The Editors
Updated on September 05, 2021
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50. Horizontal Flat Twists and Kinky Bun

Here’s a cute natural updo hairstyle that is not just visually appealing, but also convenient to sleep with. It’s quite easy to recreate – get horizontal flat twists or cornrows braided, gather the ends of your locks and pin them up in a sort of front roll. This hairstyle preserves your naturally curly texture, thus, looking twice more beautiful.

Are you ready for sun, sand and high-waisted shorts? Dust off those sunglasses, pick one of these fabulous updos for natural hair and start the summer off right.

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Updos for natural hair can seem like a dream come true when the temperature is climbing and heat styling becomes the dreaded moment of every day. Most of us have been anxiously awaiting summer weather all year long, but humidity or aggressive sun can impair both your hairstyle and your hair health. What’s a girl to do? Put away the heat tools and save some time in the morning by trying one of these simple updos on your natural hair.

Beautiful Protective Updos for Natural Hair

Natural hair updos are not only practical, they may be very creative and easy to complete. The following list features updos for any taste and level of hairstyling skills.

1. Curly Updo with a Crown Braid

For those of you out there with exceptional curls, here’s an updo to hone in on the beauty of your naturally textured hair. Big, natural curls can be hot and frizzy during the humid months, so you’ve got to find a new way to wear them. Try this out: a braided crown that wraps around your head with your natural curls pinned up in a voluminous delight on top.

2. Rolled and Pinned Updo for Natural Hair

Have you ever wished your hair could look like a piece of art? Well then, this is the style for you! With this rolled updo, you’re bound to turn heads in the best possible way. Have plenty of bobby pins ready if you’re going to try it out; complex styles like this one need to be kept in place.

3. Half Braided Half Curly Updo with Cornrows

Check another example of a Mohawk-like wild top with cornrows in our gallery of updo styles. This classy ‘do is ideal for short natural hair, and it’s also quite unhackneyed. It’s cute and relatively easy to complete once you get someone professional to do it for you.

4. Sculptured French Braid with a Front Roll

This impressive hairstyle with a twist is suitable for formal events when you want to look your best. It requires a good dose of fixing products, so it’s not very sustainable for daily life. If your natural black hair is longer than a medium length and you don’t mind combing, this is a worthy option for your next special occasion.

5. Cute Contrasting Top Afro Updo

This pretty pinned up updo is an ideal classy look for black women who want to try something different for a change. The ‘do requires an easy side twist and your regular afro puff that may be pushed toward the forehead like in the photo. A pop of color is optional.

6. Twist’n’Bun Updo for Natural Hair

Isn’t this updo flawless? Borrowing trends from the past is always a fun endeavor, especially when you choose a particularly stylish decade like the ‘60s. Hop on the vintage beauty train by trying out this hairstyle. Complete your look by pairing your new ‘do with traditional red lips and a Mad Men-esque dress to match.

7. Rope Twist Halo Braid

Tired of braided crowns? Try a new take on the old classic style with this rope twist halo updo. To mimic this hairstyle, rope twist around the crown of your head, incorporating more strands into your twist as you go. When it’s finished, you’ll look like an angel (pun intended!)

8. French Braided Updo

This is one of the prettiest natural hair updos you can make if your hair is at least of medium length. It’s a bit complicated to achieve on your own, but you can ask your stylist for an around-the-head braid, fixed with invisible bobby pins. This cute style works wonderfully as a natural approach to wedding hair, whether you’re the bride or a bridesmaid. It’s also a cute example of an updo that works for naturally curly African-American hair.

9. Twisted Side Updo

Getting ready to go to a formal event can mean hours in front of the mirror with a blow dryer in your face and a straightening iron heating up beside you, but there are other ways to get ready for the ball while still embracing your natural locks. Try this flat twist updo for your next little black dress occasion.

10. Naturally Curly Tie-Up

A cute hairstyle idea for women with short or medium length, this quick updo requires your hair to be tied up on the top of your head, close to your forehead. Then, style your pinned up hair as a lovely bunch of long bangs, draping your forehead.

