Chemical hair treatments have been a popular hair styling option for decades, but relaxers and texturizers can be expensive and damaging. If your natural hair is short, you may consider extensions or wigs as an alternative to chemicals, but again, these products will cost you.
If you keep your hair short and untreated, you’ll save money and your hair will feel healthier. It’s also empowering to celebrate the natural beauty you’re born with! There are many short natural hairstyles out there that can make you feel confident with your hair while also providing a low-maintenance look.
1. Braided Mohawk for Natural Short Hair
A braided mohawk is a short natural hairstyle that anyone can pull off. This hairstyle can vary depending on your hair length, texture, and what type of braids you choose to incorporate. Making your mohawk unique is what makes this style fun!
2. Tapered Natural Cut
The tapered natural cut is a trending hairstyle featuring gradually cut sides with a natural blown out top. For an edgier look, you can dye the tips of your curls. You can customize this style in many ways, depending on the length and texture of your hair. The tapered natural cut is universally fierce.
3. Box Braid Bob
You can wear box braids at a short bob length to make a bold statement, while also protecting your hair and keeping it low maintenance. If you have between chin and shoulder-length hair, you can pull box braids back in a half-up, half-down ponytail or pull them into a full ponytail updo.
4. Afro High Pony
For a slicked-back look, you can pull an Afro into a high pony. The Afro will resemble a top knot when you pull it to the back of your head. This creates a versatile hairstyle and will look either classy or casual depending on the outfit.
5. Slicked Down
If you prefer your hair really short, then a slicked-down look is one of the classiest short natural hairstyles you can pull together. This look is simple and only requires some product to tame those stray hairs. Your facial features will pop with this bold style.
6. Buzz Cut
Sometimes, the best short natural hairstyle requires nothing more than a pair of clippers. Few people can pull off a buzz cut, but the ones who do, do it well! Seeing a stylist is a great way to get a second opinion on whether this look will work for you. They can also ensure that your hair is buzzed evenly.
7. Finger Waves
Finger waves first emerged in the 1920s, but this hairstyle is still elegant and trendy today. You don’t need chemicals to create this short natural hairstyle. With a small-tooth comb and styling gel, you can have finger waves that will wash out during your next shampoo.
8. Curly Bob
If your hair is near your shoulders, then you can style your hair into a curly bob. This short natural hairstyle can be an everyday look or you can use it for a special occasion. Depending on the texture of your hair, you may need to use a curling iron to achieve this hairstyle. But, adding heat to your hair every now and then is a healthier option than chemically treating your hair.
9. Short Afro
A short Afro requires little maintenance and has a lot of pizzazz. When you have a short Afro, you can accessorize with head scarfs, headbands, and big earrings to enhance your look. The best part about this hairstyle is that your hair will remain healthy and you get to be your natural self every day.
10. Halo Braid
A halo braid is a protective style that keeps the ends of your hair tucked away and helps your hair grow. This hairstyle will work best for those with short to medium length hair because you’ll need enough hair to create the braid and wrap it around your head. A halo braid is a flexible hairstyle as well since you can take it out at night if you want to moisturize your hair.
There is controversy on whether cornrows are bad for your hair. When braided correctly and consistently moisturized, cornrows are a protective style and they allow the hair to grow without breakage. Cornrows can damage your hair if you wear them too tight. If you like to keep your hair out of your face and you want a low-maintenance style, then cornrows may be a great hairstyle for you.
12. Low Bun
No matter what texture your hair is, you may have days where you don’t want to think much about your hair. On those days, you don’t need to worry about chemical treatments or wigs. Throwing your hair in a low bun is an option for any and everyone. You can make your low bun sleek or keep it messy — no judgement.
13. Pinned Back Curls
A slight variation on the low bun hairstyle is a low, pinned back look. By slicking down the top of your hair and pinning back your curls, you’ll give your hair an elegant feel and your curls will have the freedom to flow down your back. This style can work well if you need a quick, formal look, but it’s also fun and flirty.
14. Head Wrap with High Puff
Head wraps and bandanas are life savers when you’re trying to tame your hair or transform bed head into a put together look. If you have a lot of curls on your head, you can gather them into a ponytail and wrap a scarf around the bottom of your head. Leaving a few curls hanging down or adding some earrings will complete this look.
15. Natural Cut with Fade
If your hair is short, then a fade can be an easy hairstyle for your curls so you can quickly shape up your look. By slowly fading out your edges and trimming near your ears, your hairstyle will look more intentional and the natural hair on top of your head can grow freely.
16. Double Puffs
You can make this short natural hairstyle your own by sectioning your hair into two parts and creating puffy buns. If your hair doesn’t have much volume, you may need to pull the buns apart to create puffiness. If you have thick, curly hair, you’ll love the puffy look.
17. Overgrown Pixie Cut
An overgrown pixie screams cool. Short haircuts have a way of bringing out the bold in people, and a pixie cut is one of those hairstyles that can be edgy, yet professional. When you have the confidence to wear your hair short and natural, an overgrown pixie cut is a great style to consider.
