, as well as Shine and Jam to keep the parts and braid clean. I followed with mousse, tied it down, and placed the client under the dryer for about ten minutes.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This style can be recreated on pretty much anyone with hair longer then four inches. Braids are for everyone, and that’s the beauty of it!

Loose Wave Style

Loose Wave Style hairstyleInstagram @adashofjass

Q&A with style creator, Jasmine Flagg
Owner @ A’Dash of Jass Hair and Lash Studio in Cincinnati, OH


How would you describe this look and what is your favorite thing about it?

The look that I created is a loose wave style. By using this method of straightening, it allows any texture of hair to have bounce and body.

My favorite thing about this style is that it is a nice, soft and elegant style. It also allows flexibility with or without chemical, since many African American women have transitioned to being natural.

What tips or products do you recommend to recreate this look?

To recreate this look, not a lot of products are needed. You never want to overdo it with what you put in your hair. Too many products will result in heavy hair. You should always use a hydrating shampoo/conditioner followed by a heat protectant.

After blow drying, I used a small amount of  light serum to add some moisture and shine before I began flat ironing. One of my favorites is the Chi Keratin Serum. The tool used was a 1 1/2-inch Paul Mitchell Neuro flat iron at 450 degrees. I took about two-inch wide sections, and within those sections I did approximately half-inch diagonal subsections. Only go over the hair once or twice. Too much heat results in damage and we don’t want damage. As I flat ironed, I did a slight bend all the way down the hair strand in the same direction all the way through. When finished, you may a wide tooth comb to style as desired.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This style is actually a universal one. It compliments all face shapes, body types and hair lengths. As mentioned before, a lot of women are transitioning from using relaxers to natural hair, so this style can be worn either way.

In my opinion, this look rarely fails anyone. It can be worn in the office or for a Saturday night out. Its nice and sleek, yet youthful. It also doesn’t add any tension, so it’s a nice way to let your hair breathe from your normal day to day styling. The only upkeep would be to wrap it at night and cover it with a silk scarf.

Weightless Modern Curls

Weightless Modern Curls hairstyleInstagram @torrensalicia

Q&A with style creator, Alicia Torrens
Owner/Hairstylist @ Brandon Hairstyling in Brandon, FL


How would you describe this look and what is your favorite thing about it?

This look reminds me of a diamond shape that accentuates her facial features. I love how it falls weightlessly and how effortless it looks with her defined curls. The hair was cut curly and fully dry to create this shape. I cut the curls where they live!

What tips or products do you recommend to recreate this look?

I recommend using only water soluble products to recreate this look. Innersense Organic is one of my go-to product lines! I cleansed her hair with Hydrating Cream Hair Bath shampoo and Hydrating Cream conditioner. I styled her hair with Quiet Calm curl cream and I Create Hold gel.

I made sure to apply the styling products on sopping wet hair, adding the cream first and finishing with the gel for hold. I scrunched the hair to remove excess water and to allow product to penetrate. We let the hair fully dry without touching the hair.

Once this hair is fully dry, scrunch it to break the gel cast. The curls will be plumped, soft and hydrated!

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This look will work on most face shapes. The best curl types that I would recommend this cut on would be 3b, 3c, 4a and 4b. It’s a great look for on the go clients that don’t have much time to style their hair, but want something modern.

Soft Yet Bold

Soft Yet Bold hairstyleInstagram @cutz_up

Q&A with style creator, Simone Ho-Sang
Hairstylist & Colorist @ The Glam Lounge Salon in Ft. Lauderdale, FL


How would you describe this look and what is your favorite thing about it?

I love everything about this look. It’s a fun, playful, sexy look. I love how it’s a soft style overall with just a bit of boldness to it with the color.

What tips or products do you recommend to recreate this look?

My best advice to recreate this look is to just GO FOR IT! I freestyle a lot of my finishes, so it’s fairly easy to recreate these versatile, soft curls. I definitely recommend using a light oil and your favorite soft hold spray.

What type of client would you recommend this look for?

This look is for the woman who is up for a soft, cute and edgy look. It’s great for someone who wants to take a little risk with her color, but still be able to wear it at work. The ideal client does need to have a bit of density in her texture to achieve this look.

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!