14 Natural Hair Trends for Fall, According to Top Hairstylists

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Whether it’s trying a new color, getting a bold haircut or adding a new hairstyle to the mix, the opportunity for a change is in the air. And for all of our naturalistas out there, we got the scoop from a few hairstylists on the hottest natural hair trends to try this fall, including some visual inspo to bring to your next appointment. 

Meet the Experts

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1. Locs

We love a good protective style for autumn and locs are on the top of our list—just look at Chloe and Halle Bailey for reference. “Locs are popular for fall because they’re very versatile when it comes to styling them. You can wear them in tons of different lengths and braid styles, or add accessories; the options are endless making locs a really fun look to play around with,” says Courtney. To keep your locs fresh in-between retwisting appointments (every four to eight weeks, fyi), Courtney recommends sleeping with a bonnet at night. 

Stylist Recommendation: Grace Eleyae Satin Lined Cap ($13)

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2. Stitch Braids

You might want to reach out to your go-to braider for this trendy style. Stitch braids switch things up from traditional cornrows by adding horizontal partings into the rows. “As we wind down from summer and jump into our regular routines, stitch braids offer a low maintenance, yet stylish look,” says Stevens. “It’s a clean, sexy and overall intricate way to wear cornrows.” As always, a good wrap before bed is a great way to keep braids fresh and healthy. 

Stylist Recommendations: Cantu Satin Scarf ($6); Cantu Avocado Hydrating Hair Oil Elixir ($6)

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3. '90s Blowout

Let’s face it: ‘90s hairstyles have been booming all year and it’s no different this fall. Celebs like Megan Thee Stallion, Keke Palmer and Ciara have been showing off their voluminous locks as of late. “As we come out of the summer months, people want to let their hair down and show off their big, bouncy natural hair,” says O’Connor. To keep your blowout bouncy, O’Connor suggests a volumizing spray to maintain shine and fullness all day. 

Stylist Recommendation: Matrix Vavoom Extra Hold Freezing Spray ($26)

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4. Retro Curls

“Retro curls are flossy, full of life and free. It’s a 2022 spin on the iconic ‘fro of the 70s, which upholds big personality and amazing shape memory,” says James. From Kerry Washington to Yara Shahidi, curly textures (especially 3B to 4C) can rock this look using the LOC method for added shine and definition. 

Stylist Recommendations: The Mane Choice Oils Of Africa Namibia Nourish ($11); H2Oh! Hydration Therapy Intense Nourishing Leave-In Conditioner ($10; $7)

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5. Tapered Cut

If you have short hair or are looking to chop off your long mane, this tapered cut is a great low-maintenance ‘do to try this fall. Garcia-Jackson tells us all hair textures can rock this style and adding a bold hue to the mix like Taraji here can elevate the look for the season.

Stylist Recommendation: Clairol Professional Beautiful Collection in Wine Brown ($10)

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6. Knotless Box Braids

“It's a protective style that looks fantastic. It’s also low maintenance and very versatile,” explains Holdsworth. The box braids style focuses on the health of your natural hair, as it doesn’t require as much tension and pulling at the roots as traditional box braids do. Just check out celebs like Zendaya, Teyana Taylor and Phoebe Robinson donning the gentle look. Holdsworth also recommends investing in a moisturizing mousse (or hair oil) to tame frizz and an edge control gel or pomade to sleek down your baby hairs for the day.

Stylist Recommendation: NTRL by Sabs Nourishing Rose Oil ($30)

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7. Cornrows

Yes, stitch braids are blowing up this fall, but the classic cornrows style will always be a big hit for naturalistas. “There are so many different ways to style them. Plus, cornrows protect your strands and ends from breakage [in the upcoming months],” explains Courtney. Whether you have curly hair or 4C strands, this protective style is great for all hair types. Remember: Use hydrating products to keep your scalp and strands healthy and fresh. 

Stylist Recommendation: Shine N Jam Magic Fingers for Braiders Setting Mousse ($13); Bomba Curls Dominican Forbidden Volumizer Oil ($22)

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8. Boho Butterfly Locs

If you’re not ready to give your natural hair the locs treatment, consider this faux loc look instead. “For someone looking to give their natural hair a break or who wants to begin their loc journey, this style would be a great option,” says Stevens. “It’s effortless, cool and artistic. It’s also a long-lasting way to encourage growth without compromising style.”

Stylist Recommendation: Cantu Natural Hair Moisturizing Twist & Lock Gel ($5); Cantu Natural Hair Coconut Oil Shine & Hold Mist ($5)

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9. Sleek and Straight

Here’s your sign to get a silk press this season. “Another look from the ‘90s is making a huge comeback this fall. This chic, low-maintenance style pairs especially well with any fall wardrobe,” says O’Connor. Once you blow dry your hair, go over your strands again with a flat iron for a sleek and smooth finish. To boost shine and reduce any remaining frizz, O’Connor recommends using a leave-in spray to finish. 

Stylist Recommendations: Matrix Mega Sleek Iron Smoother Spray ($21)

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10. Slick Double Twist

If you don’t have time to do the most intricate designs (or head to the salon), this easy style will be right up your alley in the upcoming months. The two-strand technique divides strands into two separate sections before they’re twisted together and secured with an elastic band. “This style is great for working out and looks good dressed up or down,” adds Garcia-Jackson. And if you want to brighten things up for fall, Garcia-Jackson suggests adding highlights.

Stylist Recommendation: Clairol Professional’s Shimmer Lights Plex Lightener ($18)

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11. Bob Chic

“​​I love bobs on all textures—whether frizzy, curly, relaxed straight, wavy or coiled,” says Holdsworth. “It’s just a super chic style to try during the transition of the seasons.” Don’t forget to add a flat iron to the mix for a sleeker look. Holdsworth also recommends prepping your strands with a heat protectant and a curl cream (or mousse) to keep hair nourished, shiny and frizz free. 

Stylist Recommendation: Mielle Organics Mongongo Oil Thermal & Heat Protectant Spray ($9)

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12. Curly Afro

It’s time to go big or go home. “The curly afro is popular for fall because it's easy to maintain and it’s very stylish,” says Courtney. A voluminous ‘fro starts with adding a hair pick to your arsenal. The tool of your natural hair dreams allows you to lift your curls from the root and stretch them out to your heart’s desire. 

Stylist Recommendation: Pattern Beauty Hair Pick ($9)

13. Boho Braids

There’s no need to braid away all of your curls when this style exists. This boho look involves braiding your hair, while leaving small pieces of your natural curls loose throughout the sections. “Natural boho braids are great for the person who normally does a wash and go or a twist out, but wants to switch things up and save some time with their curly hair routine,” adds Stevens. “Shingling some curls out creates a multi-textured look with your braids.”

Stylist Recommendations: Cantu Avocado Hydrating Refresher Spray ($6); Cantu Avocado Hydrating Hair Styling Mousse ($6)

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14. Curtain Bangs

Yup, curtain bangs are still holding their top spot well into fall. “People want to experiment more with fringe-style haircuts,” explains O’Connor. “This is a great place to start if you want to try the effortlessly wispy look” Ask your stylist for soft pieces that frame your face just right like Ciara here. O’Connor also points out that curly gals should use mousse to define their curl patterns, while those with straighter locks should opt for a freezing spray to keep their bangs in place. 

Stylist Recommendations: Matrix Vavoom Extra Hold Freezing Spray($26)

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