Bold And Beautiful: 35+ Trendy Hairstyles For Black Women With Short Hair

By Ekhama O December 26, 2023

This article was originally published on blackbusinesswave

Black women will tell you that they had gone through the awkward hair length phase at some point in their lives, when they didn’t know what to do with their curls. Contrary to what most people think, there are countless ways of looking great with short and naturally curly hair. You’ll be glad to know that braids aren’t your only option.

Curly hair is just as workable as any other hair type, and with the right products and inspiration, you’ll be able to style it in so many ways; some don’t even require a trip to the salon. We’ve taken our time to scour the internet to bring you plenty of beautiful hairdos so you won’t have to tear your hair out (pun intended) the next time you want to look elegant, classy, or fun.

Flat Twist Out

Nothing is more satisfying than seeing a black woman with defined curls, and if you’re one for that kind of look, a flat twist-out is an excellent option. It’s a simple style that requires little effort but looks quite impressive.

Instagram via bomanibeauty

Flat twists take a little bit of skill to achieve, so it’s crucial you don’t feel discouraged if your hairstyle doesn’t turn out perfect on the first try. You can boost your hair skills with more effort and a few tutorial videos.

Updo Flat Twists

It takes a lot to rock an updo, but if you’re going for something simple and classy, updo flat twists are right up your alley. A braided updo is excellent, but the twists add a touch of elegance that almost can’t be matched.

Instagram via sibral

This hairstyle is perfect for people with fine or scanty hair, and the twists can be done to the crown of your head or even the mid-scalp. Alternatively, the hair can be twisted all the way to the tips or can be left after the scalp is defined.

Tapered Cut

A natural updo with a tapered cut is a fantastic idea for people to change their entire look without so much effort. We love that it’s a super edgy style that’s always the bomb and works well with almost any outfit.

Instagram via nieseyhair

Clean, trimmed edges and a little design to go; a tapered cut on natural hair is one for the ages. The curl tendrils can be neatly piled up at the top of your head and, with some gel and other hair products, defined so they fall down loosely.

Natural Fauxhawk

This is the less strenuous and time-consuming version of the popular mohawk hairstyle, the humble fauxhawk, also known as the foxhawk. It is considered by many to be less risky because you won’t need to shave the sides of your hair.

Instagram via naturalhairtz_

The hair is usually gathered in the middle of the hair and held down with pins to give it the illusion that the sides are somewhat shorter than the hair is. The part that hasn’t been pinned down can then be defined or puffed for a unique look.

Side Flat Twists With An Afro

If having all your hair in flat twists isn’t your style, but you like the concept, consider getting side flat twists with a fro. It has the uniqueness of flat twists but gives your hair more body, perfect for those requiring volume.

Instagram via naturalhairtz_

Select a small section of any or both sides of your hair, give them some clean parting, and have them neatly flat twisted. The rest of the hair can be defined so the curls of your hair pop out or just combed to a puff.

Classy Waves On Short Natural Hair

Although many women with curly and coily hair aren’t the most eager to have their hair straightened (and for a good reason), straightening their mane can open it up to many more unique and versatile hairstyles, and this one is a good example.

Instagram via artistry4gg

This is a more unique version of the pixie cut. It takes much more effort to achieve and is a much more long-term hairstyle than the other options on this list. But if a classy and feminine look is something you dig, consider this look!

Natural Undercut

The undercut might be a popular hairstyle among men with straight hair, but who says a natural hair girlie can’t rock it just as well? It involves having a lot of hair with length at the top and the back and sides of the hair shaved or buzzed.

Instagram via fersant.monique

This hairstyle looks good on most people with just about any hair type. People with curlier hair can add some extra oomph to it and make it stand out more by having the curls of their hair defined. Time to rock this hair!

Pixie Cut

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance hairstyle that still looks elegant and bold, look no further than the pixie cut. It’s a great style to rock during the earlier stages of your awkward length phase and would work for any curly hair type.

Instagram via michellethompsonhair

This one definitely requires a visit to the hair salon because only a professional could bring out the beauty of this look. We love that this style fits any head or hair type and gives whoever rocks it a youthful look.

