Top Hairstyles for Curly Hair 2021
The summer heat is building, but if there’s one benefit of sunshine and humidity, it’s voluminous, perfect curls. If you have curly hair, it’s frustrating that most style guides only focus on one kind of curl.
However, every hairstyle looks different depending on your curl type. We would be remiss if we showed you only one kind of curl pattern for each different hair length. The same haircut can look drastically different depending on if your curls are tight or loose!
Whether you’re coily, wavy, or want to fake it with hot tools, we’ve got cuts, styles, and product recommendations that will keep the volume big and the frizz low.
Curly Hairstyles for Long Hair
To start things off, feel your princess fantasy with some curly hairstyles for long hair. There are examples for every curl type, so you’ll find a cut or style to swoon over.
Long & Extremely Curly Hairstyle
Many people with curls are afraid of the weight of a glorious mane, but as you can see, this hairstyle for natural long curly hair is a real showstopper. If you have hair that looks like this, you want to dry your hair in a t-shirt instead of a towel to reduce frizz and scrunch in a gel product while it’s wet.
If you’re in a rush, a blow dryer with a diffuser on low heat will help dry your hair faster. This Blow Dryer with Adjustable AirFlow Technology from TiriPro allows you to adjust the temperature to low to prevent heat damage, and comes with a diffuser that’s perfect for curly hair.
Long & Naturally Curly
If you need a hairstyle for curly frizzy hair, leaving it long is still an option. When you’re in the shower, comb your conditioner through with a wide-tooth comb like the Paradise Detangling Comb from Glister, and leave some of that conditioner in when you rinse it out. Try to avoid conditioners with silicone, as they’ll build up in the roots instead of keeping your curls contained.
Long & Naturally Wavy
If your curl type tends more towards wavy rather than full curls, you definitely want to pick up blow dryer with a diffuser attachment, like the one we mentioned above. The diffuser will support the natural bounce your waves have, while giving you the volume you need. If you’re adding gel or mousse, make sure to pick something light and mix it with water to keep your hair weightless.
If you are looking for a hairstyle you can achieve at home without naturally perfect curls, beach waves are an excellent option. Instead of using a curler, you can achieve this look by using a hair straightener instead of a curling iron for looser and less coily waves.
Our MaxLength1” Flat Iron with Rose Gold Titanium Plates is a perfect choice. The titanium plates will help reduce static and frizz, which is necessary if it’s hot and humid out. If it’s extra humid where you live, add salt spray as a finishing touch.
If you are looking for perfect curls every time, brushed out barrel curls are a classic hairstyle for curly hair, especially if you have fine thin curly hair. Fine hair will hold the curls more easily than thick hair, and this look is elegant for any occasion.
Grab our 32mm Curling Wand for a wide barrel to get big curls, then brush out your curls with a Detangling Paddle Brush with Boar Bristles to achieve beauty queen perfection. Use a light shine or finishing spray to keep your hair perfect all day long.
Braids are always a fashion forward way to style long curly hair or even medium-length curly hair. Consider braiding your hair asymmetrically for a new take on the ‘80s, or, depending on how you dress, a punk rock vibe.
The key to this look is sectioning clips, as they keep the hair you’re not braiding out of the way until you’re ready. Use a comb to section your hair, and clip the pieces you’re not braiding out of the way. To really make the braids pop, create a Dutch braid (aka a box braid) braid instead of a French braid.
Pig-Tail Dutch Braids
Pig-tail braids are not just for little kids! They’re on trend, flirty, and perfect for keeping your hair out of the way while showing off your voluminous curls. This look is especially cute if you have an ombre or balayage, as the dye will really show off the under braid.
Like in the previous photo, sectioning clips are the key to keeping your hair out of the way while you Dutch braid your hair. To hide the hair tie, wrap one strand of hair around the elastic and secure it with a bobby pin. If you’re having a less than perfect hair day, use the curler we linked to above to perfect your curls.
One Simple Braid
Some days we just want our long curly hair out of the way. A long, thick braid will always look good! Curly hair holds a braid flawlessly, and you can use gel to keep the baby hairs from creating a frizz halo around your face.
