Imagine if you had a comprehensive directory of natural hairstyles.
Would that make things easier for you?
You’d probably be pretty excited to go through the list and find different styles that you like.
Today’s your lucky day, that’s exactly what we’re going to provide in this article:
…a comprehensive list of insanely popular natural hairstyles for black women that you can wear today.
You can use this hairstyle guide for inspiration, regardless of your hair type.
Insanely Popular Natural Hairstyles for Black Women
Dreadlocks, which are also known as dreads or locs, are strands of hair that look like ropes. Dreads are often formed by braiding or matting the hair. Naturally, curly hair that is left to its own devices, by abstaining from combing or brushing, will generally produce tangles and mats will be formed, however it takes planning and maintenance to form evenly sized dreadlocks.
There are a variety of methods that are used to encourage the formation of dreadlocks, for example braiding, rolling, backcombing and the crochet hook method. All of these methods require that consistent work be applied to the dreadlocks for them to become tight, mature and neat in appearance.
Dreadlocks are easily one of the most popular natural hairstyles for black women. We’ve put together a tutorial for those interested in learning more about dreadlocks.
2. Bantu Knots
Bantu people is the generic name for 300+ ethnic groups in Africa, which covers a large geographical region in central and southern Africa.
Most people are not aware of the history that surrounds that bantu knots hairstyle. The hairstyle features small, lovely buns that are coiled and sprinkled throughout the hair. Traditionally, this hairstyle has been worn for centuries by women of African descent.
Years ago, the afro was commonly referred to as a natural. This style is frequently worn by males and females with curly, kinky hair. This hairstyle is created by combing the hair away from the scalp, this allows for the hair to extend out from the head in a rounded and large shape, much like a ball or a cloud.
In the late 1960s, afros were particularly popular in African-American communities. Often times afros are shaped with the assistance of a wide-toothed comb referred to as an Afro pick.
The afro is at times abbreviated as a `fro´or TWA (for small afros). TWA hairstyles are quite popular, as many women are choosing to big chop when they go natural. TWA is short for ‘teeny weeny afro.’
There has been quite a bit of innovation recently with short hairstyles. Many TWA styles look great while also being simple to maintain. If you have short natural hair and are exploring your styling options, there is far more variety than you might think for short hair.
4. Braids, Cornrows or Canerows
Braids, cornrows, or canerows are a traditional African hairstyle. This is when the hair is braided closely to the scalp, an underhand upward motion is used to produce a row that is continuous and raised. The cornrows hairstyle is also found in a variety of Native American cultures.
Many times, cornrows are formed in straight, simple lines as implied by the name, they can however also be formed in designs that are curvilinear or geometric.
They are often popular due to how easy they are to maintain, if properly maintained through washing the hair carefully and regularly oiling the scalp, rows can be left in for even weeks at a time.
It’s important to note that a common type of hair loss, called traction alopecia, can be caused by braids that are pulled too tight or worn for long periods of time.
5. Poetic Justice Braids
People used to refer to these braids as box braids before they were known as poetic justice braids. As a matter of fact, the name poetic justice started after Janet Jackson and Tupac had their famous collaboration in the movie called “Poetic Justice” where Janet (Justice) wore box braids during the film.
6. Goddess Braids
Goddess braids are sometimes referred to as granny braids, since they look similar to some styles commonly worn by grandmothers. They are cornrow-style braids that are large and generally lie flat along the person’s scalp. Goddess braids are a great way of protecting your hair as it grows and they can be braided in a variety of ways.
The various styles come about by twisting goddess braids into knots or buns and combining them with smaller ones, although large cornrows are the typical way for braiding them.
Goddess braids have been very popular for quite some time. Due to the amount of hairstyles that can be created, they remain popular. The versatility they offer when it comes to styling are the reason that women love them. They can look simple, casual and sleek or they can look elegant when styled up.
