The Top Black Hairstyle Trends: What You Should Know

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Top Black Hairstyle Trends

9th Annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - Hair and Makeup
KMazur/Contributor/Getty Images

Black hair trends this year include short hair, long hair, natural hair, locs, waves and weaves

Your Face Shape Matters

Almost every woman can pull off a natural afro. Or a pixie. Or a long, wavy wig. But your face shape does matter. You want to create the illusion that you were born with a perfectly round face and there are ways to achieve this. Find out more in:

Your Lifestyle Matters

If you work out a lot, a wig isn't going to be your best bet. Natural hair is, or even a weave. And if you are super busy, for example, if you are working full-time and raising kids, a weave is a time commitment you may not be willing to make. Keeping your hair natural may be your best bet, or relaxing it with chemicals so it's more manageable is another option. There are few things more ugly than a grown-out weave that needs to be replaced STAT. 

Money Matters

Weaves and wigs are pricey. Chemical relaxers and keeping your hair natural aren't. If you do go the weave or wig route, you want to invest in quality hair and a quality hairstylist. Human hair trumps synthetic and the wrong stylist can leave you looking as if your hair is obviously fake or worse, can cause you to experience permanent hair loss.

Consider Your Personality

To pull off the very trendy pixie or the super edgy pompadour, you have to have confidence. But even more, you want to be comfortable in your hairstyle. If you are flirty and fun, you should pick a hairstyle that makes you feel that way. If you don't like trends, go for a more classic style like a chin-length bob.

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The Perfect Black Pixie

Tyra Banks
Left: Michael Buckner/Getty Images; right, Tyra Banks/The Cut Life Instagram

Tyra Banks wasn't the first celebrity to chop her hair off into a pixie: (and apparently she sports her real hair, not a wig, according to her stylist). Pixies are more popular than ever, and they've never been more gorgeous.

No matter your natural hair texture, whether thick, kinky, curly, chemically straightened or wavy, a pixie can be a gorgeous choice for you. It's also a good choice for women who prefer weaves or even wigs.

Unsure of what short cut you like the most? Check out your best bets in Short Black Hair: A Round-up of Today's Top Styles.

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Long Black Hair

Stefanie Keenan/WireImage/Getty Images

Long, black hair remains the most popular hairstyle choice for black women. You can wear long hair straight, wavy or curly with the help of relaxers, curling irons and flat irons.

Whether you opt for a weave, a wig, your natural hair or choose relaxers to get your own hair long, these photos of long black hairstyles should inspire you.

It's hard for some women with thick, kinky to grow out their natural hair long. Your best bet for long hair in this case is a weave or even a wig. 

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Zoë Kravitz
Zoë Kravitz. Steve Granitz/Getty Images

Zoe Kravitz's braids are to die for.

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Natural Black Hair

Singer/actress Brandy Norwood
Jim Spellman/WireImage/Getty Images

Anyone who's tuned into style has likely noticed how popular natural hair has become. More and more black women are giving up the costly salon treatments, pricey weaves and extensions and the damaging chemical treatments and opting instead for hair that's natural and, as you will see in this photo gallery below, quite stunning.

Whether you're growing out your natural hair, considering going natural or wanting to know how to care for your natural hair, don't miss Natural Hair: Gorgeous Styles for Black Women.

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Imaan Hammam's Big, Beautiful Natural Curls

Imaan Hammam
Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

These big, gorgeous curls on model Imaam. They are all the rage at the moment.

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The Short, Picked-Out Afro

Lineisy Montero
Melodie Jeng/Getty Images; Randy Brooke/Getty Images

This short afro on model Lineisy Montero is  lovely.

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The Chin-Length Cut: Bobs and Shags

Jada Pinkett Smith attends the European Premiere of 'Magic Mike XXL' at Vue West End on June 30, 2015 in London, England.
Jada Pinkett Smith attends the European Premiere of 'Magic Mike XXL' at Vue West End on June 30, 2015 in London, England. Samir Hussein/Getty Images

Chin-length hairstyles, including bobs and shags, are gorgeous options for women who are growing out their hair or want to go short, but not as short as a pixie. With wigs and weaves, you can experiment a bit without having to make a permanent commitment to a certain length. 

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Shoulder-Length Black Hairstyles

Actress Aisha Tyler
Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images

Hair that falls to the shoulders is the hottest hairstyle length at the moment among Caucasian women, but the trend works just as well for black women.

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Malaika Firth
Timur Emek/Getty Images; David M. Benett/Getty Images

How gorgeous are model Malaika Firth's curls here, worn in two separate styles?

