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18 Chic Natural Hairstyles to Try At Home

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When it comes to styling natural hair, the girls who get it get it. Whether you’re rocking your curls, waves, or kinks in their natural state or you’re choosing to wear it straight or in protective styles, there’s always a certain level of effort that goes into your look. For the curly girls that love versatility, we know that you’re already one wash day ahead planning your next hairstyle—so we’ve got you covered with 18 gorgeous styles to try out on your natural hair. 

You don’t have to be a kitchen beautician to accomplish these styles. Keep reading for easy natural hair inspo for your next look. 


About the Expert:
Gaby Garcia is a New York City-based hairstylist and educator with more than seventeen years of experience cutting and styling all hair types.

1. Flexi Rods

For sleek, voluminous spirals, opt for flexi rods. Whether you do them at home or at a salon, this style can give you gorgeous, defined curls that will last for days. If you’ve got all day to air-dry your hair, have at it! But this style is most efficient when set under a dryer. For best results, use your flexi rods on clean, detangled hair and set with a styling mousse like the EDEN BODYWORKS Papaya Castor Foam Conditioner for hydration and hold.

2. Flat Twists

If you’re looking for a low-tension, protective hairstyle that’s going to take the guesswork out of your hair for a week or more, flat twists are a great option. To achieve this look, you’ll part your hair as if you were going to do cornrows, but use a flat, gentle twisting method instead. While they are new, you can style them with pins and scrunchies for chic buns and updos, and when you’re ready to take them down, you’ll have gorgeous waves to wear for a few days. 

To avoid creating frizz while you take down your twists, use a hair oil like the OUAI Hair Oil. It delivers a glossy finish and also works well as a heat protectant.

3. Mohawk Buns

It’s giving fly girl. The mohawk and frohawk come together in this super cute and easy-to-do natural hairstyle. Simply part your hair into three horizontal sections and secure them into effortless buns. There’s no need to aim for perfection here. This look works well even with a few curls playing peek-a-boo around your buns. Just focus on neat parts and laying your edges for a fun, head-turning look.

4. Simple Side Twist

You can never go wrong with a side twist into a low curly ponytail. This look works best with a side part so that your flat twist can gently frame your face. Secure your twist with a bobby pin and then allow your ponytail poof to be as snatched or as loose as you prefer. The secret sauce to this style is healthy, hydrated hair. It may sound counterintuitive, but regularly cleansing your hair with an exfoliating shampoo will make sure that your strands are primed for hydration. The DOUX Exfoliating Shampoo gently lifts product buildup so your hair can better retain moisture.

5. Blown-Out Fro

Not every blowout has to end in a silk press. Enjoy your texture without the shrinkage by rocking your fro in a blown-out state. To achieve this look, you’ll want to start with freshly washed, conditioned, and detangled hair to minimize breakage. Use a blow dryer with a comb or a detangling brush to get your hair as straight as possible. Don’t forget to protect your hair from the heat with a heat protector like the I.N.H Hair Flame Fighter Heat Primer.

6. Textured Bun

Something about a textured bun just hits different. Add some extra volume by twisting some added extensions into your natural tresses for a look that is classic yet dramatic. Getting your curls and kinds to lay flat for your bun can feel like a magic trick, so reach for a gel like the BRIOGEO HAIR CARE Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Quinoa Frizz Control Gel. It delivers medium hold without leaving your hair dry or sticky. It also doubles as an edge control so you can tame your edges to complete the look.

7. Straight-Back Cornrows

Who says straight-backs can’t be feminine and chic? Not us! This classic hairstyle is trending again, and it is the perfect low-maintenance way to add a bit of attitude to any look. You can rock them long or knot the ends for a bold and confident stop at the nape of your neck. 

8. Braids With Beads

The “click-clack” of braids with beads is a nostalgic sound that brings a lot of us back to the playground, and now you can reclaim those fond memories in a more modern way. Beaded braids go all the way back to ancient Egypt, so they aren’t just stylish, they’re a nod to a beautiful history of adornment.

While your hair is styled in braids, don’t forget to show your scalp some TLC. The SUNDAY RILEY Clean Rinse Clarifying Scalp Serum is infused with AHAs and BHAs and applies directly to the scalp, so you can gently rinse away excess oil without ruining your style. 

9. Stretched Wash ’N’ Go

For curls and kinks, the shrinkage is real, and though it’s great to embrace the beauty of your shortened length when wearing your hair in its natural state, there’s nothing wrong with using different techniques to stretch your curls. First, you’ll want to use a holding product that will elongate your curls like the MISS JESSIE’S Don’t Shrink Flaxseed Elongating Curl Gel. Then, gently use your fingers to stretch your curls while you direct light heat from your blow dryer to your scalp, setting your curls in a more elongated shape. 

Pro tip: To blow dry your hair with less frizz, use a diffuser for more defined curls.

10. Mini Twists

A series to binge on Netflix and a little dedication are all you need to accomplish this cute and versatile look. Mini twists don’t take a lot of skill to create, and the results are so worth it when you have low-maintenance hair in the days to come. For these twists, the juicier, the better. Use a product that has plenty of hydration and hold, like the EDEN BODYWORKS Shea Pudding Soufflé.

