25 Photos Of Beautiful Natural-Hair Inspiration

Photographed by Justin Ryan Kim.
Natural hair comes in so many curl patterns, colors, shapes, and sizes. The texture can be manipulated more than that of any other hair type — into straight, curly, protective styles, and more. As a result, the hair envy reaches far and wide.

From celebrities to ladies on the street, and, of course, social media stars, hairspiration is everywhere. We found plenty of it at the annual CurlFest in Brooklyn, and also asked a few top stylists to share with us their favorite natural hair moments. From TWAs (like Lupita's and model Lineisy's) to cloud-like manes reminiscent of cotton candy, we're providing a plethora of looks to choose from for your next hair change — or just to admire longingly. Click through to check out the different 'dos in all of their natural glory.
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Photo: Via @vernonfrancois.
This "Afro-updo with bangs" that hairstylist Vernon François (who also styles Lupita Nyong'o) created for singer Lianne La Havas is a chic alternative to the typical topknot — and you don't actually have to have bangs to get the look!

Want to recreate it at home? In the words of François: "Blast your hair until semi-dry with conditioning and moisturizing products. Tie your hair into a high ponytail using your fingers to tease it. Gently fold over forward and clip, with height like a beehive. The ends of your hair will become bangs. Finish off with hairspray to tidy up loose flyaways."
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY ROCKIE NOLAN.
Looking to do the Big Chop? Or have you already done it, but want to spice up your look even more? Get inspired by this gorgeous bleached 'do with bright floral designs.
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Photo: Steve C. Mitchell/Invision/AP Photo.
Singer SZA's bold and beautiful hair is at the top of our long, enviable tresses list. As she will tell you, when coloring — especially natural hair already prone to dryness and damage — seek out a professional rather than doing it at home. Also remember to keep up your regular deep-conditioning treatments — we're loving SheaMoisture's Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Masque. The hair pick is optional.
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Photo: Courtesy of Hairstory.
"When women have dense, tight curls the classic approach is to cut it into a spherical shape. But I like to see how the hair acts naturally and cut a more erratic, organic shape that fits the hair and its personality," says Wes Sharpton, stylist at Hairstory Studio.
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Photographed by Justin Ryan Kim.
Pair a high-top fade cut with some oversized glasses for a '90s vibe.
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Photo: Via @michelledel003.
"This style would be great on a girl who has really thick, coarse hair, like Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, or Uzo Aduba," says celebrity hairstylist Chuck Amos. "You're going to do a two-strand twist (with 1.5-to-two-inch sections) using a combination of moisturizing cream and gel — I use Oribe Supershine Light Moisturizing Cream and Gel Sérum. Let hair air-dry, or dry with blowdryer cap on low. Untwist the twists, without separating them fully. This will 'swell' their size and create a chunky twist pattern."
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Photo: Fred Lee/ Getty Images.
"My favorite client Jill Scott rocks natural, kinky-curly hair like no other in the most versatile way. We are constantly changing her look, and by being natural it's not only healthier, but allows for tons of options for change," says Anthony Dickey, cofounder of Hair Rules.


