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25 Short Natural Hairstyles to Inspire Your Next Look

Zoe hair


I think everyone should try a short hair cut at least once. At the start of my natural journey, I big chopped. Now, I do have to be honest and let you all know this wasn't by choice. The decision came after a hairstylist didn't correctly rinse the black dye out of my hair, and a few weeks later, all of my hair had fallen out. The head stylist at the salon said the only way to fix the damage was to cut my curls off and start over.

Getting used to seeing myself without what everyone thought made me pretty was an adjustment. However, I eventually learned to embrace it by channeling my inner Rihanna. That time in my life was liberating, and it is a moment in time that I am still very proud of. You may already be wearing a short style, or you might be interested in a welcomed beauty change. Either way, we have rounded up 25 short hairstyles that work well on a variety of natural hair lengths and textures to help you find your next signature hairstyle.

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A Natural Fade

Witnessing Zozibini Tunzi take home the crown in the 2019 Miss Universe pageant donning cropped natural hair was truly a magical moment. This cropped look is pretty low maintenance, but you'll need to see a barber a few times a month to keep your cut crisp.

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Angled Loced Bob

Willow Smith is a hair chameleon, and like all her choices, this angle loc'd bob suits her perfectly.

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Pink-Hued Cropped Curls

Experimenting with color is an effortless way to switch things up when you've found your signature silhouette. Now thanks to hair paint wax, you can apply colorful hues without the damage.

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Asymmetrical Cut

Gumby but make it fashion. Mona Baltazar is an NYC-based hairstylist hailing from the Philippines and specializes in shaping curly hair. Making a trip to the big apple for one of her unique cuts is now on my list of things to do.

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Straight Fringed Pixie

A sleek short cut with a bang gives the hair a classic edge. To achieve this style, having relaxed or heat-trained hair will provide you with the best results. However, if you want to try this look on natural hair, you'll need a serum that protects, smooths, and keeps frizz at bay. Moroccanoil's Moroccanoil Treatment ($34) and Mizani's Thermasmooth Smooth Guard Serum ($20) are two products that have helped keep the frizz away when I straighten my natural hair.

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Accessorized Crop

Accessorizing short hair is simple. You can try everything from embellished Bobby pins to headbands, as you see here. Grace Eleyae's Turban Style Headband's ($20) are a great option since jersey knit material won't snag or dry out your curls.

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Bantu Knots

Bantu knots work well on a range of hair lengths and are an optimal protective style for coily hair.

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Jeweled Baby Hair Cornrows

This cornrowed protective style is giving us full-on glam with the addition of the baby hair and crystals.

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Micro Loc Bob

Locs are just as versatile as other hair types, and this micro loc bob proves my theory.

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Chin-Length Bob

A curly cut is key to achieving the ideal shape and length to complement your curl pattern.

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Bowl Cut

If I told you this was a wig, would you believe me? Well, it is. Tonya, who is a well-known wig specialist, cut this style to perfection. Wigs are a protective style option that are worth the investment in my book.

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Sleek Bob

Sleek bobs are always a yes, especially if you're a natural that rocks straight hair.

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Tapered Curls

Deciding on a short cut can take some research, but a tapered look can sometimes give you the best of both worlds.

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Short Box Braids

Short box braids will never go out of style since they offer so much versatility and are relatively easy to maintain. You can go chunky, mini, and even opt for a '90s-insipred style like director Melina Matsoukas did here.

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Classic Pixie

Zoë Kravitz can pull off anything thanks to her beautiful bone structure. I can't decide which look is my favorite, but this pixie cut is in my top three.

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Blonde Pixie

Eva Marcelle has served up short styles that wow since her America's Next Top Model days. If you decide to take your hair color this blonde, keep a protein-rich treatment on deck at all times. Since bleaching my curls, Olaplex's Hair Perfector No. 3 ($28) has been at the top of my haircare list.

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Banded Curls

Traditional headbands aren't just for kids. Tia Mowry's leather headband gives her cropped curls an instant boost of chic.

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Mini Twists

Mini twists work on many hair lengths and textures. The loose ends give the look a two-toned texture that makes the style seem effortless.

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A Blown Out Bob

Bob's can be sleek, curly, and even blown out. KiKi Layne's blunt bob and be worn on blown out natural hair and you can even add clip-ins to create more body.

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Finger Coiled Fringe

Finger curling the hair is one of the best ways to ensure your hair is defined, but the key to minimal frizz post-coiling is to keep your fingers off of them while they dry.

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Fro Bowl Cut

Who doesn't love a perfectly round fro? One of the simplest ways to achieve a look like this is to have your stylist cut your hair into this shape, so you don't have to spend too much time manually trying to achieve it.

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Flexi Rod Set

Whether you're relaxed or natural, flexi rod sets can give you up to a week of no to low hair manipulation. All you need is a good mousse and rods to achieve this minimal maintenance style.

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Curly Fringed Bob

Yara Shahidi is a curly girl that enjoys trying new looks. If you cutting your hair isn't on your beauty to-do list, invest in a wig. Heat Free Hair's "Flo" Wig ($400) offers this look and has been shaped by a stylist so you can try this look without any additional shaping.

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Auburn Cropped Cut

I couldn't take my eyes off of Jodie Turner-Smith's face-framing cut on the big screen in Queen and Slim. If you're curious about trying a hair color that complements your skin tone like this auburn hue, consult with your stylist so you can find the perfect shade for you.

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Full On Fade

Short looks like this one take confidence to try, but once you go for it, your one-of-a-kind facial features will be on full view.

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