The 35 Best Natural Styles for 4C Hair, from Twist-Outs to Butterfly Locs

Confession: I am the laziest naturalista you will ever meet. And that’s putting it lightly.

For years, I combed through dozens of YouTube tutorials on natural styles for 4c hair. And yet, I always opted for the same ‘do that I’ve been rocking since my college days: the braided crown. It was quick, easy and, best of all, low-maintenance. But now, as I’m letting my hair grow, I’m finally exploring all the cool things my versatile coils can do (like being slicked back into a low ponytail or molded into butterfly locs).

Whether you’re looking for a simple ‘do after wash day or searching for your next protective style, here are 35 4c hairstyles to give you all the inspo you need.

8 Tips to Properly Care for Natural Hair, Straight From the Founder of Miss Jessie's

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1. Two-strand Twist Knots

It’ll make you look like you spent at least an hour at the salon; in actuality it takes half the time to achieve. (Don’t believe us? Take a look at the last slide.)

2. Half Up Bun, Half Down

Not sure how to style your fresh blow-out before heading to brunch? Fret not, this gorgeous style will take you ten minutes, tops.

3. Flat Twists

Another quick and easy option that works great on stretched-out 4c curls is the elegant flat twist crown. Pair it with your finest gown for the full queen effect.

4. Twist-out

We all love a shiny, voluminous twist-out. Depending on how the twists are done, you can either get super-defined coils or a loose, fluffy twist-out, both of which can last for days.

5. Twist-out Mohawk

Allow us to reintroduce the classic mohawk—but with a 4c twist. Keep it casual with a simple frohawk or spice it up by adding a twist-out or rod set.

6. Wash & Go

Yes, achieving a non-flaky, well-moisturized and defined wash and go style can be a tricky feat. Fortunately, we've got a natural hair guru who breaks down exactly how to achieve the look.

7. Frohawk With Cornrows

On the lookout for a bold new hairstyle that's red carpet-worthy? Meet your new match.

8. Slick-back Afro Puff

Laid edges not required (but if that’s your forte, you might want to check out these edge control products).

9. Space Buns

Even Gabrielle Union has rocked the trendy style.

10. Flat-twist Up-do

Pressed for time? Natural hair and beauty blogger Anastasia gives us a lesson on how to do flat twists the right way.

11. High Puff With Bangs

Let your natural curl pattern shine with this sassy ‘do. You can take things up a notch by adding a cute twist-out.

12. Cornrows With Two-strand Twists

Need a protective style that’s low maintenance? Look no further. (Just make sure to get that moisture in before styling.)

13. Rubber Band Up-do

Why settle for a plain bun when you can upgrade your style with colorful rubber bands?

14. Afro Puff Ponytail

Yes to the perfectly-shaped afro puff. (Pro tip: If you want to add volume or length, you can attach an afro puff to your bun.)

15. Bantu Knots

Crazy Eyes from Orange Is the New Black isn't the only one who can rock this iconic style.

16. Bantu Knots With Afro Puff

Bantu knots + afro puff = hair gold.

17. Hair Bow Ponytail

Honestly though, how cute is this bow? All you’ll need are some elastic hair ties, a ruler and a few bobby pins to get the look.

18. Top Knot

Sophisticated top knots, FTW. (And yes, even short-haired naturalistas can achieve the look.)

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19. Marley Twists

Whether you want to put them in a high bun or a half up, half down style, there are so many possibilities with Marley twists. The only thing you don’t want to do is head straight to bed without your silk scarf.

20. Faux Locs

Fun fact: Faux locs are even lower-maintenance than box braids, as they tend to look more natural as your hair grows in over time.

21. Kinky Twists

Natural hair guru and Melanin founder Whitney gives us the 411 on how to get these flawless Passion Spring Twists, using Beyond Beauty's Spring Twist Crochet Braids.

22. Mermaid Box Braids

Make it red, and you just might give Princess Ariel a run for her money.

23. Boho Twists

If locs and box braids aren’t your cup of tea, consider this equally chic, lightweight style with crochet hair.

24. Ombré Box Braids

Why not take your box braids to the next level with ombré colors?

25. Cornrow Ponytail With Extensions

Give your natural ponytail an upgrade by adding intricate braids—complete with laid baby hairs. (Just be mindful of how tightly your braids are done, because excess pulling on the scalp can lead to breakage.)

26. Cornrows With Twists

Yep, this gorgeous hairdo is sure to be a hit at any outing.

27. Knotless Box Braids With Space Buns

It’s official: Space buns and box braids are a match made in heaven.

28. Butterfly Locs

These stunning crochet faux locs work for any occasion. Plus, they’re versatile when it comes to styling.

29. Short Box Braids

Presenting a proper homage to Maxine Shaw, AKA one of the greatest sitcom characters of all time.

30. Charlotte Braids

Box braids with defined curls and highlights? Um, yes please.

31. Lemonade Side Braids

As they say, when life gives you lemons…get yourself a protective style that's sure to turn plenty of heads.

32. Bob Locs

Whether you go with larger faux locs or make them smaller, this fabulous style is a win-win.

33. Pocahontas Braids

It's simple, it's easy and it's great for natural gals who like to stay active. Just make sure to have your Eco Style gel handy.

34. Braided Mohawk

From the intricate cornrows to the pompadour-inspired pin-up, this style is simply mesmerizing.

35. Jumbo Cornrows

Simple cornrows are a great low-maintenance option for the colder months because it protects your strands from environmental damage. As a bonus, you can give it a fun twist with some hair jewelry.

nakeisha campbell bio

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...