Tinted Hair

You could always switch up your look without doing too much by coloring your hair. Putting temporary dye or doing something more permanent changes your look effortlessly. You can also try highlights if you’re not committed to changing the color of all your hair.

Instagram via readthetease

Temporary dye is the best option if you’re testing the waters and are wondering if a particular color looks good on you. You can also choose to dye the entire hair or have the tips highlighted to a specific shade or pattern.

Side Cornrows With An Updo

Updos are great, but you can effortlessly add more character and intricacy to the style by braiding all the sides of your hair in cornrows. It’s a simple and classy style that goes well with moderate accessories and light makeup.

Instagram via certifiedheadturner

If you’d like to spice it up more, you could have all the sides braided in flat twists. We’ll give you a pro tip, too; if you want the style to last longer, you should have them braided in small or mid-sized cornrows.

Headbands

Sometimes, a little accessory is all you need to produce a hairstyle that’s effortless but still looks great, and here’s proof. This simple natural hairstyle has most of the hair covered in a headscarf, but is elegant and classy too.

Instagram via naturalhairtz_

It’s great for women who want to avoid stressing their scalps with braids or cornrows or just about anyone who needs more time to do so. You can leave out a small part of your hair in the front and have it defined for a cuter look.

Natural Curls

If your hair is too short for braids or cornrows, you can have their curls slightly defined, and you’re good to go. There’s no need to have those six-hour braids done or cut your hair if you can’t or don’t want to.

Instagram via _crownedwithcurlss

This hairstyle might require some products like gel and a curl definer to bring out the hair’s gorgeous texture and curl pattern. You might also need some equipment like different kinds of combs. The beauty of this hairstyle is that it will take little time to achieve.

Side Bantu Knots

For black ladies who aren’t exactly in the awkward length phase and are looking for a simple but unique style that’ll show off the volume of their hair and curls, the side Bantu knots hairstyle is one of the best choices.

Instagram via itsdoreseb

Like most other hairstyles on this list, this side bantu knots hairstyle is one you can achieve from the comfort of your home, and without anyone’s help. Put on some bold makeup and minimal accessories to round up the look.

Ultra Short Natural Curls

This hairstyle goes way back and is excellent for anyone who wants something that takes zero effort to manage and doesn’t mind having their hair trimmed. It’s one of the most effortless natural hairstyles for black women of all ages.

Instagram via nappyfrancophones

We love how it brings out anyone’s youthful side and how little work is required to make it look stunning. Just throw on some gel to define your curls, make sure the cut is visible, and you’re good to go!

Layered Tapered Cut

Shaving off a whole part of your hair is too scary for most people, so we don’t blame anyone who isn’t in favor of the idea. If you’re not willing to cut your hair that short, but still fancy a tapered cut, go for a layered one.

Instagram via arielvscupcake_

Most of the length is still at the top of the hair, but the sides are trimmed to be shorter instead of being shaved off almost entirely. Consider this hairstyle if you have fine hair that’s not very dense and need some volume.

Rod-like Curls

Instead of straightening or trimming your hair, you can style it in these rod-like curls. This is perfect for folks who are not big fans of braids or need to figure out what to do with their awkwardly short mane.

Instagram via njnaturalstyles

To achieve this hairstyle, you’ll need some styling equipment such as rollers and a few hair products, including hair foaming mousse, a brush to detangle the curls and give them more volume, and any kind or brand of hair oil.

Curly Puff

A quick 10-minute style you can quickly achieve with just a few styling tools and products? Say no more! A defined high puff is your best choice. It’s a simple style that requires little effort but is perfect for any wear and occasion.

Instagram via naturalhairtz_

What we love the most about this style is that it can suit just about any head and hair types. We also love how the curly hair brings out the youthful side of everyone’s face. Who doesn’t want to look 10 years younger?

Short Curly Bob

The bob has been a staple for women since the early twentieth century and we still see women today sporting the look. Black women have an option to add a curly twist to the style as their natural hair is already that way.

