57 Best African-American Hairstyles & Haircuts for Black Women in 2023

African american hairstyles ↓ Jump to Photo Gallery
Cindy Marcus
Cindy Marcus Hairstylist, Editor-in-Chief

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 black hairstyles will get you noticed!

So before your next hair appointment, check out these inspiring photos of the most popular African-American hairstyles and haircuts.

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Curly Lob with Volume on Top and Layers for African-American Ladies
Instagram @ruteboazhair

#1: Curly Lob with Volume on Top and Layers

The curly lob is a great style for African American ladies. It provides lots of volume on top and layers to enhance your look. This stylish look works best with oval or round face shapes. It can be enhanced with a bit of extra curl definition.

Take note beautiful black people. Hairstyles like this require products like mousses or curl-defining gels. I suggest you talk to your stylist about which products you want to use on your hair. That way, you can have bouncy curls without damaging your curl pattern. If cared for correctly, this hairstyle will give you salon-worthy looks daily.

French Coils for African-American Women with an oval face and shoulder-length hair
Instagram @hairbyclipperz

#2: French Coils

French coils are a light, bouncy style choice for weave wearers. You can opt for a wig or crochet install if you want something quick and requires little maintenance. Bear in mind that human hair is best with loose curls since it can withstand heat and product for upkeep.

African-American Twists with Ombre hair for long hair
Instagram @hairpreto2022

#3: Twists with Ombre

Distressed faux locs, or twists with ombre, are a great hairstyle. Especially if you need help deciding if the dread loc journey fits your style. When looking for dread loc styles, consider the crochet method. It lets your stylist pull them apart, creating a distressed or natural look. Enhance with blonde curly tips for a boho look. I suggest seeking a stylist who specializes in this style. If it’s not installed properly, the takedown can cause much damage.

#4: Soft & Relaxed Natural Curls

Soft, relaxed curls are amazing for women who like little to no tension and minimal upkeep. For the best results, your hair should be straight and easy to manage. Chemically relaxed or temporarily straightened hair helps with the longevity of the style. Ask for a light-holding spray to finish. This way, your spirals will slowly drop and remain graceful as the style ages.

Cute Hairstyle with a Colorful Head Scarf for Black Women
Instagram @crespacomamoor

#5: Cute Hairstyle with a Colorful Head Scarf

Wearing your hair in its natural shape and form can be a cute hairstyle. Especially with a colorful head scarf for added styling. If you’re in love with your tresses, invest in quality shampoo and care products to keep your hair healthy.

Full and Voluminous Rezo Cut Curls for African-American Women with Long Curly Hair
Instagram @nubiarezo

#6: Full and Voluminous Rezo Cut Curls

Full and voluminous rezo cut curls is a great hair design choice for ladies with big natural hair. The Rezo cut is distinct in its form and shape because there are no layers. All while still allowing your curls to move freely and refrain from falling flat. Your best bet is to seek a cut and curl specialist, as this cut is executed on dry hair.

Naturally Blonde Twisted Curls for African-American Ladies
Instagram @curly.colorist

#7: Naturally Blonde Twisted Curls

Ladies who are looking for a chic style should consider blonde twisted curls. This luscious look can provide your face volume, softness, and definition. It gives you an instant boost of confidence! To get this style done right, get smaller twists – they help deliver a fuller finish. Finish off with a shine serum to maintain moisture. These blonde curls will give you exactly what you need!

African-American Protective Bob Braids
Instagram @bianncabraids_

#8: Protective Bob Braids

This braided bob is a protective style for most Black/African-American women. It’s an average short bob that’s perfect for the hot summer. What I love about it is that you can get up and go in the mornings. To recreate this look, you will need six to ten packs of braiding hair, a protective styling hair jam/grease, and a flamed candle or flat iron to burn off the tips into the desired length. The type of women I would recommend for a braided bob would be those who would like a protective style that is less maintenance.

#9: Jaw-Length Bob with Bangs

Try this jaw-grazing bob with bangs for a style that’s not too short and not too long. Use Josie Moran’s 100% argan oil for soft, shiny locks. Such black haircuts and styles would work best on triangle and oval face shapes.

Waterfall Devacut
Instagram @voazin_atelier

#10: Waterfall Devacut

Consider a long, luxurious, signature Waterfall Devacut for natural black hair. This type of locks creates a lovely high messy bun or just a low bun. My favorite thing is the drama that the length brings. A close second would be the additional curls that the added shaping in her interior brings.

