The Best Styles Right Now: Long, Black Hair

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Weaves, extensions and much more

Cindy Bruna. Getty Images

In this gallery, you'll find photos of gorgeous, long, black hairstyles. Black hair is hard to grow long, so most of these women had help in the form of weave-in extensions.

Here are a few tips about weaves.

The Different Types of Weaves

Weaves are either human hair or synthetic hair. It's best to choose the very best hair possible and that means go for the human hair if you can afford it.

You can even choose the texture of your hair weave. You can experiment with a texture that's completely different from yours or opt for one that matches your natural hair so it's less obvious when you are in between weaves and seen with your natural hair. Choose between wavy, straight and even curly options. One of the hottest crazes at the moment are naturally curly weaves made from kinky natural hair.

Once you decide what type of hair you'll get, next you choose the method, all of which are time-consuming. Sewn-in weaves or extensions are very popular. Hair is basically sewn into cornrows made of your natural hair. As long as your cornrows are not too tight and you take care of your hair, by shampooing and conditioning weekly, your sewn-in extensions can last up to 8 weeks.

Hot and cold fusion are other popular options and tend to be the most expensive options. With hot fusion, the weave is attached to your natural hair with hot glue. This can last up to several months, but can be damaging to your hair. Cold fusion is more gentle and uses a keratin polymer to attach the weave to your natural hair.

Finally, you can opt for micro-link extensions. These connect the weave to the hair by individual strands using coils. This is the most time-consuming of the 4 options but the results can last up to 5 months.

How to Care for Your Weave -- And Your Natural Hair

It's important to take care of your pricey investment. Your weave will last much longer if you care for it properly. This means shampooing and conditioning on a weekly basis, preferably with a sulfate-free shampoo. You can have this professionally done or you can do it yourself. You should focus on the scalp, which is where oils build up. In between washings, use a dry shampoo on the roots to sop up any oils.

It's important to keep your scalp oiled with jojoba or coconut oils. You can buy these in spray form.

Brushing hair with a boar's bristle hairbrush is also important. The natural bristles help distribute the hair's oils from the scalp to the hair, naturally conditioning them. Always brush hair from the ends on up to the roots, detangling hair as you go. And don't worry if you experience shedding. This is normal. All weaves and wigs will shed somewhat.

You can style your weave as you would your own hair using flat irons, hair dryers, and curling irons.

You should protect your natural hair and your hairline as well. Your natural hair, your edges and your scalp needs a break in between weaves. During this "off period," you can wear scarves or wigs. A fun wig to keep on hand is the perfect go-to in between your weaves. You can have it sewn into cornrows or have it clipped on for easy-on, easy-off.

Pick Your Stylist Wisely

Who does your hair can mean the difference between horrible extensions and possible hair loss to hair that looks as if it grew naturally from your head. Do your homework and don't settle for the bargain stylist over the experienced one with great references. Ask people whose hair you admire where they go. That's always a good start.

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Beyonce

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Beyonce. Stefanie Keenan / WireImage
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Keke Palmer

Keke Palmer
Keke Palmer. Chelsea Lauren / WireImage
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Sanaa Lathan

Sanaa Lathan
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Tasha Smith

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Zoe Kravitz

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Thandie Newton

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Thandie Newton. Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images
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Fleur East

Fleur East
Fleur East. Karwai Tang / Getty Images
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Meagan Good

Meagan Good
Meagan Good. James Devaney / WireImage
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Tami Williams

Tami Williams
Tami Williams. Melodie Jeng / Getty Images
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Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah. Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images
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Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell
Naomi Campbell. Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

Naomi Campbell's weave here is amazing. Her blunt bangs and long, straight hair are both modern and sophisticated. You can either go longer or shorter with this cut but keep in mind those blunt bangs will need upkeep.

See more black hairstyles

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Wendy Raquel Robinson

Wendy Raquel Robinson
Wendy Raquel Robinson. Amanda Edwards / WireImage
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LisaRaye's Blunt Bangs on Long Hair

LisaRaye
LisaRaye. Charley Gallay / Getty Images for NAACP
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Garcelle's Waves

Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon
Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon. Jerome Ware / ZUMA Press
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Ciara's Straight Hair

Ciara
Ciara. Jerome Ware / ZUMA Press
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Jennia Fredrique

Jennia Fredrique
Jennia Fredrique. Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images for NAACP
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Halle Berry

Halle Berry
Halle Berry. Kevin Winter / Getty Images for NAACP

See many more black hairstyles

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Beyonce

Beyonce Knowles attends the 40th NAACP Image Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on February 12, 2009 in Los Angeles, California
Beyonce Knowles attends the 40th NAACP Image Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on February 12, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Kevin Winter / Getty Images for NAACP
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Ashanti Goes Long & Lovely

Ashanti
Ashanti. Dan Herrick / KPA / ZUMA Press
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Melissa Ford's Perfect Hairstyle

Melissa Ford
Melissa Ford. Phil Han / ZUMA Press