11. Flat Twists Updo

This is a lovely, elegant and complex style, probably one of the classiest braided updos for natural hair we have encountered so far. You can duplicate this style with long hair (or at least hair of a medium length.) The combination of thin and chunky twists renders flair of sophistication to this gorgeous updo. The twists can be substituted by cornrows.

12. Twisted Curly Mohawk

This cute natural updo with a braided Mohawk in mind is great if you want to extend short natural hair in order to protect it and get a beautiful style, suitable for medium length hair. You may play with the color of extensions and the texture of your Mohawk. As we see, here the twists offer some lovely boucle texture.

13. Pompadour Updo for Natural Hair

Updos aren’t all about fancy dresses and elaborate get-togethers. Sometimes they’re just about staying cool during a blistering summer day. This elegant updo is a go-to for casual occasions in the sun. Think: heading to the beach, taking a stroll in the park, even having a picnic in your own backyard.

14. Knots and Twists Combination

Not all natural hair updos have to be structured and follow a clear pattern. This cute style for medium length hair perfectly illustrates that you can just braid your hair any way you like and then tie it up on the top of your head randomly; it will still look sophisticated and lovely. This is easy to make and maintain, you don’t really need the help of a stylist, and it’s well-suited for both casual and formal occasions.

15. Braided Humidity Proof Updos

These three styles kindly ask the boring old bun to step aside! Fight the hair-ruining humidity by pulling your hair into one of these three striking braided updos. Buns are a thing of the past; instead try something fresh by recreating one of the above styles.

16. Beehive Romantic Hairstyle

The volume in this updo would make anyone envious! While your wedding day is your special day to be a total diva, it may be unnecessary. This style is ideal for anyone wanting to flaunt their natural beauty while saying, ‘I do!’ It’s not even difficult to achieve, mostly using folding and pinning to create the ideal volume.

17. Flat Twists and Caramel Coils

Here’s a lovely style if you like a wild touch to your looks, and easy to maintain as well once you have it done. Braid a few side cornrows or flat twists and pile your curls on the top of your head to keep the Mohawk-like bunch of short natural hair pinned up neatly on the top.

18. French Braided Bun Updo

Staying stylish in the workplace is difficult with all those oppressive dress codes. No open-toed shoes, no big hair, no eccentric makeup. It’s like they’re trying to iron out all aspects of your personality! Don’t worry, there are still ways to stay in dress code and look cute while doing it. This updo is a great example; try it out.

19. Massive Loopped Updo

This is a lovely and relatively simple hairstyle for natural black hair that requires clear parting and skillful hands. The combination of twists and loops looks pretty impressive. The key to this updo is hiding the ends and smoothing out the edges for a super clean look.

20. Braided Crown Updo

This is a style that can be pulled off with short, medium or long natural hair. If you lack length, use the extensions, like the model did. This pinned up braided updo is classy to rock for a formal event, wedding included.

21. Cute Braided Bun with Full Bangs

The cute plaited bun pictured here proves that hairstyles for natural hair can be polished and glamorous. This idea will work perfectly with shorter hair if you don’t mind using extensions, and how can you resist when an attached bun is so gorgeous?

Formal Black Braided Bun

Instagram / @rubyreddcheeks

22. Elegant Twisted Updo

The full, volumized twisted updo is a great style for showcasing afro hair in a new way. Create an array of textures by varying the size and tightness of twists stacked above your forehead. And the back section of your hair can be wrapped and pinned as a simple French twist.

Updo With Twists For Natural Hair

Instagram / @dionnesmithhair

23. Easy Curly Bun with Side Braids

This big curly bun with braided elements is super easy to do by yourself and it’s also very flatteringe for your natural black hair if you don’t want to bleach it or dye any unnatural hair color. To obtain this style, part your hair horizontally a few centimeters above your hairline, then make a headband braid. Wrap a big twist and drape your curls loosely at the nape.

