This is All Natural. From the kinkiest coils to loose waves, we're celebrating natural hair in its many forms by sharing expert tips for styling, maintenance, and haircare.

By Bee Quammie
Updated Apr 23, 2020 @ 8:45 am
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While getting acquainted with your natural texture can seem daunting to some, coming up with easy and cute natural hairstyles doesn’t have to be a struggle — regardless of your hair type.

So whether you’ve been rocking your natural locks for some time, in the middle of transitioning, or have recently big chopped, let these celebrity stylists give you the scoop on some of the easiest styles to create with your kinks and curls, as well as how to properly take care of your strands.

Twists and Twist-Outs

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Celebrity stylist Glenna Sandy has had her hands in the hair of stars like Insecure’s Issa Rae who like to switch up their hair often. That said, it's a no brainer that the stylist is a fan of natural styles that give you two looks in one.

“Twists are a great hairstyle for naturals to wear as they are easy to do — and once you’re done enjoying that look, you can loosen the twists and wear a secondary style, called a twist-out,” shares Sandy. Another plus? While your hair is still in twists, you're free to create as many styles as you wish, and it also helps to blend textures if you're still transitioning. Use Nicole Ari Parker's up-do for inspiration.

To create twists, grab with two strands of hair and wrap each piece around the other until you get to the end, while using your index finger and thumb to literally twist each piece of hair in the opposite direction. But, "before you start twisting, you want to ensure that the section has enough water and product applied, followed by raking through the product with your detangler brush,” Sandy recommends. She's personally a fan of the Brush With The Best detangler by Felicia Leatherwood.

Bantu Knots

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For a slightly different finish, you can try Bantu knots.

"You use the same steps from creating twists, and add an extra step: after you’re done twisting, you wrap the twist around itself at the base into a ball and secure it with a small elastic band," Sandy explains.

"Once this style is dry, you can wear it this way or loosen the Bantu knots for a secondary look, called a Bantu knot-out," the stylist adds. "Unlike the twist-out, your bantu knot-out will have more of a curled effect versus the wavy look from a twist-out.”

Braids and Braid-Outs

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Braids are a natural hair go-to, and one of Sandy’s favorites.

“Naturals can wear their hair in braids just simply hanging down, or they can be pulled into a style, like a fancy updo or a ponytail," she says. "The same is applicable to twists as well. And when you’re done wearing the braided look, you can get a secondary look out of it, called a braid-out. A braid-out will give you a wavy or crimped texture.”

Wash and Gos

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If your hair is fully natural (meaning you are no longer transitioning), another style that Sandy recommends is a wash and go.

“The most important part to this hairstyle is raking through the product [like gel or a styling cream] from the roots to the end while your hair is wet, and following through with your detangler brush," the stylist shares. "After, you can let your hair air dry for a bit, then I would follow with a blowdryer with a diffuser attachment."

She also shares a tip for getting extra volume. "As you blowdry your hair, you want to let gravity assist you," she says. "So you want to bend over and have your hair fall perpendicular to the floor and dry it that way to increase the volume you can achieve at the roots."

What Other Looks Can I Create in Between Styles?

Updos are an easy way to extend the life of a style before wash day, and can give you a completely fresh new look. Or, “you can comb out an old twist out or braid out to give your hair a more textured look for something called tucking," Sandy explains. "There are no rules to this and you can be as creative as you’d like."

To create this style, start off by grabbing sections of hair and roll it over or under itself, then use a bobby pin to hold it in place. "To make it easier, you can try creating a mohawk with ponytails. Each ponytail gets rolled over or under itself to create the look,” she suggests.

VIDEO: Simone Biles Has the One Quarantine Hairstyle We All Wish We Had

How Do I Care for My Curls in Between Hairstyles?

If you’re transitioning from processed to natural hair, Yene Damtew, owner of Aesthetics Salon in Arlington, Virginia, who has worked with celebrity clientele like former First Lady Michelle Obama, recommends making sure to keep your hair extra hydrated.

“The key to styling hair when transitioning from relaxed to natural lies in your moisture treatments and having regular trims along the hair journey," the hair expert shares. "Do intense moisture treatments every other wash to prevent breakage and bring moisture to the hair and scalp. A few good ones to use are Briogeo Don't Despair Repair and Shea Moisture Repair and Transition Kit.”

Damtew also recommends trimming your relaxed ends every four weeks.

If you’ve recently chopped and are wondering what to do next, Damtew says, “Get in the habit of incorporating weekly conditioning treatments,” she suggests. “I actually like to add Lemongrass Jamaican Black Castor Oil to my favorite conditioner. Lemongrass strengthens the hair follicle and reduces dandruff, which you want to prevent especially if you have freshly chopped hair.”

The stylist adds that a good rule of thumb is to use your natural texture as a guide for the type of conditioning product to go for.

“The tighter the curls the creamier the product," she says. "And for loose or finer textures, I recommend lighter water-based products which allow the hair to be touchable."