Instagram via thelovelynini

It can be styled in numerous ways, but one of the best is by parting the hair right in the middle or even unequally, with the fuller side slightly brought to the front of the hair. Try this on your next night out, and you’ll get compliments.

Cute Wavy Bob

A wavy bob would do just fine for women who prefer a longer bob hairstyle and one that isn’t curly. This doesn’t require a lot of effort and time to achieve. Hair is straightened and styled into gorgeous loose waves for a versatile, simple look.

Instagram via thecutlife

It’s a great hairstyle for people who like near-shoulder-length hair but don’t have enough time to maintain a curly bob without having to spend loads of time detangling and styling the hair every time they need to step out.

Asymmetrical Bob

What we love the most about every bob hairstyle is how versatile, effortless, and fun they are, just like this asymmetrical bob look. Black women can effortlessly rock the same look because it works for wavy, curly, or straight hair.

Instagram via istyled_it

In asymmetrical bobs, one side of the hair is usually longer than the other. The hair at the back is shorter than the one in front. It can be left straight or slightly wavy. Add some highlights to give the hairstyle more pizzazz.

Wavy Bob

One trick to knowing what kind of short hairstyle you can go for is examining your face shape and knowing what would look good. This wavy bob would be great if you have an oval face shape or anything similar.

Instagram via whitneygreenco

It’s a sleek hairstyle that works with any aesthetic, from elegant and classy to rugged and edgy. A wavy bob works best on black women whose hair isn’t exactly short but not long. It’s just what you need for that awkward phase.

Inverted Bob With Loose Curls

There are infinite possibilities for easily styling your short hair, and this inverted bob with loose curls is one of them. It’s a crossover between the popular inverted bob hairstyle and the loose curls hairdo.

Instagram via hairbylatise

Here, the hair is short and layered at the back, gradually getting much longer at the front. This gives it the illusion of having a lot of volume (perfect for those with thin hair), and the curls add extra oomph to this already great coif.

Simple Parted Afro Bob

Numerous risks come with excessively manipulating your natural curls with heat, and that’s why many black women would rather lay off styling implements that use it. To give you more options, we’ve also consciously included hairdos that don’t require heat on this list.

Instagram via naturalhairtz_

Here’s the simple parted afro bob. The parting could be done to the middle of the hair so the volume is distributed equally between both sides or even to a side to give it more fullness. Give this a try, and you’ll love it.

Curly Afro With Space Buns

A better way of describing this hairstyle would be the “half up, half down curly hair with space buns,” but that might have seemed a bit lengthy, so we just opted for the curly afro with space buns, but you get the point.

Instagram via naturalhairtz_

This hairstyle is perfect for people who love space buns but still like having a bit of volume in their hair. It’s a simple hairstyle that will take little time to achieve and if you’d like to add more character to the style, you can have the buns neatly parted in a zig-zag.

Sleek Side Cut

If you’re new on your natural hair journey and your hair is still relatively short, having it soft-pressed and in a sleek side cut wouldn’t be a bad idea. It would require you to see a professional, but regardless, it’s a style that’s easy to manage.

Instagram via indinstrands

This sleek side-cut look is a bold hairstyle that wouldn’t take much to rock but still looks like an absolute winner. Pair it with simple earrings and light makeup to bring out your face and beautiful features. It works for casual and formal occassions too.

Straight-to-the-point Weave

The different styles and ways of cutting hair can greatly alter someone’s look, and this straight-to-the-point weave is a great example. It can make you look younger and involves a lot of different sections of hair cut to different lengths. 

Instagram via indinstrands

The gorgeous hairstyle can give the illusion of a tremendous amount of volume even though the person rocking it has very low-density hair, and that’s one of the things we love the most about it. Plus, it’s a low-maintenance hairstyle anyone can rock.

Short Shag Haircut

We staunchly belief that nothing adds a youthful look to a person’s face the way a short haircut does. Want to shed 10 years off your face? Mid-length and shoulder-length hair is an excellent option, just like this shaggy ‘do.

Instagram via stylistapril

It can be made ultra simplistic like the one above, where the cut is easy, or with more layers if you fancy a fuller look. You could also have a few highlights put in to spice things up if you want to be more daring or edgy.