Medium Length Curly Haircuts
You don’t need to resort to impossible lengths to keep things stylish. Here are some stunning curly hairstyles for medium hair lengths!
Bangs for Curly Hair
Don’t be afraid to experiment with bangs for medium curly hair. Medium length with this curl type can be hard to style without accessories, but bangs will help you create a signature, on-trend look.
The process for styling such tight curls is the same whether your hair is long, medium, or short. Make sure you use a blow dryer with a diffuser on a low heat, and use gel or mousse to keep your curls defined without frizz.
If your curl type is looser, a simple layered hair cut for curly hair at medium length can make your curls manageable. Unlike with longer hair, your curls with dry faster making this an easy hairstyle for naturally curly hair.
Soft Waves and Side Bangs
If you have this kind of haircut for medium curly hair and your curl type tends more towards wavy, having a great hair day is easy with a blowout brush. Our Swept Away 2-in-1 Volumizing Dryer Blowout Brush is perfect. It has a round barrel that makes it easy to dry both sides of the hair, smoothing the hair follicles as it dries while also shaping it into a smooth wave.
Like with the other tools we’ve recommended, it’s easy to adjust the heat setting to low to prevent frizz. Having perfect hair every day has never been easier.
The 90s are Back
We love the way the 90s are influencing current trends, so if you’ve been wondering how to style curly hair, this one is super easy! Part your hair in the middle, divide the front section from the back and pile your curls high.
Although we show it here with a bun and two braids, you can easily leave your curls in a ponytail and leave the front pieces flowing free to curl softly around your face. Use gel to keep the baby hairs back and you’re ready with this casual updo for curly hair.
Our last hairstyle for medium-length hair takes time to set, but it classes up any outfit. Grab a clip curler, two fistfuls of bobby pins, and hair spray. Then, turn on your favorite playlist because it may take some time to get this right the first few times you try it.
The trick to achieving this look is the sweeping side part. Use the barrel curler to make sure this section looks exactly as you want it, and pin the hair in place. Make sure to use hair spray to keep your hair looking flawless all day.
Color for Curly Hair
Edgy looks aren’t just for girls with straight hair! Don’t be afraid of using color on your curls. Vibrant colors are perfect for catching the sun. If you have dark hair, make sure you’re not bleaching your hair at home - harsh chemicals are something you definitely want to leave to the professionals.
Short Hairstyles for Curly Hair
Whether you’re looking for your next curly hairstyle for short hair or you’re ready to take the chop and would like some inspiration for potential short haircuts for curly hair, have a look at these gorgeous short styles!
Sometimes all you need is the right haircut for short curly hair, and this bob is a super cute example of what that can look like. To style such short naturally curly hair, you’ll want to partially dry your hair with a t-shirt rather than a towel. Then, use gel or mousse while the hair is still damp and use the diffuser attachment on your blow dryer for extra volume.
It’s not too different from styling medium and long curly hair, but it’s even more important to avoid awkward cowlicks!
Barrel Curls for Short Hair
Barrel curls are fun, but not when you burn your scalp! If you have short hair that you want to style with hot tools, a curling wand is safer than a curling iron with a clip. The 19mm/25mm Clipless Tourmaline Curling Iron makes it easier to get close to the scalp with more control. Use a touch of finishing spray to keep these curls off your face.
Bangs and Layers
Short curly hair with bangs and layers pairs well with cargo pants for a masc vibe, or a sundress for a fem vibe. Whether you want to dress feminine, masculine, or anything in between, pick up a Round Brush with Boar Bristles. The boar bristles gently prevent frizz and improve shine, which will leave you looking your best.
Who says fades are only for boys? This fade with curly hair on top is super cute. Combining this with the shaved designs and hair color is a refreshing twist. While this look may feel too edgy for some, it pairs well with both simple and bold fashion tastes.
Curls for Days
Whether your curls are tight or loose, there are cute haircuts and hairstyles to show off those natural curls. Make sure to use sulfate-free shampoo and not to overwash your hair so your curls can stay shiny and frizz-free!
Post your photos, give us your best tips for styling or caring for curly hair, and make sure to tag us @almostfamoushaircare.