26 Style Inspirations You Need To Save For Wearing Your Natural 4C Hair (2024)

Save this gallery for the next time you need some inspo.

By Taylor Bryant
26 Style Inspirations You Need To Save For Wearing Your Natural 4C Hair (1)

Some of the misconceptions surrounding 4C hair are that it’s coarse, difficult to manage, and it comes with a lack of styling versatility, according to Dr. Kari Williams, a trichologist and cosmetologist. But in fact, almost the opposite is true.

Though 4C strands can be fragile—which means it’s important to reduce manipulating them—the hair's coiled structure makes it no less manageable than other types, and actually make it one of the most versatile curl types out there. “The elasticity of the strand combined with the curves of the coil gives 4C hair the ability to form and mold into braids, twists, curls, and countless shapes without the use of pins, rubber bands, wax, or gel,” Dr. Williams says. “4C hair can truly defy gravity,” she adds.

When styling 4C hair, though, remember that it can be prone to breakage, Dr. Williams adds. If you can, try to avoid regular use of heat styling tools and, when you do use heat, apply a protectant. Styles that help to stretch the curls are preferred, like two-strand twists, Bantu knots, and braid outs. Or, wearing your hair in a wash-and-go style or up in a puff are other options. Dr. Williams notes that, a couple of years ago, “there was a lack of information about the unique needs of 4C hair, so there was also a lack of effective products.” Now, there’s an abundance of products and tools to help make the styling process easier.

As far as those products go, Dr. Williams recommends applying a daily moisturizer (like a leave-in) to the hair and after shampooing, applying oils and serums while the hair is still damp, to increase absorption and help maintain hair elasticity. She also suggests incorporating a protein treatment every six-to-eight weeks to add strength to the hair and using a moisturizing deep conditioner regularly. “The moisturizing conditioner should be used more often than your protein-based conditioner,” she notes.

Now that you have the recommended tools and expert advice to make it happen, we’ve gathered some of our favorite styles for 4C hair types.



Sometimes it’s nice to stick with the basics and style your hair in a simple wash-and-go style, like this TWA one. Just remember to use a leave-in moisturizer before you go.


Two Strand Twist Ponytail

A two-strand twist out is one of Dr. Williams’ favorite styles for 4C hair because of the way it enhances the coils and promotes length retention.


Twist Out

Once you grow tired of the twists, you can unravel them into a twist out style. Like Dr. Williams mentions, it’s a two-in-one style that can last for up to two weeks.

Advertisem*nt - Continue Reading Below


Braid Out

If you're looking to stretch your hair a little more and avoid shrinkage, you can always opt to braid it in small sections while it's still damp. Just be aware that braid outs tend to take longer to dry than twist outs—so make sure you have a decent amount of time on your hands before you install them.



Here's another favorite style of Dr. Williams. “Locs are the ultimate length-retention style for 4C clients who have ‘long hair’ goals,” she says. “And they still offer the same styling versatility as loose coils with a simplified hair care regimen and more freedom from daily manipulation.”


Faux Locs

If you're not ready to fully commit to locking your hair, you can always give the more temporary faux locs a try.

Advertisem*nt - Continue Reading Below


Knotless Box Braid Bun

Knotless box braids are a popular protective hairstyle for all curl types. To add a little color into the style, place some multicolored rubber bands on some of the braids and pull them up into a bun on top of your head, as seen here.


Accessorized TWA

A cute and easy way to elevate your TWA is by adding a flower or clip, like the one seen here on Lupita Nyong’o.


Stretched Out Afro

Stretch out your 4C curls for some height, volume, and lots of character.

Advertisem*nt - Continue Reading Below


French Braided Buns

This protective French braided style can be worn for days without having to manipulate it. Just make sure to adequately moisturize before putting the braids in, and sleep with a silk covering of some kind to keep it from getting frizzy prematurely.


Half Bun Twists

Twists don’t just have to be thrown into a ponytail. You can also try out a half up and half down down style like this sky-high bun. Flat twist the front part of the hair to switch it up.


High Puff

A go-to style for natural hair is the high puff, which is easy (if not a little headache-inducing) and always fun.

Advertisem*nt - Continue Reading Below


High Bun

Very similar in height to the high puff, the sleek high bun simply involves tucking in your ends instead of leaving them loose.


Low Ponytail

Another option is the low ponytail, which is equally as chic. Make sure to have your gel on hand if you’re after a more slicked-back look.



We love this pompadour-inspired look for a chic shape that adds height to your style.

Advertisem*nt - Continue Reading Below


Double Buns

These space bun puffs, complete with sleek edges, are quite literally out of this world.



Cornrows are a classic protective style that are always better when twinning with a friend. Or, in actress Skai Jackson’s case, her mom.


Braided Crown

Issa Rae’s character on Insecure has some of the most creative styles for short 4C hair that we’ve seen on television. This updo with a thin braided front is a favorite.

Advertisem*nt - Continue Reading Below


Bantu Knots

Similar to two-strand twists, Bantu knots are a two-for-one style that can be rocked as they are or worn unraveled.


Bantu Knot-Out

Natural hair vlogger Whitney White unraveled her Bantu knots and got this fluffy result using just two products: a moisturizing oil and leave-in conditioner.

26 Style Inspirations You Need To Save For Wearing Your Natural 4C Hair (22)

Taylor Bryant

Taylor Bryant is a freelance journalist based in the New York area. She's written for other publications like Nylon, Fashionista, Teen Vogue, Billboard, and The Outline. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

26 Style Inspirations You Need To Save For Wearing Your Natural 4C Hair (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Madonna Wisozk

Last Updated:

Views: 6177

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (48 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Madonna Wisozk

Birthday: 2001-02-23

Address: 656 Gerhold Summit, Sidneyberg, FL 78179-2512

Phone: +6742282696652

Job: Customer Banking Liaison

Hobby: Flower arranging, Yo-yoing, Tai chi, Rowing, Macrame, Urban exploration, Knife making

Introduction: My name is Madonna Wisozk, I am a attractive, healthy, thoughtful, faithful, open, vivacious, zany person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.