24. High and Sleek Pony Bun

Unique and quirky updos don’t have to look complicated, yet that awesome sleekness will take some time at the salon. Silk pressed hair is gorgeous when it’s loose, but you can certainly try a simple yet definitely statement-making updo like this one.

Sleek Updo For Silk Pressed Natural Hair

Instagram / @tamelalemieux

25. Big Bun for Medium Length Hair

This style is ideal if your hair is stretched, but it can work for fully naturally curly African-American hair as well. Just tie your hair in a big bun on the top of your head, and preferably use a twist when you wrap it on the lower side of your head. This cute twist will be more visible if your hair is stretched.

26. Ruby Red French Braid and Bun

Cute updos can be made even cuter with a great hair color. This ruby red look combines a tight upside down french plait at the back with a loosely braided top knot. Use extension to come up with a super sized bun.

27. Braided High Volume Updo

More intricate-looking braided styles like this sophisticated updo require longer than medium length hair or extensions. This is one of the best natural hair updos, elegant enough for any formal event. For a complete glamorous effect, it’s best if your hair is stretched out and treated with a high shine serum.

28. Quirky Afro Mohawk Updo

Why not to combine a cool mohawk with an elegant updo? The puffiness of the hawk beautifully contrasts with the ideally slick sides. You can hardly resist touching those twisted puffs! What a lovely updo – stunning enough for a bride.

Natural Hair Mohawk Updo

Instagram / @hairbysleame

29. Afro Puff with Cornrows

If you love rocking an afro but hate having hair in your face, try this! Keep your hair in check with tightly braided cornrows at the back and sleek combed hair at the front. Then, let your texture free on top with a cute afro puff.

Puff Updo For Shorter Natural Hair

Instagram / @kinkycurlybeauty

30. Sleek and Shiny Braided Bun

This is definitely the neatest of our favorite natural hair updos. A braided bun is a popular idea, but you can always customize it by a high shine finish and an added V section with a raised braid.

Black Sleek Braided Bun Updo

Instagram / @hairprincessss

31. Headband Braid with a Bun Updo

Shorter natural hair is a great base for some gorgeous braided updos, like this one. A thick braid from extensions that runs all the way along your hairline and wraps cozily at the nape of your neck is a neat and beautiful style you’ll love to wear for a while.

32. Classic French Roll

The French roll is ideal for natural black hair. You can effortlessly come up with a voluminous roll and even play with textures. Blowdry and stretch the side section that covers your roll, leaving the hair inside textured. If you also have color, that’s perfect.

Natural French Roll Updo

Instagram / @n_baduism

33. Mohawk Braid with a Bun

Natural updos can also be neat and perfectly coifed. The maximum height of the top braid contrasts with the flawless sleekness of the sides to create a dramatic look. As if that wasn’t enough, a puffy bun was added to complete the gorgeous updo for a special occasion.

34. Pinned Up Pigtails

Every little girl loves pigtails. When she grows up, she can update the look by wrapping the freely hanging ends of the braids around the back of the head and pinning them in place. It’s similar to a crown braid, just much easier.

35. Gorgeous Twisted Updo

Stunning multi-braided updos can be done with lots of different kinds of braids. This style uses four vertical twisted braids which are delicately looped around each other at the nape of the neck. The trick is not to twist the hair tightly, leave it a little loose.

36. Amazing Natural Mohawk with Cornrows

A natural hair updo with extensions is good when you are growing out your natural hair and want to live through this awkward phase feeling like a queen and wearing an appropriate hairstyle. This Mohawk is fancy yet wearable.

Black Mohawk Updo With Braided Designs

Instagram / @rubyreddcheeks

37. Eye-Catching Twisted Updo

An updo with lots of height is a great way to showcase beautiful African American hair. This asymmetric style uses broad twisted braids to make a really unique-shaped style. Ladies who like hairdos with volume on the top of their head will enjoy this simple yet showy style.