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Gorgeous Hair Color

Models Imaan Hammam (L) and Aamito Lagum
Mireya Acierto/Getty Images

These models show off trends of the moment: gorgeous hair color and short, sleek hair. The key is healthy hair. Cut off dead ends and let your hair rest between weaves. If you get color, make sure to deep condition hair.

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The Edgy Short Hairstyle

Singer Monica attends the 2015 BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on June 28, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
ason LaVeris/FilmMagic/Getty Images

There's something about a woman who can pull off a bright red hairstyle or a pompadour pixie. No hairstyle will attract more attention than an edgy cut on a confident woman. 

But to pull off brightly colored hair, or shaved hair or a pompadour, you must have confidence. You cannot hide behind a short, edgy hairstyle like you can a long, wavy weave. And you'll find your entire wardrobe may need to be updated. Is the risk worth it? 

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The Wig: Perhaps the Hottest Trend in Black Hair at the Moment

Viola Davis
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Wigs are becoming more and more popular now that really well-made lace wigs are available. A well-made wig made from human hair can be pricey, but they look natural.

Pros: Talk about instantaneous change! Once you are fitted for your wig and the hair is cut to flatter your face shape and the wig's hair texture, your transformation will take as long as it takes to put on your wig. You can have wigs attached to last up to a month, but the ones with combs are easiest to take on and off. You can change up your look as much as you want and a wig won't affect your natural hair at all.

Cons: A well-made wig is expensive (they typically cost between $300-$1000). Plus, they can be hot to wear, especially in the summertime. If you work out a lot, then you're better off with a half-wig or a weave.

Wigs are a great option for women with hair loss. Viola Davis, pictured here in one of her many wigs, revealed in an interview with Vulture Magazine that she lost half of her hair to alopecia when she was 28. After that, she says she wore a wig everywhere:

"I wore a wig in the Jacuzzi. I had a wig I wore around the house. I had a wig that I wore to events. I had a wig that I wore when I worked out. I never showed my natural hair. It was a crutch, not an enhancement … I was so desperate for people to think that I was beautiful. I had to be liberated from that [feeling] to a certain extent."

At the 2012 Oscars, she left the wig at home and wore her hair natural. It was a breakthrough moment. She still wears her wigs, but not all the time and that, she said, is freeing.

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A New Look Every Few Weeks

Leila Nda
Melodie Jeng/Getty Images;Jim Spellman/Getty Images;Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images

Changing your hairstyle via extensions, wigs or allowing your natural hair to rest in between is a huge trend at the moment, allowing you to go from short to long in a matter of a day.

Here, model Leila Nda is seen from left to right on March 05, 2015, Nov. 10, 2015, and July 06, 2015.

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Why Women Are Opting for Weaves

NeNe Leakes
NeNe Leakes. Grant Lamos IV/Getty Images

Weaves have been very controversial in the black hair community. Women who wear weaves have been accused of wanting to look white. But weaves are more popular than ever. They come in all lengths and styles and are a great way to change your look without having to cut, color or chemically alter your own hair.

Benefits of Weaves

Weaves are popular because you can change your look instantly (well, at least in the few hours it takes to sew or attach your new hair) without damaging your natural hair. You can change your look every few weeks moving from short to long to medium hair lengths if you want as well as try out different hair textures.

Pros: Great for women who don't like to mess with heat or chemicals and want little fuss. Weaves also protect your natural hair and can look natural if you use a great stylist and invest in quality hair. They are a better bet than wigs if you work out a lot.

Cons: The best weaves use authentic, real hair and this can be a pricey habit. A quality human hair weave can set you back between $600- $1200. Plus, they can take hours to apply and considering the average weave lasts about six weeks, that's a lot of visits to the salon to maintain your fabulous hairstyle. A poorly trained stylist can cause hair loss or a messed-up hairline if they make your cornrows too tight or don't sew or glue on your weaves properly.

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Relaxed Hair: As Popular as Ever

Actress Garcelle Beauvais poses for a portrait at the American Black Film Festival on June 14, 2015 in New York City.
Actress Garcelle Beauvais poses for a portrait at the American Black Film Festival on June 14, 2015 in New York City. J. Countess/Getty Images Portrait/Getty Images

Chemical processes remain a super popular way to relax super kinky hair, straighten wavy hair or just allow you more flexibility with your hairstyles.

If you want to straighten your hair or color it, there are many options available to you. Here's a handy guide to choosing the right relaxers, plus, find out what you need to know before you color your hair. 

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Black Hair: Formal Updos

Cynthia Bailey
Cynthia Bailey. Moses Robinson/Getty Images

Whether you wear a wig, a weave or your natural hair, you can wear your hair in formal updos for special occasions. To inspire you, we've pulled together gorgeous galleries of formal hairstyle perfect for weddings, prom, and other formal events.