From natural color and curls to platinum dye and stick-straight hair, African American celebrities have done just about everything with their hair. The top black celebrity hairstyles have sparked fashion trends over the years.
It’s amazing to see them change their look with extensions, blowouts and color. Then, they transform their hairstyles to a more natural look. These are the top black celebrity hairstyles that have turned heads in the past decade or so.
The Best Black Celebrity Hairstyles You’ll Want to Steal
From red carpet-appropriate black hairstyles to casual haircuts that tame the unruly texture – this guide is meant to make you fall in love with your natural hair.
Find some fresh, unboring, and unique solutions inspired by black fashion icons, singers, and actresses. They know how to turn Afro hair into a blessing.
Eva Marcille Platinum Pixie
A super short haircut looks great in a striking color. That’s why a black actress with blonde hair has become a kind of a trend. The contrast of this platinum tone with dark skin is beautiful and bold. Pomade holds everything in place close to the scalp.
A style like this must be maintained, however. The roots grow in quickly. Even if you don’t get the color touched up immediately, the dark roots will provide an edgy look to this cut
Ciara’s Bronde Braid
The golden tones of this long and luscious bring out one of the top celebrity hairstyles. The ombre color blends from dark to light. One fishtail braid peeks out from the underside of the hair, adding a different texture to the soft waves. While most celebrities with braids try to create a bald, rebellious image, Ciara adds charm and uniqueness to her gorgeous long hairstyle.
Gabrielle Union’s Wavy Shag
Over curly kinky textured hair is naturally thick and coarse, to give a trendy wave look with straightened ends, use a pomade and flat iron for more definition for the finished look. Gabrielle Union had the ends of her long shag thinned out. This drags the hair down, creating a flowing look. Caramel highlights throughout give the hairstyle dimension. The layers start around the shoulders, and the ends of the hair create a graduated “V” shape. This hairstyle is full of shine.
Jada Pinkett Smith’s Sun-Kissed Locks
The perfect amount of amber makes it a sophisticated pixie haircut by Jada. The warm browns and tans complement her skin tone. Jada Pinkett Smith has always liked this beachy effect – especially when her hair had long layers with a perfect blow out. For added volume at the roots, Jada creates a deep side part and flips the hair over it.
Kat Graham Short And Lush
There’s nothing sexier than looking amazing without trying too hard. Kat Graham’s hair is short now but still full of fun. It looks like she curled her tips slightly and didn’t care about anything else. The rich deep black color brightens her hairstyle, creating an extremely gorgeous effect.
Michelle Obama’s Over-The-Top Curls
Michelle Obama has always had great hairstyles. Her short bob and long, spiral curls define one of her greatest looks. There’s so much volume in this style, and a side part with luscious waves finishes it off perfectly. She keeps the color natural. There’s enough texture worked into the style. She doesn’t need highlights to enhance these curls.
Halle Berry’s Honey-Tinged Afro
For so long, Halle Berry was known for the pixie haircut she sported back in 2002. At the 2020 Academy Awards, her look was completely transformed. Honey highlights glimmered among the enormous mass of soft curls that framed her head like a halo. Everyone didn’t love her look, but if anyone can pull off such a statement style, it’s Halle. Check out these hacks for styling your own afro hair.
Rihanna has always chosen bold hairstyles, and a high ponytail adds an air of sophistication. This simple, messy ponytail is totally unassuming. However, the wavy texture and a wrap-around strand to cover the elastic makes it look stunning. With a texture this beautiful, you don’t have to try too hard to create a style. Black celebrity ponytail hairstyles have never ever looked that killing.
Zoe Saldana Side Braid
Zoe Saldana often wears her hair in a girl-next-door look. It’s long and shiny, and she vacillates between wearing it wavy and straight. This simple braid is sweet. It’s drawn around one shoulder, and a few short layers are pulled out around the face for interest.
If you want to recreate this look, you might want to curl your hair before creating the braid to make it look thicker. This will also make any tendrils you pull out look more natural than if you curl them after braiding.
Beyonce has perfected the bronde color. Her beachy waves are a perfect blend of chocolate, caramel and amber. When she wears her hair long, she resembles a mermaid. She looks sophisticated when she draws it into an updo and striking when she wears her curls natural. This look has a slight wave and lots of texture even though she doesn’t have many layers.
Alicia Keys Natural Volume Afro Hair
Alicia Keys looks gorgeous when she wears her hair curly. It’s sophisticated and fierce, wild and refined. There is something about this look that brings out her inner spirit more than anything else. With a hairstyle like this, you can wear minimal makeup. A fresh, radiant face complements this look well. At the same time, choosing a dramatic focal point on your face can also play up this haircut. Choose a strong brow, winged liner or a bright lip. Just don’t wear them all at once.
Mary J. Blige Side-Swept Blond
Mary J. Blige has had many hairstyles over the years. She has worn her hair platinum and stick straight and long and caramel colored. This soft, side-swept haircut is feminine and frames her face. Slightly asymmetrical, it retains that rock-star edge.
Glamorous Chanel Iman
Young and stunning, Chanel Iman looks beautiful no matter how she wears her hair. In this throwback to old Hollywood, she wears it upswept with trendy long curtain bangs. There’s nothing more polished than this unfussy hairstyle. To get it, blow out your hair. Use lots of products to smooth the base. Curl the ends of the hair, then pull them together into a textured bun, and fix it with hairpins. Finish with a glossing spray.
