15 Stunning Medium-Length Hairstyles for Natural Hair

From locs to faux hawks.

patchy sun portrait of girl with natural hair

Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

I have had every hairstyle imaginable. Well, at least, it feels like it. I have relaxed my hair, big chopped, braided it up, dyed it blonde, and been natural. I say all of that to say that Black hair is as versatile as it is beautiful. Since big chopping for the second time, my hair has now grown into a medium length that has allowed me to try a variety of hairstyles.

My favorite hair looks of the moment are cornrows, wash-and-gos, and an afro puff I spent an entire weekend perfecting. The good news about medium hair is that whether you're still going to see your stylist every six weeks to get your new growth in check or have put your hot tools down for good, there is an option for you. Just be sure to condition and moisturize your coils as you try the 15 styles on this list.

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Twist Outs

Twist outs are a staple style in the natural hair community, and JJ's beautiful hair reminds us that going grey isn't something to dread, but to embrace.

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Shoulder Length Bob

Medium-Length Hairstyles for Black Women Bob Kahlana Barfield Brown


Kahlana Barfield Brown's shoulder length bob has always given me hair envy. A curling wand offers a simple way to get the waves you desire. A pro tip I learned when I was straightening my hair was to pin curl my newly straightened style at night to keep my waves intact.

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Medium-Length Hairstyles for Black Women Locs Ava Duvernay

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Hair discrimination for Black women is still alive and well in the workplace, especially for brown beauties with locs. But icons like Ava Duvernay remind us to wear hairstyles unique to us with pride.

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Curly Puff with Fringe

Medium-Length Hairstyles for Black Women Curly Puff Yara Shahidi


Yara Shahidi always gets it right. If you're not up for wearing all of your curls out, opting for a puff with fringe is the perfect middle ground.

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Faux Hawk

Medium-Length Hairstyles for Black Women Faux Hawk Mirian Njoh


Mirian Njoh's faux hawk might look like it requires the help of an expert stylist, but with a rattail comb, a little edge control, and a few hair ties, you'll be able to create this look on your own in no time.

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Bold Colored Wig

Medium-Length Hairstyles for Black Women Bold Wig Regina Hall

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Regina Hall's Met Gala look was a mood. Not just because of the middle part and silky texture; the pop of color added an element of surprise. For dark roots, there can be a risk of damaging your curls when trying to achieve colors like a pastel pink by bleaching. But that doesn't mean we can't give these looks a spin—all you need is a good wig and a side of confidence.

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Faux Locs

Medium-Length Hairstyles for Black Women Faux Locs


Protective styles like faux locs not only allow you to change up your look, but they can give your mane a break from daily manipulation. Feel free to rock them on their own, or add colorful hair accessories or highlights to make your locs pop even more.

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Bantu Knots

Medium-Length Hairstyles for Black Women Rihanna Bantu Knots

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Bantu knots have a dual function, as they can serve both as a protective style and to stretch coily hair. Putting wet hair into bantu knots and then taking them down when dry can also create a beautiful, beach-wave look.

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Hair Wraps

Medium-Length Hairstyles for Black Women Hair Wrap


When I was growing out my Big Chop, wraps became my go-to. I loved how the printed fabrics elevated my wardrobe, but the real perk was that they helped my hair to grow because I was manipulating my 4C coils less. Learning to tie a wrap can be a challenge, but my advice is to watch a few tutorials, then find a way that works for you.

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Side Swept Afro

Medium-Length Hairstyles for Black Women Side-Swept Afro


If you're looking for a style to wear for a special occasion or want to show off your cheekbones, Kia Marie's side-swept fro is an excellent place to start.

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Medium-Length Hairstyles for Black Women Kelly Rowland Cornrows


You can never go wrong with cornrows. They're simple, go with anything, and don't require too much styling time. Follow Kelly Rowland's lead and add a pop of color to your lips to complete the look. 

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Afro Puffs

Medium-Length Hairstyles for Black Women Storm Reid Afro Puffs

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Storm Reid's afro puffs add a fresh spin to a ‘90s classic. Complete with perfectly laid edges, minimal starburst earrings, and a pop of blue eyeliner, her look makes an everyday statement and couldn't be easier to recreate.

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Faux Fringe Bang with Hair Wrap

Medium-Length Hairstyles for Black Women Faux Fringe with Hair Wrap


When wrapping your hair, you don't have to cover your entire head. Create a faux fringe bang and secure your tresses with an elastic band to recreate this look.  

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Curly Afro

Medium-Length Hairstyles for Natural Hair Afro Ebonee Davis


Ebonee Davis's signature fro is major hair goals. When letting your curls do their thing naturally, finding the right products is key. I enjoy using a creme styler like Deva Curls Super Stretch to add moisture and define my curls.

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Sleek Puff

Medium-Length Hairstyles for Black Women Puff


Okay, so remember that puff I mentioned? Here it is in all of its glory. This updo is an option for all hair types whether you're relaxed, natural, or sporting a protective style or locs. To create my sleek puff with volume, I traded the traditional elastic hair tie for an elastic headband.

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