African-American hairstyles like this are for black girls who have either thin hair with a very strong curl pattern that doesn’t dilute much with length or those with a weaker curl and don’t mind heavy maintenance and diffusing with each cleanse and condition.

#11: Very Thick Curly Hairstyle

This thick curly hairstyle is a great way to bring out your natural beauty and confidence if your hair is of African American descent. It’s also incredibly flattering, as the curls will make any face shape look more symmetrical. Communicate with your stylist about using products tailored to naturally curly hair to achieve this style. And remember to use heat protectant before styling!

#12: Full-Looking Natural Curls

If you want to achieve full-looking natural curls with the right styling techniques, it’s possible! Whether you have 3a or 4c hair type, your hairstylist can be helpful to get you the look you want. To create this style, apply a curl-defining product and use an appropriate size curling iron for your hair type. For extra hold, finish with a light mist of hairspray.

African-American Boho Gypsy Braids
Instagram @hairpreto2022

#13: Boho Gypsy Braids

Can I say how much I love boho gypsy braids? They’re always so flattering, and they make a statement. The best way to achieve this style is to start with braids and add smaller hair pieces for texture. To keep your look lasting longer, use a hairspray that won’t weigh down the hair too much. With proper care, you can be sure your boho gypsy braids last!

Lightly Curled Long Bob for African-American Women
Instagram @celystyled__me

#14: Lightly Curled Long Bob

This lightly curled long bob is a soft and sweet hairdo that speaks volumes. Add curls to the ends of your long bob for a sweetly chic, attention-grabbing style.

Finding the perfect round brush is difficult, but Olivia Garden’s 2-inch 100% Natural Boar Bristle Round Brush works well to achieve a smooth blowout. When curling hair, don’t curl any higher than mid-ear to achieve the perfect curl on the ends look. Such hair styles for black women look great for oval, triangle, and oblong face shapes.

Box braids with passion twists
Instagram @znubim

#15: Box Braids with Passion Twists

Make a statement with a unique fusion of box braids and passion twists! Perfect for African-American women, these two styles of braiding offer the best of both worlds – the thickness and volume of box braids paired with the soft and natural look of passion twists. Achieving this hairstyle requires the skill of a braider who has experience with both techniques, so be sure to do your research and find someone who can execute this look.

Thick Curled Light Brown Hair for Black Women
Instagram @hairbyhatem

#16: Thick Curled Light Brown Hair

The soft styling of thick, curled light brown hair is beautiful for an evening out. Know that you’ll have to spend time in the mornings with upkeep should you plan to wear this style for more than a day. Beach waves are one of the most sought soft styles but remember they are meant for only an event or moment.

Long Frizzy Curls for African-American Women
Instagram @salsalhair

#17: Long Frizzy Curls

Another great African American hairstyle is long frizzy curls. When done correctly, this look can be very flattering and stylish. To get the best, you will want to use a light-hold styling product like mousse or curl cream and scrunch your hair with your hands for natural definition. For extra hold, finish off with a light mist of hairspray. If you’re looking for more volume at the roots, try using a volumizing powder before styling.

Thick 3C Spiral Curls for African-American Hair
Instagram @euvallfranca

#18: Thick 3C Spiral Curls

I’ve found that thick 3c spiral curls are best for a long-lasting hairstyle. Each strand is tightly wound, giving your hair volume and bounce for days. To keep them looking fresh, use a leave-in conditioner to maintain their shape and hydrate the strands. With proper care, these curls can last up to two weeks!

Elegant Side-Parted Long Black Hair
Instagram @mxriadolores

#19: Elegant Side-Parted Long Black Hair

Try the elegant side-parted long black hair look. One of the best things you can do to make this style nice is to choose a professional hairstylist with technical expertise. The stylist should be able to help craft your mane into a polished, beautiful look. To get the most out of this style, communicate what type of look you’re going for and ask for specific advice on how to style it.

#20: Bouncy Touchable Curls

Bouncy, touchable curls are the perfect soft style for your natural hair. You get the most out of your curls when they’re set on Flexi rods. For perfect African hairstyles, ensure your ends are trimmed and healthy so you can wear your curls with a lot of movement.

Gorgeous Long Crochet Braids for Black Ladies
Instagram @__box.braids.gyn

#21: Gorgeous Long Crochet Braids

You can always get the full hairstyle with gorgeous long crochet braids. The installation takes a little time, and this is a great option if you want something quick and cute. I suggest you work with your stylist to determine what curl pattern fits you well. There are many crochet curly hair options.