18. Pin Curl Bob
There are a few ways to curl hair without heat, and pin curls are one option. To pin curl your hair, you should moisturize your hair and then divide the hair into small sections. You’ll then need to wrap each small section around your finger and into a tight curl before pinning it with a metal clip. After leaving the clips in overnight, you should have bouncy curls in the morning.
19. Rag Curls
Rag curls are another no-heat curling option for short natural hair. To get rag curls, you must divide your hair into sections and then wind each piece around a piece of cloth. You then wind the cloth back up the piece of hair to create long, fabric strips. After leaving rag curls in overnight, you’ll get tight curls. You can then separate the curls to create a full head of curls.
20. Tiny Top Bun
If you’re looking for a quick way to get the hair out of your eyes and feel put together, then a tiny top bun may do the trick. Throwing the top section of your hair into a small bun can be done in under five minutes, and once you perfect this look, you can use it as a date night, work, school, church, or wedding hairstyle. It’s a one-hairstyle-fits-all.
21. Finger Coils
Finger coils are like rag curls, but you won’t need fabric for this technique. To achieve these tight coils, you must tightly twist sections of wet hair around your fingers before fastening the twists with elastic bands and letting them sit overnight. Once you release the coils from the bands, you’ll have tight and bouncy coils that will stay in place for about a week.
22. Geometric Design
If you want to add personality to your natural hair without tight braids or length, then you can try a geometric design. With a geometric shave, you have the freedom to choose what you want the design to look like, whether it be the stylist’s art or personalized. With the right stylist, the possibilities with clippers are endless.
23. Braided Updo
You can create a beautiful braided updo with flat twists or cornrows. Flat twists combine two strand twists and cornrows, and because they are looser than cornrows, they may be healthier for hair. Creating a versatile updo can keep your hair protected and out of the way as you go through the day.
24. Goddess Braids
Goddess braids are like cornrows, but they are bigger and raised away from the scalp. Like many braided options for short natural hair, goddess braids are protective and you can style them for any occasion. If you want a low maintenance look that lasts weeks, these braids are a great choice.
25. Wet Look
If you like the look of your hair when it’s wet and you want to keep that look all day, then you can maintain that look by adding some product to your hair when you get out of the shower and then drying your hair. Seeing a hairstylist to achieve this look for the first time can help you learn how to master it on your own.
26. Curly Afro Puff
If you have curly hair and you’re looking for a way to give it a more uniform shape, then this Afro puff style may be for you. You can either braid the top of your hair or lay down your edges with some product to tame your curls into a chic and short natural hairstyle.
27. Pinup Style with Scarf
Many hairstyles today are inspired by styles from the past. With a headscarf or bandana, you can have a short natural hairstyle that’s inspired by the 1950s. You’ll need to gather your hair in the scarf and knot the scarf at the top of your head for this look. Letting your bangs hang forward in the front of your eyes will add some sass.
28. Chunky Cornrows
Chunky cornrows are the perfect hairstyle for you if you like your hair braided but aren’t a fan of tight braids. Although this style won’t last as long as smaller, tighter braids, chunky cornrows are easier on the scalp than classic cornrows. You can also change up your look easily and throw your braids into double buns when needed.
29. Teeny Weeny Afro (TWA)
A teeny weeny Afro, also known as a TWA, is a short natural hairstyle that comes in many variations. It may not seem like there are many ways to wear your hair in this way, but depending on your hair texture and length, a TWA will look different. You can make your TWA unique by adding color, a deep part, or brushing it out.
30. Colored Tips
Colored tips are one of the ways to make your natural hair stand out. While coloring your hair technically involves adding chemicals to the hair, we’ve added this hairstyle to the list because it involves keeping your hair’s natural texture while slightly enhancing it. You can still celebrate your natural hair by adding color.
31. Victory Rolls
The victory rolls hairstyle originated in the 1940s, but this look is still popular today. If you want to exude confidence at work or at a formal event, then this short natural hairstyle will help you do it. Victory rolls are practical as well since they will keep your hair away from your face.
32. Fulani Braids
Fulani braids are cornrows with flair. The difference? Fulani braids usually involve cornrow braids that part to each side of the head and two cornrow braids that come forward near the temples. Most fulani braids include accessories like beads, but you can customize your braids in any way you want!
33. Curly Pineapple
You can create a curly pineapple rather easily if you have curly hair. Simply put your hair in a loose high ponytail, as high on top of your head as possible. This ponytail will bring your curls to the front of your face. Not only does this give you a stylish look, but it keeps the back of your hair from getting frizzy, knotted, or flattened while you sleep.
The pompadour hairstyle has been around for centuries. In 18th century France, women would push their hair forward to create volume in the front of their hair. Men adopted this hairstyle in the 1950s when Elvis became popular, which is why the hairstyle now feels vintage and hip. A pompadour is chic, eccentric, and elegant all in a single style.
