From every day to full on glam—there are countless hairstyles that highlight the beauty of your natural hair. “As of late, many women are embracing their natural texture,” says Alicia Bailey, hairstylist and global education manager at Design Essentials. “Style choice mainly depends upon lifestyle and especially how much time one wants to spend doing their hair on a daily basis.” Trends play a huge part, too. “Short, tapered sides with intricate, clipper cut designs, and a naturally curly faux-hawk are very popular right now. Naturally curly wash-and-gos, twists, locs, knotless braids, stitch braids, and lace-front wigs/units are also favorite go-to styles.”
Hair has been a form of self expression for Black women for well, forever. And although the CROWN Act, which was first passed in California in 2019 and protects against discrimination based on hair has garnered nationwide support, there is a long way to go in. Black women and men are still facing discrimination in schools, the workforce, and more. “I believe the country as a whole is going through a transition, however, there is still work to do,” says Bailey. “Women can still lose their jobs or be sent home because of how they may wear their hair in many states.” Still, she adds, “There has definitely been a level of increased awareness for men and women of color. National Crown Day [observed on July 3] marked a step in the right direction.”
Whether you want a new natural hairstyle to make a statement or simply to change up your vibe, there’s no shortage of inspiration. Keep scrolling for 25 celebrity-inspired looks for every hair type—from straight to kinky—and length—from short to long hair and everything in between, along with Bailey’s expert insights.
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“It’s all about the freedom of expression with this look,” says Bailey, who is all about the volume. “Zendaya has embraced her natural tresses and rocks them with grace.”
One of the most versatile looks possibly ever, pin-straight strands look just as gorgeous with jeans as they do dressed up with a suit, as Janet Mock proves here.
We can always count on Janelle Monàe for a style upgrade: Take a topknot to the next level with a sprinkling of crystals, pearls, or any other embellishment of your choosing.
“Beautiful tribal braids are the rave right now,” says Bailey of Erica Ash’s stunning braided hairstyle. “These are one of the favorite protective hairstyles of the summer. They are low maintenance and can be worn up to a month with tying them up at night with a satin scarf or sleeping on a satin pillowcase.” Bailey recommends applying a hair oil “to soothe the scalp and promote healthy hair growth while wearing the braids.”
“Full, voluminous curls worn by Angela Bassett scream classy like the woman she is!” raves Bailey of the actress’s look. “To get this style, the hair should be wand curled with a small curling wand and curls should be separated to create volume.” To maintain it, Bailey recommends “sleeping on a satin pillowcase or pulling the hair to the top of the head into a ‘pineapple’ and applying a satin bonnet, [which] will help maintain moisture in the hair and minimize frizz.”
Zoë Kravitz pulls off every look—and this one is no different. “Knotless, individual pencil braids have become increasingly popular and look beautiful on Zoë,” says Bailey. “Classic, effortless with very little maintenance, these braids highlight her natural beauty and accentuate her minimalistic style.”
For Bailey, the brilliance of Kelly Rowland’s look lies in the versatility of her braids. “This style looks amazing on her because she can wear the bun by day during her meetings while on the go or she can wear them down by night. The beauty is, they can be worn in various ways depending upon the occasion offering flexibility for a busy mom and wife on the move.”
Leave it to Solange to take the beloved-but-basic metal hair clip and turn it into a moment, paired with a matching silver suit. The musician wore hers with a slicked-back low bun, but you could easily recreate it with natural curls, a top knot, or just about anything else.
“Adding small, braided designs to Jourdan Dunn’s textured, curly hair leaves her looking like an ethereal goddess,” says Bailey. “For maintenance, sleeping on a satin pillowcase and using the Design Essentials Almond & Avocado Overnight Recovery Treatment will ensure that her hair stays moisturized and frizz free.”
Each braid in Amandla Stenberg’s eye-catching look was customized in a unique shade of blue, according to her hairstylist, Lacy Redway. “The beauty of wearing braid extensions allows one to be versatile while experimenting with color,” adds Bailey of the colorful style.
“Wrapping her small locs around in the shape of a small hat is a beautiful look for Ava DuVernay,” says Bailey, adding that “Locs are very versatile and provide her with limitless styling options.” The hairstylist also recommends using a nourishing oil with vitamin E, as “Scalp care is essential for maintenance of locs.”
Another chic idea for short hair, the ‘90s-inspired chin-length haircut is back, and more glam than ever. Exhibit A: This smooth, angled style seen on Da’Vine Joy Randolph.
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