Mid-Length Beautiful Middle-Parted Curls
Instagram @luanaamariaah

#22: Mid-Length Beautiful Middle-Parted Curls

These mid-length beautiful middle-parted curls make great hairstyles for African American women. I’ve found that it’s flattering, and my best advice is to remember how you want your hair to move when getting a haircut. Tell your stylist you want an even cut with soft layers at the ends to get this style. When styling, use curl cream and air dry or diffuse for natural-looking curls. Be sure not to overwork the hair, as it can create frizz.

Light Brown Protective Braids for African-American Women
Instagram @beautyspaceke

#23: Light Brown Protective Braids

Protective braids are an excellent choice if you want a short-length option. If you care about longevity, ask for the Ghana technique. Ghana techniques continue to wrap around each braid at the roots. And it keeps the cornrows protected. You can wear your hair for a couple of months with proper upkeep.

#24: Unique Braids with Beads

If you’re looking for a creative protective hairstyle, try unique braids with beads. Ladies who embrace their ethnicity should go for different braid styles. Plan to turn heads with such a unique spin on tribal braid designs.

Hydrated Curls for African-American Women
Instagram @anhcotran

#25: Hydrated Curls

Women on their natural hair journey will love how easy it is to style these hydrated curls. Hydration and moisture are the keys to healthy curls, so be aware of your hair’s nutrient intake and daily moisture. The number one thing to remember is that only some products work for some hair types, so ask your stylist what products and at-home practices are best for you.

Short Afro-Textured Hairstyle
Instagram @hairbyclipperz

#26: Short Afro-Textured Hairstyle

Short afro-textured hair has an allure of its own. Show off your gorgeous short natural locks in this super cute short hairstyle.

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 a natural curl pattern.
  4. Allow hair to air dry.
  5. Fluff curls as desired.

Try Kinky Curly’s Knot Today conditioner on your African-American hairstyles for defined and conditioned curls. This pixie afro style on natural curls will work for all face shapes.

Curly Pixie for Short Natural African-American Hair
Instagram @aoki_hair

#27: Curly Pixie for Short Natural Hair

Consider an African-American hairstyle that is a perfect naturally curly pixie cut. Ladies need to know that short hair does mean maintenance. However, it’s all in the haircut. A good haircut can make or break any style. Find a hairstylist that specializes in pivot point cutting. This allows me to give each lady a cut, especially for their head shape and lifestyle. So, yes, the stylist who provides this cut should personalize it for you.

When styling black hairstyles for women, fewer products are best. This style is very soft. I use essential oils on the hair, so it’s very healthy. Heat is at a minimum. Just have fun with your hair, long or short, discuss it with your stylist in detail, and remember to ask questions.

#28: Naturally Curly Kinky Hair

Women with naturally curly kinky hair should try a reddish hue! For a black woman, hairstyles with tight coils look spectacular with expertly placed red and warm-toned highlights. Ask your stylist to place several highlights around the face to draw more attention to your best features.

#29: Stunning 3c Curls

A lightweight easy-going style for girls with 3c hair that has stunning curls. 3c textured hair has a looser curl pattern and doesn’t shrink up so tight with water. If you want to wear natural curls, moisturize them and allow your stylist to shape your hair to keep unhealthy ends away. Middle part or side part, however, you decide to wear it, natural curls on 3c hair will always be a winner.

Voluminous Bright Natural Curls for African-American Women
Instagram @jhonyveiga

#30: Voluminous Bright Natural Curls

Bright voluminous natural curls are a gorgeous look on women with naturally full and long hair. Your stylist can refer to the 70s-style bangs, which help manage the front and create a stylish frame. Get some warm highlights to add sparkle and depth to avoid a flat one-note look. Remember to keep a serum or moisturizing cream and a finishing spray to prevent frizz!

#31: Sexy Copper Curls

Get into these sexy copper curls, especially if you want your hair to be free and worn effortlessly. Perfect for women with 3a-3c textured hair, your natural curl pattern does all of the talking with just a little moisturizer. Talk to your stylist about some balayage or lowlights to add warm depth to your curls. Be prepared to redefine your curls most mornings. African American short hairstyles are easily done with a natural hair curl refining product such as Cantu or on wet hair with a softening mousse.

#32: Gorgeous Thick Natural Curls

Gorgeous thick natural curls reign supreme once more! If you’ve got them, now is the time to let your curls shine. One of the best ways to keep your coils bouncy and happy is to deep condition regularly and reach for a moisturizing curly mist when needed. If you need a recommendation, try Mielle Organics. Their range of curly products will keep your curls healthy and happy.