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Photographed by: Victoria Adamson.
Want to know how twin sisters TK Wonder and Cipriana Quann get their hair so long and big? A lot of patience and a few secrets, which you can read all about here.
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Photo: Via @msbrittanysupreme.
"This is a great look for anyone growing out a relaxer and transitioning their hair. To get the look, set [your hair] in perm rods using a curl cream. This is a great cut with great shape, and the color really accentuates her curls. A lot of natural girls are afraid to cut their hair, but this is a great look for women who want to highlight their features," says celebrity hairstylist Kim Kimble.
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Photo: Gregory Pace/ BEImages/ Rex USA.
"To get this look, use styling cream or gel to set the hair. Then, finger-twist, leave to set, pull out with a wide-tooth comb, and start to create the shape that best suits your face. Add a [few] hair accessories to keep it fun, funky, and fresh," says François.
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Photographed by Justin Ryan Kim.
A fluffed-out, half-up, half-down look is a great no-fuss option for third- or fourth-day hair.
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Photo: Courtesy of Hairstory.
"Deva is a singer with an incredibly soulful voice. You feel her presence as she approaches a room — she’s poised, confident, and absolutely beautiful," says Sharpton. "Her hair grows away from her face, and I wanted to really embrace that; it’s what we call 'reading the root.' If her hair grows in a certain direction, I am going to follow that, making the cut bespoke and overall more manageable."
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Photo: Gregory Pace/ BEImages/ Rex USA.
Solange experiments with her curly hair a lot — often adding extensions for volume and length. This wavy look, complete with bangs, is one of our favorites to date.
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Photo: Via @lovesteph.
"This is braided at the crown and then into a side pony. Braids always look great on naturally curly hair — they're like cookies and milk!" says Kimble. "For this look, spritz hair with Kimble Beauty Bounce Back Liquid Curl Enhancer before combing Kimble Beauty Bounce Back Curl Cream throughout the hair. Next, create a side-part and braid the front section of your hair. Comb it into a side ponytail and fluff the back out."
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Photographed by Justin Ryan Kim.
A cute headband across the forehead adds a hint of Grecian glamour to free-flowing natural hair.
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Photo: Via @africamiranda.
"This look is perfect for cooler months, when you don’t want to leave with wet hair in the morning but still want to show off your curls," says Kimble. "To style this yourself, set hair in rollers, let it dry, and then take it loose. This look should last for a week, but you can easily refresh it using a few spritzes of Kimble Beauty Bounce Back Liquid Curl Enhancer and then resetting it."
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Photo: Cynthia Edorh/ Getty Images.
"The type of girl to wear this has to be bold and ready for attention, everywhere she goes. She must have a lot of hair to work with; use a wig or pieces to create this look," says Amos. "This look is ideal for [women like] Lion Babe, Beyoncé, Janet Jackson, or Shakira." To create it, Amos used both medium and small curling irons to achieve a looser natural-curl pattern. He mixed regular barrel curls with S-curl pattern strands.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY ROCKIE NOLAN.
A mohawk Bantu-knot style fit for a queen.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
"I love that [model] Lineisy [Montero] and her crew have been so bold as to launch her career with — as we would call it in the '70s — a 'natural,' and yes, it has a name like the 'bob.' It's nice and easy to maintain, conservative yet modern, and sophisticated," says Dickey.
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Photo: Wiltshire/ REX Shutterstock.
"I’ve always thought it glamorously irreverent when Diana Ross wore [her hair] natural — not only natural, but teased and brushed out to emphasize its texture. Completely unapologetic and proud," says Sharpton.
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Photographed by Justin Ryan Kim.
Add some blonde highlights to give your wash-and-go some dimension and flair.
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Photo: Via @vernonfrancois.
Add a twist to your curly updo with a funky braid, like this style by François. Similar to the Lianne La Havas 'do, you're going to start out by pulling the hair into a high beehive, leaving out more excess hair than before — "so it's soft and free," he says. Then, add a pair of braids that can either go from front to back or back to front, depending on the length of your hair.
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Photo: Jim Smeal/ BEImages/ Rex USA.
Esperanza Spalding's picked-out 'fro is bringing us back to the days of Angela Davis' Black Power sphere of hair.
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Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/ Getty Images.
"A twisted pompadour is a great look for women who are on the go, or work out and don’t have a lot of time to deal with their hair," says Kimble. "It’s a great protective style that will allow your hair to rest, while looking stylish and healthy. I love this look on natural hair one or two days into the week. It’s a new take on a French roll, and something else that’s fun to do with your hair to create shape and show off the volume. For this look, you will need bobby pins and you can also use stuffers to add volume."
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Photographed by Justin Ryan Kim.
Talk about ending on a (large and in-charge) high note.
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