11. Half-Up Pony

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The half-up, half-down pony still reigns supreme! In order to achieve hair that is manageable and strong enough to handle frequent styling, you want to consistently use a leave-in conditioner that cares for your curls. The MARC ANTHONY Coconut & Shea Hydrating Leave-In Conditioner detangles while leaving your hair feeling stronger and softer. 

To create this look, simply part your hair at the crown of your head in line with your ears and pull the top portion into a ponytail. Smooth your hair into the pony with a hard brush and let your curls shine! For added volume, consider clipping in extensions that match the texture of your curls or kinks.

12. Senegalese Twists

Senegalese twists are a classic, easy-to-do style that’s always on trend. They’re low tension to help prevent breakage and are an effortless way to give your hair a break from heat styling and other manipulation. Whenever you have your hair in a protective style for a number of weeks, your hair is bound to be thirsting for moisture afterwards. Be sure to use a hydrating deep conditioner like the SLEEK’E Silk’e Repair Therapy Deep Conditioning Mask.

13. Chunky Twist-Out

The chunky twist-out is a go-to natural hairstyle for good reason. There’s something so elegant and approachable about this style, and it’s easy to create this look, no matter your skill level. For a more stretched look, start on blown-out hair, or for a more defined look, start on curly hair. Simply part your hair into sections, depending on how chunky you want your twist out to be, and twist your hair using a moisturizing yet holding product like the MIELLE ORGANICS Pomegranate & Honey Coil Sculpting Custard.  

14. Space Buns

Equal parts nostalgic and modern, these playful space buns are the perfect easy updo for those days when you're running short on time—or if you're trying to help those day-four curls last one more day.

First, you'll want to use a comb to split your hair in two sections. Then use a hair tie to keep one half of the hair out of the way while you style the other. Style your remaining hair into a high ponytail, using a brush or comb to gently smooth the hair flat on the scalp. Once the hair is secure, twist the free hair and twirl it neatly around the ponytail. Pin with bobby pins until it feels secure and repeat this process on the other side. 

Pro tip: Applying a leave-in conditioner from roots to ends before styling can help to make those curls more manageable and will also add a chic shine to your buns. 

15. Bantu Knots 

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This historic twist updo is a protective hairstyle that can be particularly great for transitioning hair. New  York City-based hairstylist Gaby Garcia explains that this can also be a two-in-one hairstyle. "After wearing this style for a few days, you can gently unravel and pick out the twists with a wide-tooth comb or large pick and wear the hair naturally," she says. 

To get two looks out of this style, Garcia recommends first applying a curl cream, like TRISSOLA Chia 5-in-1 Defining Curl Cream, to your hair as opposed to a gel to create a softer look when you take out the Bantu knots. After you've separated the hair into small sections and secured each section with a hair tie, Garia says, "Twist the hair within the section rotating in one direction while wrapping the hair around the rubber band in a circular motion until all the hair is completely wrapped. Apply oils on the hair and in between sections to nourish and protect the scalp. Oils are not moisturizers, but they can help prevent moisture from escaping by sealing the hair's cuticle layer."

16. Voluminous Pony

For those with super long natural hair, a sleek, low pony can be a low-maintenance showstopper. Before you begin styling, you'll want to make sure you fully moisturize and detangle the hair from roots to ends. To keep your hair hydrated, use any curl conditioning product that works best for your particular hair type–whether that's leave-in conditioner or a heavier curl cream (here are a few of our favorite curly hair hydrators). Once the hair is soft, create your part and use a strong hold, alcohol-free gel to slick down the hair, making it super smooth with the teeth of a comb. Once it's nice and smooth, make sure the hair is super secure in a metal-free hairband. To create a big, dramatic pony, brush out the free hair to create 

17. Silk Pressed

One one of the best things about naturally curly or kinky hair is that you have the flexibility to switch up your texture whenever you desire. For super silky, straight strands, see your stylist for a silk press treatment or follow our guide to how to straighten curly hair. Opt for a deep side part if you want a little drama, or channel a little nostalgia like Brooke DeVard with a retro flip at the ends. If you want to incorporate a little bit of playfulness, try adding a statement hair accessory

18. The Head Wrap

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When all else fails, don’t forget to reach for the classic, tried-and-true head wrap. This traditionally African technique can be used to cover your hair entirely, or to complement your kinks and curls. A head wrap is especially beautiful when worn with hair that has been pulled up into a textured poof at the crown of the head. Allow a few strands of curls to fall at your temples to let your curls shine, and you have an instantly elevated style—even on a baked hair day. 

Interested in more natural hair inspiration? Check out How to Grow Your Natural Hair Like a Pro. Want in on all the IPSY fun? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started with your own IPSY beauty subscription. Already an IPSY member? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and TikTok @IPSY.

About the author
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Kindra Moné
Kindra Moné is a writer and content creator who works with brands and magazines to create culturally relevant fashion and beauty content. She is also the founder of The Moné Edit: a community and podcast at the intersection of style and wellness.
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Article Last Updated January 26, 2024 12:00 AM