35. Perm Rod Set
Perm rods are a no-heat way to curl short natural hair. Perm rods can be foam or plastic, and they look like classic curlers. To use a perm rod set, you simply wrap small sections of hair around the curlers and leave them in overnight. Using product beforehand may help your curls stay in place. When you take out the curlers, you should have beautiful bouncy curls.
36. Twist Out
A twist out involves dividing your hair into sections and twisting the hair two strands at a time. If you sleep in your twists, you can then let the twists out and you’ll have a twist out that resembles springy curls. You can customize your twist out by undercutting the bottom of your hair, pulling it up in a fauxhawk, or braiding parts of it.
37. Fro Top Pixie
The Fro top pixie is a two-in-one hairstyle. With the sides of this cut remaining extra short, you get an edgy and fierce look. The top of the hair, however, is full and curly, which brings a more playful and feminine feel to the hairstyle.
38. Puffy Bun with Curly Bangs
An easy hairstyle for short to medium length natural hair is the puffy bun. Your hair length will depend on how high you can place your bun, but the goal should be to get your bun high on your head. You can enhance this look if you let your bangs hang down in your eyes. Add your favorite lipstick or earrings to dress it up.
39. Pinned Back
One of the easiest short natural hairstyles is simply brushing out your hair and pinning back a small section near your forehead. Sometimes, the easiest option is the best one, and it takes nothing more than your natural self to look beautiful.
40. Full Head Wrap
There may be days when you don’t feel like dealing with your hair at all. On these days, you still have options for looking fierce with short natural hair. With decent size head wrap, you can wrap your entire head and create a round knot that sits on the front of your head. This look is trendy and you can dress it up with earrings.
41. Box Braids with Side Chignon
You may think box braids are a casual hairstyle for short natural hair, but they can be versatile. If you get the right hairstylist to install your box braids, you can create a beautiful and protective look that lasts weeks. Box braids that braid toward one side and come down into a side chignon can work well for a formal event or for everyday activities.
42. Asymmetrical Flat Top
The asymmetrical flat top is a short natural hairstyle that stands out and lets others know that you’re bold and spunky. Similar to the Afro with the deep side part, this hairstyle may be a good option to go out on a limb and try since there are lots of ways to style it to change it up. If you do like it, then you’ll have a unique look.
43. Angled Lob (Long Bob)
If your hair is naturally straight or you enjoy occasionally straightening your hair with a flat iron, then an angled lob, or long bob, may be a good hairstyle for you. The angled lob adds volume to the back of the head and gives a sultry look in the front.
44. French Braids
French braids are beneficial for any hair texture and length. Once you learn how to French braid, you can braid your hair yourself and take French braids in and out as you please. This type of braid is a great hairstyle for short to medium length natural hair because of its flexibility.
45. Deep Side Part
This TWA deserves its own section because adding a deep side part can change the look entirely. You can add a deep side part to a TWA, a tapered cut, a pixie, or an undercut and it will give your look an edge to it. You can customize your TWA by adding colored tips or faded edges.
46. Pixie Cut with Side Swept Bangs
If your hair is straighter in texture, then you may consider getting a pixie cut and cutting your bangs into a side swept look. This pixie cut style is eye-catching and will allow your natural beauty to shine. A pixie cut with side swept bangs takes little upkeep, so you can wear it to the grocery store, to work, or for a special event. This combo is also a great cut for round faces.
47. Short Cut with Retro Curls
You can get retro curls using pin curls, but you’ll want to make the pin curls looser so that when you release the pin curls, your hair comes out in waves as opposed to tight bouncy ringlets. This hairstyle will work best if you have short to medium length hair; that way, you have enough length to make loose ringlets.
We’ve mentioned a few variations on the mohawk, but the frohawk deserves its own section. If you have voluminous curly hair or a classic Afro and you want to create a mohawk, then you can do so using bobby pins or braids. By pinning the hair up on the sides, your curls will only be loose in the middle. This mohawk look is wild, fun, but also flexible.
49. Twisted Out High Pony
As mentioned above, a twist out on its own is a short natural hairstyle worth trying. Twisting out your hair gives the hair volume and the illusion of tight bouncy curls. To make a twist out look spunkier, you can try throwing your twists in a high pony or dying the ends a bold color.
50. Spiked Pixie Cut
If your hair is naturally straight or you enjoy flat ironing your hair, then a spiked pixie is a version of the classic pixie cut you may enjoy. This short natural hairstyle involves using product to spike up the top pieces of hair into a tousled bedhead look. On the days that you don’t want your hair spiked, you can tame it down into a side swept bang.
51 . Accessorize!
Last on our list is a general hairstyle tip for those with short natural hair. Adding accessories to your hair like beads, headbands, bandanas, and scarves can make any short natural hairstyle stand out.
There are endless ways to style short natural hair and you don’t need to relax or texturize your hair with chemicals to get the look you desire. Before spending a lot of money on extensions and wigs, consider discussing your options with an experienced hairstylist from our community.
Our community of stylists can help you decide what look will work best for you. No matter what hairstyle you choose, a great Pro will make sure your hair is well taken care of and remains healthy with each style.