Long Weave 

People with short hair who want that long hair feel can opt for hair extensions. It requires maintenance, and you’ll need to fork out money to visit the professionals at the nearest hair salon, but it’s worth it when done right.

Instagram via heramazing_hair

The great thing about weaves is that they give the hair space to grow and the scalp time to rest from the countless stresses of manipulating the hair into all kinds of styles. It is also a very versatile option.

Blonde Weave

We’ve talked a lot about adding color to your hair to change your look, but if you don’t like adding a harmful chemical to your hair that could potentially damage it (yikes!), you can get a colored weave instead.

Instagram via londonlaidit

Although blonde is a hair color often thought of as ideal only for Caucasians, it’s a gorgeous color that can be rocked by just anyone, and this blonde weave with brown on this pretty black lady is sufficient proof. We rest our case.

Pixie Cut With Short Bangs

Pixie cuts are uniquely bold and versatile. It can be cut differently to create various kinds of styles to suit just about any face structure. Take, for example, the unique pixie cut with bangs in the photo below, stylish and fashionable.

Instagram via modernsalon

It combines two kinds of cuts, the pixie, and the bangs, fusing them into one beautiful and compact look. If you love to look sassy and bold, this is the hairstyle for you. You can have the pixie shorter or longer, depending on your preference.

Platinum Blonde Pixie

Black women are no strangers to experimenting with color. Whether in the hue of the weaves they have on or by dying their hair, they do it all the time. If the idea of a pixie and platinum blonde is up your alley, here’s a hairstyle for you.

Instagram via indinstrands

A pixie cut is already a unique hairstyle, but adding that extra touch of uniqueness by dying it platinum blonde can make all the difference in the world. It will undoubtedly make you stand out in the crowd! Don’t be surprised if people compliment you.

Punk Layered Pixie Haircut

Although the pixie cut is already edgy, there are some ways you could take it up a notch, and adding layers is one of them. It makes the hair seem much fuller and makes it much more of a statement look.

Instagram via jdrewhair

This layered pixie haircut has a punk vibe, making it all the more edgy. It also combines some pretty sick colors with blue and purple, so you could do something similar if you wouldn’t mind dyeing your hair. Rock on!

Braided Bob With Beads

No matter what hairstyle you choose (unless it’s the shortest haircut possible), having your hair styled in a simple way will make it more manageable. Yes, you can let your hair hang loose, but there are better options than that.

Instagram via emilychanmakeup

Braids are some of the most popular protective styles, but sitting down for a third of a day to get them installed can be quite tiring. So, if your hair is long enough, having it in natural braids with some beads would be a quick and easy style to rock.

Egyptian-inspired Hairdo

They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery, and we couldn’t agree more. Black hairstylists take inspiration from various things, from objects, plants, people, and even other cultures, to create unique hairdos like the one in the photo below.

Instagram via hairbyclipperz

This hairstyle is made in such a way that it closely resembles that of ancient Egyptians, only with more braids. The back is braided and then sleeked to the top all the way to the front of the hair in twists.

Bantu Knots

Bantu knots are a popular hairstyle that originated and have been around for centuries in specific parts of Africa. It has gained popularity among black women all around the world. It’s braided or twisted hair tied down into a knot on the head.

Instagram via yele.life

Bantu knots seem like a fairly simple hairstyle, but there is a lot of spicing up that can be done to make it more special and edgy. Consider having your hair parted in triangles or any other unique shape to give it more oomph.

Cinnamon Bun

Bantu knots are similar to the bun, but it can be a bit tricky to protect them and feel comfy while sleeping. If you’re not a fan of the style but want something similar, consider getting a giant cinnamon bun.

bellanaija.com

This updo is less time-consuming and requires much less effort than the Bantu knots. Although you still need to put in work to maintain it, it’s a super sleek hairstyle that works in casual and professional settings. You don’t have the same hairdo from the office to the party.

Natural Goddess Braids

In recent years, we’ve seen the explosion of the goddess braids hairstyle. They are bold and beautiful braids with curly strands of hair left loose, creating this somewhat ethereal look for whoever wears them. If our description is not clear, just look at the photo.

