20 Picture-Perfect Black Curly Hairstyles

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Black curly hairstyles are amazingly beautiful, chic and creative. African-American women have gorgeous yet unique hair texture that require some special love and care to look its best. From long loose curls to shorter cropped styles, here are 20 ideas for those who search a new way to sport black curly hair.

Black Curly Hairstyles for Short, Medium and Long Hair

Curly hairstyles flatter African American women immensely, regardless of length. Here are some pictures of the most beautiful curly looks for inspiration!

#1: Long Loose Waves

black curly hairstyle for long hair

Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

Zendaya Coleman’s long loose waves are the perfect example of curly hair that makes you turn around. From casual to formal, this hairstyle can literally be worn for any occasion and it looks great when paired with any outfit.

#2: Short Black Curly Hairstyle with a High Shine Finish

Here is Viola Davis at a recent event. Hair like this can easily be achieved with hot rollers and a styling product. Perfect for African-American women with short hair, this style is fairly quick and it works fantastic either for a night out with friends or on the red carpet.

black wavy bob hairstyle

Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

#3: Classic Vintage Curls

Melanie Fiona shows off a classic hairstyle for long black curly hair, inspired by the 1940s. Using a product and a large-barrel curling iron, hair is brushed up and away from the face and then curled back for a dramatic yet glowing style. Pair this with red lips to get the whole decade-themed look.

long curly hairstyle for African American women

DFree / Shutterstock.com

#4: Black Curly Hairstyle with Loose Spirals

Black spiral hairstyles have the potential to look great on anyone, but those with thick, curly hair will really pull them off well. With plenty of body and not so many rules, this hairstyle is a windfall. Let spiral curls flow freely to frame your face and bring this feminine, attractive look to any occasion.

long natural curly hairstyle

Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

#5: Upswept Curls

Keenyah Hill sported natural, beautiful curls at a recent event, sweeping hair to one side and setting it with a styling product. These loose curls can be achieved with hot rollers or a large-barrel curling iron. Lightened hair looks gorgeous on darker-skinned girls too, and it does accentuate the curls!

side-swept curly hairstyle for black women

Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

#6: Short Formal Black Curly Hairstyle

Ladies with short hair can have just as much curly fun as those with longer locks. Sleeping in soft rollers overnight will result in these short, tight curls that can be beautifully paired with big-statement earrings or a formal gown.

black curly bob hairstyle

JStone / Shutterstock.com

#7: Pinned Up Ringlets

To get a look like Judi Shekoni’s, curl the hair with a curling wand or a small barreled iron, and then pin up the majority of the hair, securing the knot at the nape of the neck. Side swept bangs add a dramatic twist to an otherwise simple hairstyle that can work both formally or casually.

black curly updo

s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

#8: Medium-Length Natural Black Curly Hairstyle

Natural hair is very popular for African-American women these days, and the very tight curls in the photo are a beautiful example of how gorgeous natural hair can be. Use an ethnic hair product designed to accentuate very tight curls like these.

medium curly hairstyle for African American women

carrie-nelson / Shutterstock.com

#9: Piled Up Curls

Tanya Wright paired fanciness with simplicity at a recent event by piling her curly hair atop her head and securing the curls with hair pins. Easy to achieve but stunning to wear, this hairstyle features the fancy top where the large portions of hair alternate directions to show off a great volume.

cute updo for natural hair

Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

#10: Short and Cute Black Curly Hairstyle

Naturally curly haircuts can be just as gorgeous as long, and a lot easier to take care of, too! This curly hairstyle is accomplished simply by adding ethnic curl product to damp hair and letting it air dry. Ladies who sport short styles like this can pull off bold accessories and sleeveless dresses, both of which are beautifully accentuated.

natural black hairstyle

Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

#11: Curly Highlights

Kim Fields learned the “facts of life” long ago, and now as an older adult she has learned how to make the most of her naturally curly hair. Going for natural tight curls, she brightens up her face by adding grey blonde and honey highlights.

medium African American curly hairstyle

Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

#12: Neat Black Curly Hairstyle with a Headband

Your hair doesn’t always have to be the focal point of your look – sometimes a fun accessory like a thick fabric headband can add a beautiful twist to an already pulled-together look. For this style, short, very curly hair is held in place with such a handy minimalistic accessory.

easy afro puff updo

Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com

#13: Tree Braids

Tymberlee Hill has aptly combined two best hairstyles for women – curls and braids – for a recent event. Braiding the hair down to the ear-length and then allowing the rest to flow freely causes this modern and adorable look to shine its best. Sleek, simple and free of rules!

medium braided hairstyle for African American women

Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

#14: Parted and Asymmetrically Pinned Black Curly Hairstyle

Again rocking the natural hair, actresses opt to give their hair a break and keep things how God intended at times. Using an anti-frizz product, this look was achieved simply by smoothing hair and pinning half of it back on one side with a hair pin.

black curly hairstyle for medium-length natural hair

Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

#15: Thin Half-Up Waves

Women of mixed ethnicities will oftentimes have thinner locks than black women with type 4 hair. Curls can be difficult to manage with different nationalities shining through, but it doesn’t have to be. In this case you can simply use a holding gel in damp hair, “scrunch” it with your fingers and pin loosely back.

asymmetrical curly hairstyle for black women

Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com

#16: Fancy Short Black Curly Hairstyle

Grace Gealey recently took a creative look to her head with a cropped cut featuring longer curls on top. This is a dramatic style to request at the salon, but it is definitely also beautiful and very photo-worthy.

African American short curly hairstyle

Ovidiu Hrubaru / Shutterstock.com

#17: Smoothed Out Curls

These curls are natural throughout, but feature a deep side part and a strongly slicked down area on one side. This adds body and drama to the remaining locks. Having them all piled on one side brings in some added formality for that fancy affair.

side curly hairstyle for black women

Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com

#18: Very Short and Very Feminine Black Curly Hairstyle

Curly hair can be uber short and still look beautiful. This short, cropped cut presented by Paige Thomas shows how even the shortest curls can look gorgeously glam. Pair this style with heavy makeup for special events, or keep the face as naturally simple as your hair on your downtime.

short natural hairstyle

Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

#19: Wild and Crazy Curls

There are no rules to this hairstyle – colored hair, natural curls and a big butterfly embellishment – every single strand of hair is clearly having a great time!

beautiful curly hairstyle for black women

Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

#20: High School Chic Black Curly Hairstyle

This was the go-to hairstyle for 90s high school girls with curly hair – heavily gelled, strands left hanging freely in the front, spiral curls tumbling down. Best of all, it still totally works today for black girls of any age.

half up black curly hairstyle for long hair

Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

No matter how you choose to wear your hair, if you have black curls, you are blessed. From natural ‘dos to more controlled styles, your options are endless.

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