20 Versatile Hairstyles For Short Natural Hair

Bantu knots, ‘fro hawks, and more.

Here are 20 hairstyle ideas for Black women with short natural hair, including Bantu knots, a curly ...
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The greatest misconception about short natural hair — and short hair in general — is that there isn’t much you can do to style it in different ways. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. “There are plenty of styling options when you have short hair,” affirms celebrity hairstylist and founder of Naturally Drenched Jamila Powell. Wash and go, styling clips, side parts, and baby hairs are just a few ways Powell lists to change up your short natural hair. You can also opt for braids and other protective styles as well as popular cuts like the beloved bob. The possibilities are actually pretty endless.

What’s most important when styling short natural hair is how you do it. Nai’Vasha, celebrity hairstylist and curl expert for T3, says that there are two key components to keep in mind: moisture and curl-definition. You’ll want a great dryer and diffuser (her pick is the T3 AireLuxe and Diffuser attachment) to get your curls ready. Powell adds using a nourishing serum like Naturally Drenched’s Watermelon Dreams to bring shine to your curls and advises using a bamboo pick for volume.

Below, Nai’Vasha and Powell share some of their favorite hairstyles for short natural hair. Keep reading to see their picks and more curl inspo.


Finger Waves

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One of Powell’s favorite ways to style short hair is with finger waves. This 1920s-inspired ‘do is still very much in style and — the best part — low-maintenance. She says all you need is a rattail comb, a styling foam of your choice, and a mirror to do the back of your hair.


‘Fro Hawk

Another favorite of Powell’s is the fro hawk. “This style allows you to have your curls on the top and faded sides, to which you can add bold designs,” she says. “This style is edgy and fun. If you want, you can dye your tips for a pop of color.”


Wavy Pixie

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As with anything in life really, follow Rihanna’s lead and style your short natural hair in a wavy pixie for a chic yet easy hairstyle to maintain.


Bantu Knots

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Nai’Vasha is a fan of Bantu knots for short natural hair. Tracee Ellis Ross wears large ones for a fun look.


Put A Pin In It

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When in doubt, pin it out. Decorative hair accessories like jeweled bobby pins and barrettes are an easy way to change up a short hairstyle with minimal effort. “They can dress up any occasion,” says Powell.


Buzzed ‘Fro

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Thinking about a big chop? Go the buzzed route like Solange once did for a super cool look.


Curly Bob

Long live the bob. The versatile style (and one of the biggest hair trends in 2022) is a great option for short natural hair that you can wear in so many ways.


Layered Bob

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Add some definition and shape to your curly bob by adding layers.


Shag It

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For something eye-catching, Powell suggests a curly shag or mullet. Here, Halle Berry wears her curly shag with bangs.


Color Palette

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Powell says colored curls are a great way to elevate short hair. A cool silver tone like Cynthia Erivo’s is next level.


Half Up Half Down

Powell loves a good half up, half down look for short hair. “[It] adds versatility to the styling routine,” she says.


Deep Side Part

Lupita Nyong’o’s asymmetrical hairstyle is a dynamic way to change things up styling-wise.


Gold Braided Moment

Dress up braids with fun metallic gold details like beds and string interlaced throughout.


Curly Mohawk

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Style your short curls in a mohawk with braided sides for something super chic and fun.


All About The Angles

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Spice up the classic bob and cut it at a sharp angle like Taraji P. Henson.


Short Pony And Styled Baby Hairs

Gather your curls into a short ponytail or puff and style your baby hairs.


Defined Afro

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Let your ‘fro reign free like Viola Davis. “The defined curly, round afro is glorious in my opinion,” says Nai’Vasha.


Classic Cornrows

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Another great protective style to consider for natural hair is cornrows. Even if your hair is short, the classic look can still be accomplished and will give your curls a temporary break from styling.


Slicked Bun

Slick back your short natural curly hair and tie in a small, tight bun. Style hair in an S-wave along the crown of your head to elevate the look.


Blunt Lob

Wear your short natural hair in a lob with a blunt cut and loose waves like Laura Harrier.