Serena Williams’ Straight Bob
Serena is another black celebrity who has gone through countless hairstyle transformations. She pulls her hair back with a headband on the court, but she is extremely glamorous on the street. This chin-length edgy bob is sleek and perfect from all directions. Cool bronze highlights shimmer as they reflect the light.
Janet Jackson’s Short Cut
Remember when Janet Jackson chopped off her hair in 2010? She surprised many of her fans, but the sleek ‘do looked sharp. It emphasized her features and had just the right amount of edge. She tamed the short strands with plenty of product. You can’t go wrong with this smooth style.
Tyra Banks On Gossip Girl
When Tyra Banks was a guest star on Gossip Girl, she wore caramel finger waves. This Gatsby-esque style is easy to do with a straightening iron. Just clamp down on a section of hair, feeding the section into the iron by zig-zagging it back and forth. You’ll create flat waves that move from side to side and can be styled into a pretty chignon at the nape of your neck.
Kerry Washington Half-Up Hair
She often keeps her hair down in earthy waves or scoops it all up into a sophisticated updo. Kerry Washington wowed fans with this unassuming voluminous hairstyle. It shows off her color and gives her a youthful look. It can take her to the red carpet or out for burgers. This style isn’t tied too tight. The volume at the top and the bounce at the bottom balance out the coarseness of her hair.
Brandy’s Grown-Up African American Curls
Brandy goes curly with a mature, natural look every now and then. Her shorter hair has plenty of spring to it, and it sets off her fashionable look.
Naomi Campbell Long And Sleek
We have all drooled over Naomi Campbell’s lustrous long locks. Her straight hair extends to the middle of her back, and her thick bangs frame her almond-shaped eyes perfectly. A hair straightener and moisturizing hair products are the key to maintaining this look.
Laila Ali’s Not-So-Tough Hairstyle
She’s fierce in the ring, but Laila Ali plays it pretty with her long hairstyle. It is often worked into loose waves that exude softness. Just a few highlights frame her face and bring out her hair’s natural tones.
Kelly Rowland’s Perfect Ebony Bob
Every strand is in place on this blunt bob. In this photo, Kelly Rowland wears her hair parted in the center and her hair stick straight. The cut ends just above her chin, adding width to her narrow face. However, this style is more versatile than you might think. She has also worn it curly and voluminous as well as rolled under at the ends.
Keri Hilson’s Wild Bob
Keri Hilson looks marvelous when she flaunts a messy bob. The deep side part accentuates her dramatic features, and the natural curls give her hair massive volume. If you wake up with your hair a bit flat, just flip the part to the other side to replicate this hairstyle.
Taraji P. Henson’s Chin-Length Volume
Taraji P. Henson isn’t afraid to show off lots of body. Her short cut is slightly asymmetrical. The long bangs have lots of lift, and the slight wave keeps this bob from looking too stiff. On Taraji, chin-length Afro bobs will never go out of style.
Macy Gray’s Hair Takes Flight
Macy Gray’s hair just seems to fly. She keeps it away from her face, showing off her fabulous features. The ombre highlights are lighter at the ends, bringing attention to every inch of her strands. She’s not afraid to take her hairstyle to the limit.
Selita Ebanks Pulled-Back Bob
Selita Ebanks likes bob so much and it looks adorable on her sweet face. It keeps the hair off her forehead, and the curled-out ends play off her striking smile. If you can’t get your hair to stay off your face, try tying it back for a while first. That will train it to flow from front to back when you want to wear it down.
Thandie Newton’s Curly Ponytail
Although we often see Thandie Newton wearing her hair down, we love it when she puts it up. The front of this style is sleek, with a center part and tight ponytail. However, the length is let loose in long curls, giving her a spontaneous, yet refined, appearance.
Niki Minaj Blond Curls
At the 2013 MET Gala, Nicki Minaj had a pouf of platinum spirals. She has worn so many different colors in her hair over the years, but this one had a softness that outdid them all. The dark roots provided just enough contrast to keep this ‘do from looking too much like cotton candy.
Jennifer Hudson’s Volumized Pixie
Jennifer Hudson is not usually referred to as an actress with short hair since she has had long hair for such a long time. She stepped her style up a level when she traded it in for this stunning short cut. It’s perfectly thinned out, so it has a lot of texture and movement. It emphasizes her feminine features and looks great whether she wears it sleek or tousled.
Tracee Ellis Ross Dramatic Curls
Tracee Ellis Ross isn’t afraid to create her own sense of style. While she may follow in her mother Dianna Ross’s footsteps when it comes to showing off her full head of natural curls, she brings her own aesthetic into it.
Janelle Monae’s Structured Cut
Janelle Monae often sculpts her hair into a work of art. The volume, the smoothness and the unique shapes into which she can contort her locks have become part of her signature style.
The Final Word
These are the top black celebrity hairstyles that pop icons have worn in recent years. Check out many other female black celebrities showing off their hairstyles at the 2017 Oscars. This is a great way to get inspiration for your own modern look. We haven’t forgotten the men. See the best black celebrity hairstyles of 2020 that are on the cutting edge of style.