Asymmetrical Twisted Updo For Natural Hair

Instagram / @n_baduism

38. Stylish Updo with Side Twists

Blown out natural hair still has that enviable density and volume, while being manageable and retaining its unique texture. Try this gorgeous layered updo with side flat twists accentuating your beautiful bone structure and play with the height on top that makes you feel and look even more meaningful.

Cute Updo For Natural Hair

Instagram / @dionnesmithhair

39. Thick and Thin Twists Updo

The best thing about natural updo hairstyles is that they protect your hair, show off its texture and look so lovely and versatile. The most creative looks happen when you combine different textures, such as twists and braids, sleek sections and puffy ones, or thicker and thinner twists like in this example.

Twists Updo For Black Natural Hair

Instagram / @tasalahq

40. Snaky Twists Updo

The snaky flat twists are a new way to experiment with hairstyles braided close to your scalp. They look fresh and unique compared to traditional flat twists and cornrows. Finish off with a shiny twisted bun and be ready to catch admiring glances and hear “wow!”

Curvy Flat Twists Updo

Instagram / @keena360

41. Criss Cross Halo Braids

A halo braid is nothing new, but a few intertwined braids do really look special. They make your updo more voluminous, adding it another hundred of style points and framing your face in a charming way.

Black Updo With Crown Braids

Instagram / @braidsbynuvo

42. Elegant Chignon with a Twist

One of our favorite cute natural hairstyles for formal events is the chignon. Simple hairstyles are often the best, as is the case with this wedding chignon that is sure to look classy on wedding photos even in 50 years.

43. Asymmetric Braided Updo with Bangs

Need an updo that’s quick and easy but still gorgeous? Here it is! Simply side part your hair and French braid each side bringing the ends together and shaping a bun behind one ear. Add curly side bangs for a flirty accent.

Halo Braid With Bangs

Instagram / @bombshael_hair

44. Side Twist Updo

Always say “yes” to a side braid or a twist! They are simple to do, but they always give a sophisticated look. To recreate this style for medium hair or long locks, part your hair in all the right places and then begin a twist, leading along your hairline to the back of your head.

45. Easy Knotted Updo for Natural Hair

The best part of wearing an updo is that it may look complicated and difficult to achieve, but some are actually very easy. This style is as simple as tying the four separate sections into knots (the way you would tie a shoelace) and adding the leftover hair from one knot into the next for a more put-together elegance.

46. Janelle Monae Inspired Updo for Natural Hair

Too many updos focus on the beautiful braids and buns at the back of your head, but they are not visible in front. With this style, you can have all your radiant natural hair up front for everyone to see. It’s easy to attain; just secure some French rolls with bobbypins in the way you prefer.

47. Elegant Fishtail Braid Updo for Natural Hair

Here’s another example of a classy updo. This fishtail braid is perfect for any big event, like prom or wedding you have coming up. The addition of the clips sells the elegance of this look. You can substitute them for flowers or different types of clips, but if it’s too much pizzazz for you, just wear the style clean.

48. Twisted Back Updo

When it’s hot and humid, all you want to do is keep the hair out of your face, but that’s no reason to sacrifice a great hair day. Try this twisted back updo to get the best of both worlds—the hair out of your face and a fancy ‘do to boot.

49. Pin-Curled Twists Updo

This beautiful style is a bit more complicated than most, but it pays off. If you take your time and create the right curly base of this look, you’ll be golden. After that, you just twist and pin in the right places, creating a terrifically twisted final product ready for any occasion.

50. Horizontal Flat Twists and Kinky Bun

Here’s a cute natural updo hairstyle that is not just visually appealing, but also convenient to sleep with. It’s quite easy to recreate – get horizontal flat twists or cornrows braided, gather the ends of your locks and pin them up in a sort of front roll. This hairstyle preserves your naturally curly texture, thus, looking twice more beautiful.

Are you ready for sun, sand and high-waisted shorts? Dust off those sunglasses, pick one of these fabulous updos for natural hair and start the summer off right.

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