Instagram via thee_eclectic_hippie

More recently, black women have taken a twist on the style by using their naturally curly hair to recreate it instead of using synthetic strands. This one above was parted into box braids, but they can be done just about any way.

Stitch Braids

Cornrows are a staple for black women. It’s almost impossible for a black woman to go through life without styling their hair in some kind of cornrow at some point. Ask around and they will tell you the same thing.

Instagram via braidsbyaurora

These cornrows are basic and simple, hair is plaited down the scalp as is common but there are lines on the hair that make it look like they’re stitches. It’s a neat hairstyle that would work for any setting and aesthetic.

Bun With Loose Cornrows

The bun is a signature hairstyle among women, regardless of gender, age, and race. Even black women with curly hair are big fans of the bun because it’s effortless and quick. It’s a great look, but you can add more flair to it.

Courtesy of iMadameJay

In this hairstyle, most of the hair is held up in a sleek and pretty bun while the front is sectioned and braided into loose, barely visible cornrows or flat twists with neat partings. This ‘do is one of our favorites!

Curly Afro With Front Bun

Having your hair in an afro is one of the boldest and most beautiful looks you could ever go for. It’s a statement look that makes you one of the most unique people in the room, but it wouldn’t hurt to add a little twist to your fro.

Instagram via naturalhairtz_

In this look, there’s a little bun right at the mid-scalp region of the head that extends to the front while the rest of the hair is left free to form a fro. It’s a simple style that goes well with simple makeup for any occasion.

Two-part Flat Twist

This is a great hairstyle when you’re in a hurry to go somewhere, but want to look professional. It’s simple but elegant and goes well with simple makeup. The hairdo can be paired with a soft and girly look and even a punk and edgy flair.

Instagram via breezyspuffss

The hair is divided into two parts and made into big flat twists all the way from the front to the back. The rest can be made into a slight puff or even a bun at the back, and the parting could be made unequal like this one.

Puff With Front Flat Twist

Sometimes, people advertise something as five or ten minutes, but it requires much more. This puff with a single flat twist in front isn’t one of those. Many can guarantee that it only takes more or less ten minutes to pull off.

Instagram via naturalhairtz_

It’s a simple hairstyle that can be made more glamorous with the help of accessories and makeup. If you like the look but want your hair in a different color, you can use temporary dye and you’re good to go.

Finger Curls

If you’ve got a looser hair texture or you wouldn’t mind perming your super coily 4a-4c hair, finger curls are a pretty and elegant hairstyle you could try for a change. It suits people who have super short hair or who would like to chop a chunk off their hair.

Instagram via stylesbynicoleg

For people planning to do this at home, proper research is needed to figure out the best hair products to use. The right products can help the hair stay in place and help the style look good and neat for days. 

Side-Swept Pixie

We’ve seen curly pixies, wavy pixies, and tapered ones and we love them all. But there’s always enough room for more pixie hairstyles and this one is worthy of a mention. Here’s what’s called the side-swept pixie.

Instagram via gabbysalonabj

As the name implies, most of the hair is swept to one side, and the rest is much shorter. This one is layered with highlights, making the hair look much more lush and fuller, but it can be kept to a single length and color for a simpler look.

MicroTwists

Let’s face it: most hairstyles in this list require a decent amount of maintenance and will only last for a while. That’s why we took it upon ourselves to search for something that would, and we discovered the micro twists.

Instagram via simply_nasubo

It’s a versatile hairstyle that could be styled in nearly infinite ways and would look great regardless of the weather, your aesthetic, or the occasion! Have them neatly parted in boxes for a fresh look or in undefined sections for a messier vibe.

Finger waves

Finger waves are almost like a cousin of finger curls. The only notable difference here is that the hair is a bit shorter. Also, unlike with finger curls, you won’t have to go to the salon to perm your hair.

Youtube via CydBee

This is a huge plus for people who probably did a big cut to get started on their natural hair journey. So, if your hair is short and you need to get glammed up for something, simply get your hands on styling foam and your favorite styling gel to get this look!