In the face of injustice and uncertainty, one thing that will always remain constant is the Black community’s impeccable sense of style and innovation. In the age of social media, Black people, specifically Black women, are consciously carving out spaces for themselves to inspire and encourage one another through the acceptance of natural Black beauty.
Images of women embracing their unique skin tones, senses of style, and of course, hair textures, depict a collective move away from restrictive beauty standards that historically undermined Black features. In their own sort of artistic defiance, Black women continue to push boundaries and experiment with their curly, coily, and kinky tresses to bring us some of our favorite looks.
Keep scrolling for 25 examples of Black women sporting creative hairstyles to get you excited about the versatility and the beauty of natural hair.
1. Instagram: @curlbellaa
This Tracee Ellis Ross-inspired wrapped ponytail style is super creative but practical to wear out as well. And according to Angela Onuoha, it’s easy to recreate—keep an eye on her IG for the tutorial.
2. Instagram: @candicesabiduria
You’d be surprised what you can accomplish with some simple rubber bands. Section the hair at the front and secure it in a pattern with rubber bands for a different look.
3. Instagram: @tierechristyan
Faux locs allow you to have the best of both worlds, no long-term commitment. Tiere’s ultra thick locs give off a regal vibe.
4. Instagram: @truleytalentedbeauty
If you want to take your ponytail to the next level, we have one word for you—extensions. This textured ponytail gives a beautiful waterfall effect and the butterfly clips add a nostalgic-summery element.
5. Instagram: @rahelbrhane
One area where your creative styling can really shine is with your edges. Rachel’s elegant and dramatically laid baby hairs add spice to her chic curly cut.
6. Instagram: @keishacharmaine
Naturals with locs have so many styling options. Create a formal look by braiding and pinning your locs in an updo like Keisha.
7. Instagram: @keke.j_
Keke decided to transition her mini twists into micro locs, and styled them in this cute double ponytail, half-up style. Whether you use mini twists as a protective style, or you’re transitioning into a loc’ed style you can rock this style to keep it young and fresh.
8. Instagram: @_harrisjanae_
Natural hair can make some amazing gravity-defying shapes. This bunned mohawk is perfect for casual and formal occasions.
9. Instagram: @blakejael
Bandanas as accessories have made a smooth comeback in the last couple of years. Blake uses one to pull back her lengthy Marley twists.
10. Instagram: @neffyfrofro
Flat twists can be a life-saving protective style, especially on wash day. Try this twisted updo if you’re ready to get glam for quarantine like Laila-Jean.
11. Instagram: @beauty_skindeep
Only have a little time before your next Zoom meeting? Style your hair into sizable plaits/twists and decorate them with your preferred accessories for a relaxed look.
12. Instagram: @jonellsequiraxo
Revamp the double-puff look with accessories and mini twists. Jonell used Afro Sheen’s Texture Setting Cream Gel for shine, definition and hold to achieve this style.
13. Instagram: @frizzybri
Short cuts look great with color. Bri’andra’s super low cut makes this platinum blond color pop.
14. Instagram: @bbyricann
Having short hair does not mean you can’t rock braids without extensions. Jaloni’s beaded braids look sporty and super cool.
15. Instagram: @brosiaaa
From its traditional roots in African cultures, Bantu knots have become glamorized in recent years. The style has become popular among naturalistas for its simplicity, protective value, and unique appearance.
16. Instagram: @jd_winters
Most of us love a good top knot, and Jasmine found a way to jazz it up a little. Just flat twisting the sides brings a new feel to a classic look.
17. Instagram: @spstyled
Secure a long ponytail with some rubber bands along the length of it for a “bubble” effect like Savannah.
18. Instagram: @slimreshae
Have you ever dreamt of picture-perfect ringlets? Reshae achieved this picturesque curly look with perm rods and Hawaiian Silky Triple Butter.
19. Instagram: @creeative91
As a crowd favorite and a bomb protective style, cornrows will always have a special place within the natural community. Cree’s embellished cornrows are stylish and will keep damage to a minimum.
20. Instagram: @jusbtv.luhv.potions
Sometimes creativity is all in the accessory choice. Add some extra large hair clips that describe you and your personal style.
21. Instagram: @christineamor_
Who says blow drying has to be a step in styling? Where your blown out hair as a style or rock it as is like Christine.
22. Instagram: @nayarasantanaofc
Goddess braids look amazing at dramatic lengths. Let your braids flow at thigh or even knee length for a diva-esque look.
23. Instagram: @creolenaturelle
Daphne’s elegant half-up ‘do gives off summer wedding vibes. Although you might be staying low on the social radar this summer, this is a good style to keep in the vault for that next big outing.
24. Instagram: @halfricanbeaute
Give that ponytail some height. Wrap some gold string around your ponytail like Isi to channel your inner glam genie.
25. Instagram: @joyjah
Joyjah’s jumbo twist and Bantu knot combo looks incredibly sleek and fresh. If your hair isn’t quite as dense or as long, go ahead and add some extensions that match your texture.
Where do you look for creative natural hair inspo? Let us know some of the influencers you follow in the comments.