10 Stunning Short Haircuts for Natural Hair You'll Want to Show Your Stylist ASAP

Curls look good at any and every length.

hairstyle, short hair
(Image credit: @VernonFrancois)

With natural hair, there's a huge misconception that big hair is the best hair. Don't get me wrong, hair growth is a beautiful thing that should be celebrated. But short natural hair is just as stunning. There are no rules, standards, or ideals we should be following when it comes to how to wear your curls. Your curls are not confined to a little box, so let's retire that notion now. If you want to cut your curls into a buzzcut, tapered fade, finger-waves, a curly bob, the list goes on—DO. IT. Seriously, just do you.

Change is good. When warm weather finally arrives, a fresh start with a new hairstyle feels like the next step. If you've been stuck in a hair rut and feeling uninspired as to what to do with your curls next, consider making the big chop. I promise, it'll grow back. Here, 10 photos that prove how striking short natural hairstyles look and the countless ways you can wear them.

Curly Fro With a Side of Baby Hair

A post shared by Vernon François (@vernonfrancois)

A photo posted by on on Sep 14, 2018 at 9:32pm PDT

Let your short fro flourish. Use your hands to finger coil each strand for added dimension, or use a tiny wand to finesse the shape of each curl. Baby hair is always a good idea. A tiny rattail comb and edge control pomade will do the job.

Multidimensional Tapered Cut 

A post shared by The Cut Life (@thecutlife)

A photo posted by on on Mar 31, 2019 at 10:04am PDT

Danai Gurira is a goddess—but you already knew that. This haircut, though, is fit for a queen. Experimenting with different lengths, shape, and structure will add dimension and a unique flair to your cut.

Sleek Slick-Back

A post shared by LACY REDWAY HAIRSTYLIST (@lacyredway)

A photo posted by on on Oct 15, 2017 at 3:02pm PDT

Don't want to deal with fussy curls in your face? Slick it back for an effortless style that looks just as cool. Get Tessa Thompson's glossy texture by reaching for a spray like ColorWow Dream Coat Supernatural Spray ($20).

Curly Bob

A post shared by Yara (يارا‎) Shahidi (@yarashahidi)

A photo posted by on on Dec 18, 2018 at 9:35am PST

Curly bangs are a vibe—especially when paired with blunt-cut curls. A face-framing fro is clearly photogenic, and looks great with short hair.

The TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro) 

A post shared by Larry Sims (@larryjarahsims)

A photo posted by on on Sep 27, 2018 at 7:29am PDT

It's important to embrace your texture at every length. Actress Sanaa Lathan proves your curl definition won't suffer with a super-short cut. If anything, your coils look even more prominent.

Finger Waves 

A post shared by Amandla Stenberg (@amandlasponsored)

A photo posted by on on Dec 15, 2017 at 6:25pm PST

S-waves and curls go together. And when worn with a subtle deep auburn shade—like on Amandla Stenberg, here—it spices them up and adds a cool-girl appeal. (Tbh, finger waves never get old—with any hair color.)

Curly Frohawk 

A post shared by Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapinkettsmith)

A photo posted by on on Mar 20, 2019 at 8:17am PDT

With short natural styles, volume is your best friend. Jada Pinkett Smith's curly frohawk coupled with shaved sides shows just how much a touch of volume can take your look to the next level.

Free-Flowing Defined Curls

A post shared by M̸aria̸ B̸orges̸ (@iammariaborges)

A photo posted by on on Apr 23, 2018 at 7:42am PDT

Supermodel Maria Borges' natural, classic afro showcases the beauty of simplicity.

Close-Cut Curls

A post shared by LACY REDWAY HAIRSTYLIST (@lacyredway)

A photo posted by on on May 28, 2018 at 9:26am PDT

Actress Ruth Negga always looks so dreamy with her signature short cut. Don't be afraid to go low with your cut. Your curls won't lose life, and will complement your features so beautifully.

Side-Tapered Fade 

A post shared by Vernon François (@vernonfrancois)

A photo posted by on on Jan 5, 2019 at 5:57pm PST

Lupita Nyong'o, president of the short natural club, has worn many styles in her day. However, her side-tapered fade is my favorite. It's so regal; a tried-and-true style that will always look good.


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Maya Allen
Former Beauty Editor

Maya Allen is the former Digital Beauty Editor at MarieClaire.com where she covered makeup, skincare, haircare, wellness, you name it! She has a 15-step skincare routine, owns over 200 red lipsticks, and enjoys testing the latest and greatest in beauty. On most weekends, you can find her at her happy place, which is her makeup vanity. There, she’s usually blasting her speakers while singing along to lyrics at the top of her lungs, and making sure her highlighter is on point.