Goddess braids with curls
Instagram @isso_e_dread

#33: Goddess Braids with Curls

Goddess braids with curls are regular braids with a textured twist. The cohesive blend creates an eye-catching protective hairstyle that lets you enjoy the youthfulness of your curly hair. A satin bonnet at night is used to preserve this hairstyle.

#34: Black Girls’ Half-Shaved Style

Black girls’ half-shaved style is done on a natural side part, ending behind the ear. Women wearing half-shaved hairstyles are fearless and adventurous, as they are not afraid to try something new.

Side-parted curly bob hairstyle
Instagram @uwinshair

#35: Side-Parted Curly Bob Hairstyle

A side-parted curly bob hairstyle can create shape and highlight your cheekbones. Curly bob hairstyles can save you a lot of time and money when it comes to styling. However, it does limit your styling options. Tuck one side back and accessorize to personalize your style.

Dreads for african-american women
Instagram @cypashore

#36: Dreads for African-American Women

Dreads for African-American women is a fashion-forward hairstyle. It can be protective or permanent while promoting the growth of Afro hair. Make a statement and embrace your natural hair by sporting black girl hairstyles like this.

Long crochet braids
Instagram @nesamua

#37: Long Crochet Braids

Long crochet braids can be worn with little to no tension. Achieve endless benefits for your fine to thick hair with the correct braiding pattern to minimize tension on those precious follicles. Ensure hair and scalp are thoroughly cleaned, conditioned, and moisturized before installing.

#38: Wavy Lob for Black Women

A wavy lob for black women can be effortless and chic with any hair texture. This look will introduce body and movement to your tresses when styled with a curling iron for soft waves. A good thing about such black hair styles is that women can go longer than a week without adding heat.

Chic & Eccentric Swirls and Braids
Instagram @touchofkay

#39: Chic & Eccentric Swirls and Braids

This African-American hairstyle is described as chic and eccentric by stylist Kay of Hampton Roads, VA.

This style can be worn as shown or taken out and worn as curls. Kay advises that knowing the hair texture is very helpful in determining which products to use and whether it would be better to do the style on dry or semi-dampened hair.

Feed-In High Ponytail
Instagram @_slayitnae

#40: Feed-In High Ponytail

A feed-in high ponytail is very versatile. It was styled and created by professional braider Janae Brice of Georgia.

“You can put it to the side, directly in the middle, or into a large bun! This look can be worn for any casual or professional event,” says Brice.

Fulani Braids hairstyle
Instagram @redd_bangzz

#41: Fulani Braids Hairstyle

This style is called “Fulani Braids.” Stylist Reya of the UK created the box braids at the back of the head, while the front of the head is a row of cornrows. It’s like taking parts from two separate African American hair styles and turning them into one.

According to Reya, “This long hair can be styled a handful of different ways because the braids at the back of the head allow easy styling and manipulation. Ultimately, these braids can be worn in an updo, a ponytail, half up, half down, or bun.”

Reya recommends tying the braids with a silk headscarf at night to prevent frizzing. It’s also important to moisturize, whatever your hair type, before and after braiding to prevent the hair from drying out. Remember that this is a protective style, so protect your hair and scalp.

#42: Short Edgy Razor Cut for Black Women

Opt for disconnected and edgy razor-cut bangs with stunning highlights and a caramel base for black women.

Created by stylist Loriane Jackson of Chicago, this color can be achieved with Wella 7W, Blonde Brilliance bleach, and a 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 ten leave-in and the Nairobi foaming wrap.

Jackson states, “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.”

Trendy Waves for short hair
Instagram @t.techniques

#43: Trendy Waves for Short Hair

Here’s a wavy look that’s classic with a modern twist! Waves are trending. Georgia-based stylist Tynisha Escobar says, “The waving technique allows me to be as detailed and creative while giving a woman optimum longevity.”

Escobar adds, “I recommend this look to any lady who enjoys a low-maintenance and trendy style. It’s ideal for those with short, chemically relaxed hair.”

#44: Side Cornrows Braid Style

These side cornrows are super edgy and worth a try!

Designed by hair artist Madaline of Georgia, she says, “it fits every woman’s face shape, and it 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 a woman’s face look slimmer and more chiseled, regardless of body type.”

Madaline only uses one product when doing these side braids. “I use Beeswax because it slicks down any hair texture and makes it easy to carve around. Beeswax also grows your hair fast and keeps it moisturized from the time I apply it until the time they take down the hairstyle,” Madaline explains.

Vintage-Inspired Waves
Instagram @hairbydelvina

#45: Vintage-Inspired Waves

These vintage waves are very classic. The style speaks to the vintage 1920s flapper look that has resurfaced over the past few years. Virginia-based stylist Delvina Jeffries says, “My favorite thing about this style is that it’s effortless for a stylist to achieve this look and easy for ladies to maintain at home.”

