15 Stunning Medium-Length Hairstyles for Natural Hair

Updated 06/07/19
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 @kellyrowland

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-go's, 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

Kahlana Barfield'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 tresses each night to keep my waves intact.

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Locs

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

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Curly Puff with Fringe

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

Mirian'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

Regina Hall's Met Gala look was a mood. Not just because of the middle part and silky texture, but the pop of color added an element of surprise. For dark textured hair, 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

Protective styles like faux locs not only allow you to change up your look but can give your mane a break from daily manipulation. Take a cue from Nikitha, and add colorful hair accessories or highlights to make your locs pop even more.

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Bantu Knots

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

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Hair Wraps

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 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

If you are 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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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

Marsai Martin's afro puffs add a fresh spin to a ‘90s classic. If you're not an expert at braiding, take this stylish photo of Marsai to your stylist and don't forget the gold accents.

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Faux Fringe Bang 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

Ebonee Davis’ 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

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, sporting a protective style or locs. To create my sleek puff with volume I gave up the traditional elastic hair tie for an elastic headband.

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