Curly Hairstyles: Versatile Looks for Natural Curls

Joanna Elizabeth


Updated April 4, 2024

Curly Hairstyles
Explore different curly hairstyles.

Celebrating your natural texture with curly hairstyles can sometimes seem like a challenge. But whether you have type 3 or type 4 hair, there are a variety of styles to try.

From loose waves to tight spirals, these looks can range from ponytails to short curly cuts and even curly bangs. Each hairstyle, whether designed for a laid-back day or a glamorous evening, highlights the natural beauty of curls.

Curly Hairstyles

Soft Curly Ponytail

Soft Curly Ponytail
Elevate your everyday look with a soft, romantic, curly ponytail like Nico Parker. Photo: DFree /

A Soft Curly Ponytail is a versatile and romantic look, perfect for casual and formal occasions. This style features gently gathered curls that are pulled back to the crown of the head, creating a voluminous and elegant ponytail.

The texture of the curls can range from loose and wavy to tight and springy, adding a playful flair to the overall look. You can accessorize it with bobby pins or ribbons.

Shoulder-Length Spirals

Shoulder Length Curls
Show off the natural bounce of shoulder-length spirals for effortless style. Photo:

Shoulder-Length Spirals are ideal for showcasing the natural elasticity of your curls, giving them space to form and fall gracefully around your face. Just like stars with curly hair, you can get that camera-ready coif,

The layered cutting technique enhances the hair’s volume and allows for easier styling. Regular trims are the secret to maintaining the shape and health of your curls.

Updo with Curly Bangs

Curly Updo Bangs
Turn heads at any formal event with an elegant updo framed by curly bangs, as shown by Yara Shahidi. Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency /

For formal events, an Updo with Curly Bangs is a dynamic and fashionable hairstyle. This look captures the essence of chic styling by securing the hair in a well-crafted updo while allowing the natural curls to frame the face softly with bangs.

The key to a chic appearance is ensuring the bangs are cut just above the eyebrows, providing a flattering and modern edge to the classic updo.

Cascade of Curls with Split Bangs

Curls Split Bangs
Frame your face beautifully with a cascade of curls and split bangs. Photo: Gift Habeshaw / Unsplash

Celebrate your natural ringlets with a Cascade of Curls and Split Bangs. Complemented by split bangs, the style frames the face effortlessly.

The center parting of the bangs accentuates the facial features, drawing focus to the eyes. For those sporting this look, maintenance involves proper moisturizing to enhance the curls’ elasticity and a dab of serum on the bangs to tame any flyaways.

Long Curls with Highlights

Long Curls Highlights
Illuminate your long curls with highlights for a mesmerizing effect. Photo:

For those with length, you can enhance your stands by wearing Long Curls with Highlights. This long hairstyle has a sense of movement, with each curl catching the light and showcasing varying shades of color.

Maintaining long curly hair requires regular deep conditioning treatments to nourish the curls and prevent frizz, ensuring each strand remains hydrated.

High Ponytail with Curls

High Ponytail Curls Rihanna
Embrace a chic, retro-inspired high ponytail bursting with curls, as Rihanna shows. Photo: Ga Fullner /

When you want a look that pulls your hair away from your face, the High Ponytail with Curls is the perfect fit. It’s fashion-forward while paying homage to 90s hairstyle trends.

The ponytail is a bold statement, with curls spilling out like a fountain of personality. This style takes you from day to night, practical yet chic, with just a touch of gel at the base to ensure sleekness at the crown.

Curly Afro

Curly Afro
Make a bold statement with a voluminous and defined curly afro. Photo:

The Curly Afro is a stunning display of tightly defined curls, creating a dense and voluminous silhouette. For afro maintenance, hydration is paramount.

Regularly using leave-in conditioners and natural oils like argan or coconut oil will help retain moisture and elasticity. Detangling should be done carefully, preferably with a wide-tooth comb.

Bouncy Curls with Bangs

Bouncy Curls Bangs
Add a playful touch to your look with bouncy curls and bangs like Tracee Ellis Ross. Photo: A Katz /

To show off your hair’s volume, Bouncy Curls with Bangs exudes a playful vibe. The bangs are cut for a soft, face-framing effect, while each curl seems to have its own personality.

Whether you have naturally curly hair or want to achieve this style with rollers, it makes for a glamorous beauty look.

Curly Tresses with Blonde Highlights

Curly Tresses Blonde Highlights
Brighten up your curls with blonde highlights for a striking contrast. Photo:

If you want to add some hair color to your strands, then Curly Tresses with Blonde Highlights is one way to do it.

This highlighted curly hairstyle stands out with its dimensional color, where strategically placed lighter tones enhance the natural curl pattern.

A sulfate-free shampoo and regular deep-conditioning treatments are key to keeping the highlights vibrant and the curls intact.

Medium-Length Curls

Medium Length Curls
Keep it simple and stylish with easy-to-manage medium-length curls. Photo:

For an easy-to-maintain style, Medium-length Curls offer both manageability and style. The curls naturally frame the face, enhancing the facial structure with soft, bouncy spirals.

For those looking to replicate this style, using a lightweight curl-defining product can help maintain the curl’s shape without weighing it down.

Regular trims are essential to keep the ends healthy and the curls uniform, preventing the dreaded pyramid effect.

Embellished Twists

Embellished Twists Curly Hairstyle
Add accessories to your hair with embellished twists adorned with beads and rings, like Sonequa Martin-Green. Photo: DFree /

A protective hairstyle for curly hair happens to be Embellished Twists. Each strand is intertwined and adorned with an assortment of decorative beads and rings, adding a personalized look.

To maintain such a hairstyle, it’s crucial to keep the scalp nourished and the twists moisturized, which can be achieved with light oils or a spray leave-in conditioner. You can also get a similar look by wearing braids instead of twists.

Preserve Your Curls: Nighttime Care Strategies

Preserve Your Curls
Ensure your curls look stunning every morning with smart nighttime care. Photo: Fellipe Ditadi / Unsplash

For those cherishing their curly locks, understanding why nighttime care is crucial for maintaining not just the style but the overall health of your hair is a game changer. While you sleep, motion against pillows can cause frizz, tangles, and even breakage.

However, with some savvy techniques, you can wake up with your curls as bouncy and beautiful as ever.

Preserving your curly hairstyle while catching z’s may feel like a challenge, but with these tips and tricks, you can rest easy knowing your curls are protected:

  • Pineappling: Gather your curls into a loose, high ponytail on top of your head. This method prevents your curls from being squashed and helps maintain your hairstyle’s volume and shape.
  • Satin or Silk: These fabrics reduce friction and help prevent frizz and tangles. Use a pillowcase or a fashionable scarf.
  • Braid or Twist: Protect your curl pattern by braiding or twisting your hair. This aids in reducing knots and makes for effortless styling in the morning.
  • Loose Updos: If your curls are prone to tangling, consider sleeping with your hair in a loose bun to keep curls contained and tangle-free.

Unlocking the Potential of Your Curls

Curly Hair Woman
Discover the endless styling possibilities with your unique curly texture. Photo:

Embracing curly hairstyles opens up a world of possibilities. These styles, ranging from ponytails to dynamic updos, not only celebrate the natural texture of curls but also cater to a spectrum of occasions.

The key lies in understanding the unique character of each curl type, from gentle waves to tight spirals, and employing techniques that enhance rather than constrain this natural beauty.

To make the most of your curls, consider your lifestyle, maintenance willingness, and the statement you wish to make.

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