7 Natural Hairstyles That'll Make 'New Hair, Who Dis?' Your 2019 Motto

Photo: Courtesy of $wank Lotion @$wankLotion.
When you have natural hair, it's easy to get into a routine and stick to it. We get it: It took years to master your twist-out cocktail and get to a place where your wash-and-gos look good every time. But it's OK to admit you're a little bored of the whole thing. It's easy to get stuck in a styling rut, but it's time to start planning for your 2019 hair glow up.
After all, a brand new year is an opportunity to reinvent your life and your look. Practicing a new skin-care ritual, loading up on new beauty products, and trying out a different natural hairstyle are all resolutions we're putting on our January to-do list. But the latter is one that takes a little more consideration. A whole new hairstyle is something you don't go into half-cocked, so we've been doing some research.
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There are plenty of natural hairstyles on social media to screenshot for inspiration, but our favorites include edgy buzzcuts (if a big chop is in your future), colorful highlights, and protective styles you'll never want to take out. Prepare for all your Instagram captions in January to read, "New hair, who dis?"
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A Low Fade With Designs

Some women get cold feet before big chopping their hair, which is totally understandable. If you've worn your hair a certain length for years, shedding it can be scary! But more people are embracing super cropped haircuts. Mizani Global Artist Daryce Brown has seen a spike in requests for low fades in her salon chair. "People coming in for big chops are asking for a fade," she tells Refinery29. "It's easier to maintain and keep up with."
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While cutting a fade is essentially razoring off all of your hair, it doesn't mean you're limited. Intricate patterns add an edgy element to the look. But keep in mind, these designs require more upkeep. "Have fun but be prepared for some maintenance," says Brown. To keep your fade fresh, she recommends adding monthly visits to your barber into your 2019 agenda.
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Loc Buns

Loc buns are by no means new, but they are having a moment, according to Sherelle Holder, owner of Karibbean Kinks salon. "A lot people are coming into the salon for different versions of the loc bun," she tells us. "I've been doing them with large fishtails braids. It's a really fun way to create something playful."
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For loc buns that last, Holder recommends seeing a professional stylist. But if you simply want to take a break from your current look, part your locs in two, twist them into buns, and voila! Just make sure to wear a silk scarf at night to keep everything smooth.
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Passion Twists

Passion twists are where Senegalese twists meet goddess locs. The style was created by Kailyn Rogers, a Miami-based natural hairstylist. "I wanted to create a style that looked like unraveled or lived-in twists," she says. To achieve the passion twist look, you start a normal twist and push the hair up as you twist to get the "scrunched" effect.
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"The style has a similar natural look like goddess locs, but it takes a fraction of the time and cost," Rogers tells us. To do the style on her clients, she uses Freetress Water Wave hair. "I think this hair gives the most natural-looking finish," she says. But if you'll be passion twisting your way into 2019, prepare to dedicate at least three (or more) hours to completing your hair. You can check out a full tutorial for the buzzy style on Rogers' YouTube channel.
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Locs With Faux Bangs

"A lot of people are coming into our salon requesting crochet loc extensions," says Anette Roche, co-owner and creative director of Nappstar salon in New York City. "They're lightweight and blend in seamlessly with your natural loc."

Roche explains that the spike in crochet locs request stem from the desire for instant results. "Most people — men and women — are skipping the awkward phase of growing out locs and using extensions to add length while their hair grows," she says. The convenience of loc extensions also allows people to instantly switch up their look and try different styles. Some Nappstar clients are using crochet locs to experiment with temporary bangs.
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"We love having the option to use crochet locs because it makes having bangs super easy to do at home," Roche says. "If you have locs already you can pin or braid in the crochet hair and trim it to your desired length for bangs." For this particular look, Roche pinned a faux fringe to this bun.
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Neon Accents

Another fun way to give your curls new life is to play around with color. But not just any ol' hue — we're talking about neons. "Vibrant neons are popular among my younger clients," says Holder. "I've been getting lots of requests for purple hair and colorful accents."
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Instead of dipping your entire head in rainbow colors, dabble vibrant hues on different sections of your hair to create colorful highlights. If you don't want to risk damaging your natural curls, Roche loves crochet hair for testing color without the commitment. "I love the option because it won't damage your natural curls or locs," she says. "You can sew in green one day and yellow the next."
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Angular Curls

Curls are about to get a lot sharper in 2019, according to Mona Baltazar, stylist and creator of the Mona Cut. "More women have been open to playing with shapes and blunt silhouettes," she tells us. Baltazar's signature technique creates sharp triangular edges on natural curls.
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There's no right or wrong type of curl for this cut. "It can work on any curl type from wavy to coily," Baltazar says. "The only thing that varies is how your hair is cut." If your curls are loose and less dense, then she recommends cutting them wet. If your hair is thicker and more coily, then a dry cut is your best bet.
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Ket Braids

So you've done box braids every Summer since you could remember and want to try something different. Ket braids might be your jam. The style was created by Miami-based braider Kettly Elan and combines a top knot bun with super neat cornrows. "I wanted to create a style that was different from all the braided looks we're used to," she tells us. "I usually wear my single plaits in a half bun, so I wanted to see what they looked like with feed-in braids."
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The science behind Ket braids is simple. Your hair is divided into three layers: the bottom layer is styled in loose box braids, the middle section is cornrowed down, and the top half is where feed-in cornrows get tied into a top knot. "It's simple, but unique," Elan says. "You don't have to wear the bun all the time, you can take it down and wear your braids to the side, too."
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