18 Styling Ideas for Natural Hair in Case You're in the Mood to Experiment

Whether you've just started your natural-hair journey or you're a pro at caring for your coils and curls, there's no denying that this period of time at home without visits to our trusted hair whisperers has been a challenge. The truth is that for many black and brown women, maintaining our natural hair on our own is a new venture. It's a process that calls for lots of trial and error and lots of time that many of us just couldn't find in our schedules—until now. 

And even if you've got a handle on your wash-and-go or another style that serves your tresses well, you might be hitting a wall when it comes to creativity. Burden of choice is real, and now more than ever, we're seeing so many depictions of all the fun styles we can create with our hair. It's exciting, for sure.

So before you reach for the perm rods you've used every wash day for the last couple of months, check out 18 of the most gorgeous natural hairstyles, suitable for all kinds of curls and coils. Get inspired, snag the must-have styling products, and carve out some time to try something new with your beautiful mane.

Braids and Twists


Feed-In Braids
(Image credit: @brosiaaa


Now is the perfect time to work on your braiding skills. These cute plaits are the perfect style to add to the rotation.


Flat Twists
(Image credit: @danishrolls


Flat twists are the foundation of many natural hairstyles, but they can be a gorgeous style on their own, too!


Rope Twists
(Image credit: @chrissyford


As far as protective styles go, this one is a winner in our book.


(Image credit: @claire_most


Whether you're priming your hair to wear under a wig or looking for a fun style, cornrows are always a good idea.


Bantu Knots
(Image credit: @fashionenth)

These knots are a serious vibe.


Half-Up Box Braids
(Image credit: @aude_julie


If you're working with box braids, a half-up topknot is a gorgeous styling option.


Secured Box Braids
(Image credit: @micaelaverrelien)

On the other hand, securing your braids into one big braid is so cute, too.

Must-have styling products:

Twist-Outs, Roller Sets, and Stretched Styles


Perm Rod Set
(Image credit: @tallblackandbeautiful


The smaller your perm rods, the tighter the curls. This perfectly picked curly 'do is high on our must-try list.


Stretched Afro
(Image credit: @aysha.sow


You don't have to spend all day applying curl formers to get an awesome natural hairstyle. This retro blowout is proof!


Flat Twist-Out
(Image credit: @brosiaaa


To get these defined corkscrews, you'll need some expertly executed flat twists, secured with perm rods. Pro tip: Make sure your hair is all the way dry before untwisting.


Braided Wash-and-Go
(Image credit: @ciaracherise


Get an extra style day out of your twist-out by adding some small cornrows in the front. Don't forget to smooth down those baby hairs.


Cropped Natural
(Image credit: @slipintostyle


Some fashionable hair accessories are the perfect addition to a tightly cropped natural style.


(Image credit: @inthing_


This look is so effortless and so cool. The key is to make sure your hair is adequately moisturized.


Flexi Rod Set
(Image credit: @micaelaverrelien)

This voluminous rod set is the stuff of natural-hair dreams!

Must-have beauty products:

Ponytails and Buns


Sleek Low Bun
(Image credit: @inmysundaybest


This sleek, side-parted bun is perfect for any occasion.


Pineapple Pony
(Image credit: @naomielizee


Out of ideas for extending your style for another day? Scoop your curls into a beautiful waterfall.


Coily Space Buns
(Image credit: @micaelaverrelien)

These double buns are playful and chic.


Curly Topknot
(Image credit: @gabifresh


This easy, curly topknot will definitely be a summer staple.

Must-have beauty products:

Associate Beauty Editor

Courtney Higgs is a Cancer sun, Libra rising beauty enthusiast with about six years of experience in the editorial space. She was previously Who What Wear's associate beauty editor after spending many years working on the West Coast edit team at InStyle Magazine. She graduated from California State University, Northridge, with a BA in communication studies and pivoted to editorial after spending her college years working in the legal field. Her beauty philosophy is simple: She believes there are no wrong answers and that discovering our favorite beauty products and rituals is a journey, not a sprint. When she's not geeking out over products, she can be found adventuring around L.A. with her fiancé; watching reality TV with their French bulldog, Bernie Mac; or relating way too hard to astrology memes.