11 Curly Hairstyles to Inspire Your Next ‘Do
Whereas pin straight locks defined the 90s, curls and waves of all textures have reigned supreme over the past few years. From Rihanna to Issa and Sandra Oh, we’re sharing 11 of our favorite curly hairstyles to inspire your next ‘do.
1. Coiffed twists
First up: Alexandra Shipp and star of Tick, Tick…Boom! The actress wore her caramel curls in a sculptural updo complete with braids that ran along either side of her head for extra detail.
2. Faux hawk
Sandra Oh’s longtime hair stylist Ted Gibson credits a Hot Tools curling iron (he alternates between 1- and 1.5-inch barrels) for adding definition to Oh’s naturally voluminous ringlets before pinning them forward into a faux hawk.
3. Fountain Pony
Here’s Rihanna showing us the power of a well-placed pony. Simply gather your curls up high to let your hair (and cheekbones) shine bright like a…you know.
4. High topknot
Prefer to keep your hair completely off your neck? Try a high topknot like Zendaya instead. To recreate the look, twist your curls back neatly into a bun, while keeping a few wispy tendrils down to frame your face.
5. Silver Accents
We love the way Nathalie Emmanuel styled her natural curls into a casual updo, which she then dressed up with sleek silver clips that overlapped on one side.
6. Braided Pompadour
As far as we’re concerned, Issa Rae is the queen of the red carpet. One look that still haunts us? Her long braided pompadour that she wore to the final season premiere of Insecure. With extra height on top and intricate plaits on the sides and down her back, it’s a literal work of art.
7. Tousled Pixie
For those with a looser curl like Joey King here, a short cut is a style onto itself. Keep the sides closely cropped and lengthier on top for that effortless swoop over the forehead. (Tip: Scrunch some mousse onto damp hair for added definition as it dries.)
8. Cascading Curls
Mindy Kaling gave us Disney princess vibes with her cascading curls at the Emmy’s this year. Swept to one side with a deep, off-centered part, you get a touch of retro glam (and plenty of volume on top).
9. Disco Hair
Speaking of side parts and volume, Keke Palmer dazzled at the Met Gala this year with her soft, brushed out curls that evoked Diana Ross comparisons; her fanned out smokey eye added to the whole effect.
10. Double Pony
Yara Shahidi is another exciting person to watch on the red carpet. The Grownish star often switches up her style, smoothly transitioning from high fashion glam to breezy streetwear, as is the case with this Adidas set and complementary double pony.
11. Modern Mullet
The mullet is back—and you can either blame or thank TikTok for that. Thankfully, the polarizing look has been updated with more layers that bridge the gap between the shorter and longer pieces. And, as Debby Ryan demonstrated at the MTV VMAs this year, you may as well lean all the way into the era by teasing out the roots for maximum volume.