This style 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.

#46: No-Fuss Hair Coils

Opt for natural, no-fuss hair. The best thing about short black women hairstyles like this is that you can see those curls with flair!

The shaved designs help to enhance her curl type. With tighter curls, sometimes the curls can get lost, but this style helps to show them off.

Five-Strand Feeding Braids
Instagram @styledbyesss

#47: Five-Strand Feeding Braids

Consider 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. Stylist Esther Contant of New York created this style, a nice day-to-day look that you can dress up or down.

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

Loose Shoulder-Length Waves with a Side Part
Instagram @adashofjass

#48: Loose Shoulder-Length Waves with a Side Part

Here’s a loose wave style by stylist Jasmine Flagg of Cincinnati, OH. Using this straightening method allows hair texture to bounce with body.

Flagg emphasizes, “My favorite thing about this style is that it is nice, soft, and elegant. It also allows flexibility with or without chemicals since many African-American women have transitioned from using relaxers to natural hair.”

She explains, “This look rarely fails. It’s nice and sleek, yet youthful. It also doesn’t add any tension, so it’s a nice way to let your hair breathe from normal day-to-day styling. The only upkeep would be to wrap it at night and cover it with a silk scarf.”

#49: Weightless Modern Long Curls

This African-American style of locks shows a diamond shape that accentuates the facial features. It’s nice how it falls weightlessly and looks effortless with her defined curls. The hair was cut curly and fully dry to create this shape. The curls were cut where they live!

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

Apply the styling products to sopping wet hair, adding the cream first and finishing with the gel for hold. Scrunch the hair to remove excess water and allow the 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!

Medium-Length Pixie with Red Highlights
Instagram @cutz_up

#50: Medium-Length Pixie with Red Highlights

A medium-length pixie makes a fun, playful, sexy look. Florida-based stylist Simone Ho-Sang loves its soft style overall, with just a bit of boldness to it with the color.

This pixie cut is for the black woman up for a soft, cute, and edgy look. It’s great for women who want to take a little risk with their color. The ideal lady needs a bit of density in her texture to achieve this look, though.

#51: Sassy Short Pixie

It’s fresh yet glamorous – this boyish pixie cut will leave you feeling breezy all day without the hassle of your hair getting on your pretty face.

Long Pixie for Straight Hair
Instagram @khimandi

#52: Long Pixie for Straight Hair

When it comes to African-American hairstyles, this Hollywood favorite short cut is sensational! Combine this with full bangs and show off your beautiful face line.

Sleek Angled Bob on African-American Women
Instagram @shanamaire_

#53: Sleek Angled Bob on African-American Women

A cool blonde shade on straight strands is perfect for any season. Match it up with a sassy bob cut, and you’re good to go!

Glamour Blowout with Long Waves
Instagram @rachel_redd

#54: Glamour Blowout with Long Waves

Wear the right blonde with these super stylish loose curls. Bring out the S-shape of your hair and be strikingly stunning!

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

#55: Super Straight Hair with Blunt Bangs

Try pairing strong, full bangs with super straight hair for head-turning African-American hairstyles.

How to style:

  1. Prep towel-dried hair with a blow-dry lotion.
  2. Section hair into four quadrants and blow dry straight using a small paddle brush.
  3. Blowdry 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 the style with a small amount of dry oil.

Try the Drybar’s 100 Proof Treatment Oil for a lightweight shine. This style will work for all face shapes.

Knotted Updo
Style by Shwanda Williams, Kenneth Shuler Schools, Columbia, SC

#56: Knotted Updo

African-American hairstyles are perfect for both naturally curly and relaxed girls.

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 the 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.

Try Kinky-Curly’s Perfectly Polished to moisturize and add shine to your locks. This updo style will work for all face shapes.

braided frohawk hairstyle for African-Americans
Style by LASHONDA HOWARD, First Impressions, Ft. Walton Beach, FL

#57: Braided Frohawk

Take on the world and get noticed when flaunting curly hair and a braided faux hawk style!

How to style:

  1. On air-dried hair, section offside where you want braids to be.
  2. Create 4 cornrow braids from the front to just behind the ear. Secure braids with a clear elastic.
  3. Spritz the rest of the 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.

Try Moroccan Oils Luminous Hairspray in the medium for a flexible hold hairspray with tons of shine. This less dramatic mohawk African hairstyle will work for all face shapes.

Posted In: Black Hair