7. French Braids
A French braid is also commonly referred to as a French plait. Three sections of hair are included in the French braid and they are braided together starting at the crown of the head and moving down towards the nape of the neck. There are variations of this hairstyle, for example, the fishtail braid or the Dutch braid.
8. Ghana Braids
Ghana braids are a classic style that protects your natural hair. Depending on the region or your part of the world, they might also be called banana braids, cornrows, or straight-backs.
Regardless of what they are called, Ghana braids have their origins on the African continent. In fact, some of the earliest known depictions of Ghana braids are found in sculptures and hieroglyphics carved in approximately 500 B.C.
9. Crochet Braids
Crochet braids tend to confuse some people since the name refers to the method used and the hairstyles can look quite a bit different. The crochet method is similar to certain types of weave styles, where you start by cornrowing hair prior to adding extensions.
Whoever is doing the crochet braids inserts a crochet needle into the selected cornrow braid. After that, a tiny handful of hair gets threaded onto that needle, before being pulled through that cornrow braid. It gets tied into a knot, so that is secured to your natural hair.
10. Faux Locs
If you have ever wondered what you would look like wearing dreadlocks, then the perfect opportunity for you could be faux locs. Faux locs are artificial dreadlocks or imitation dreadlocks, they allow you to see exactly how you would look should you decide to actually grow dreadlocks.
11. Protective Styles
If preserving your hair from damage is one of your hair goals, then protective styling should be incorporated whenever possible, into your natural hair regimen. Protective styling is a hairstyling concept that reduces consistent manipulation of the hair, encourages length retention and protects the ends of the hair strands, this concept often leads to increased hair growth and fewer tangles.
Twists (i.e., flat twists, two-strand twists, mini-twists, etc.) are some of the most popular natural hairstyles for black women in the United States. These hairstyles are usually achieved by dividing the hair into various sections, the strands of hair are then twisted.
The “twist out” hairstyle is a variation of hair twists, this is where hair that has been twisted is untwisted creating a texture that is large and loosely crimped. The twist out has multiple variations, one is done with the use of two strands of hair and the other uses three strands of hair, this one is called the “three strand twist out.” A textured hairstyle when untwisted is the end result of both methods.
Havana twists, Marley twists, two strand twists, flat twists and Senegalese twists, are some of the most popular twists. Depending on the length of your hair, some of these twists require specific types of hair extensions.
13. Finger Coils
This is a low maintenance, cute natural hairstyle. Beauty vlogger Priscilla Flete has a finger coil tutorial that is super easy. While finger-coils can be time-consuming to create, the look great and are an excellent choice for various lengths of natural hair.
14. Yarn Braids
If you’re looking for a fun protective style or just want to mix it up, yarn braids are a good choice. Yarn braids are braids, but instead of using human or synthetic hair, you use yarn.
This style will allow you to leave your hair alone without having to style it for several days. Some women wear yarn braids for two weeks at a time. At that point, they may start to get itchy, and you’ll want to take them out.
Natural Hairstyles for Work
It’s not uncommon for ladies with natural hair to ask if we recommend specific natural hairstyles for work or job interviews. It’s our opinion that regardless of whether you’re relaxed or natural, there are certain hairstyles that are more appropriate for professional environments.
Plus, natural hair is much more versatile than relaxed hair, so the styling options that you have are only limited by your imagination.
Depending on where you work, the expectations of your appearance may be documented in an employee handbook. Although it’s worth noting that some companies within Corporate America aren’t accepting of African American cultural norms, including clothing, food, language, and hairstyles.
This can be magnified by the often rigid corporate environment layered with dress codes and other appearance and behavior related policies. I always tell women that it’s important that they feel comfortable with their appearance; that’s always the most important factor in my opinion.
Typically non-profit organizations don’t present with the same rigid work environment as corporate settings; therefore, you may be able to experiment more freely with various hairstyles and colors.
Ultimately all of the hairstyles included in this article can be styled appropriately for work. The key is to present a neat, professional appearance based on your personality, preferences and the culture of your company.