Have Curly Hair? These Are the 5 Best Hair Styles for You

If you’re fed up with fighting the frizz and flattening your curly tresses into submission, then it’s time to work with it rather than against it. The straightening iron no longer has to be your constant companion when you opt for looks that embrace curly hair.

Styling this type of hair doesn’t have to be difficult; it’s more about choosing looks that effortlessly enhance your hair’s natural texture while still taming that mane. So, grab a comb (no brushing those curls out!) and try one of these five best ways to style curly or frizzy hair. Of course, the right cut and hair care is essential, too, so we also have a few tips to build the right foundation for your fabulous curls.

1. The Carrie Bradshaw

beautiful happy woman in a sunny day

Go for this classic, relaxed look. | iStock.com

Soft, slightly frizzy tendrils can be the epitome of cool and just messy enough to look incredibly sultry — just think back to Sex and the City. While this style works best on shoulder-length hair and longer, the real key is to keep your tresses soft and touchable rather than crunchy and stiff. A leave-in conditioner will help with this. And carefully drying with a diffuser on low heat while scrunching will also put your locks on the right SATC track.

2. Messy fishtail side braid

portrait of beautiful woman with fishtail braid

Try out a fishtail for an elevated braided look. | iStock.com/anastasiakhanipova

Not only is the messy fishtail side braid completely on trend, it’s perfectly fine to have a frizzy effect in this romantic ’do. It simply enhances the windswept effortlessness all the more. Tease the hair at the crown of the head for even greater impact. You can even pull out a few loose pieces around your face and within the braid to create a more airy, youthful, and modern look.

3. Wavy bob

woman with short hair

Try out this bob for shorter hair. | iStock.com

If you’ve been avoiding chopping your hair into a bob for fear of extensive styling, then we have good news for you. A tousled, wavy bob can be your new best hair friend. It can be polished or also work as a bed-head look at its finest. The added texture from curls or even a bit of frizz can actually be quite flattering to your facial features, as long as styled correctly. Apply a moisturizing, volume-boosting mousse and then wind larger sections of hair around a large-barrel curling iron to shape into random, loose waves.

4. Tousled ponytail 

mixed race woman smiling

A tousled ponytail is always in. | iStock.com/imagephotography

Let a chic ponytail work with the great volume you have. Tying your tresses back away from your face is one of the easiest styles you can accomplish, so it’s perfect for a rainy day — literally and figuratively. But you can pump up the volume by adding a braid or by styling it lower and to the side. The main thing to remember is to try and keep the top of your hair smooth with an anti-frizz and shine spray, but you can always let a few loose pieces of hair fall away to frame your face to create a softer effect.

5. Trendy top knot

woman with her hair up in a bun

The topknot is chic but relaxed. | iStock.com/LuminaStock

You’ve likely seen the top knot rocked on the treadmill and at brunch the next day. And while the look can be very polished, we actually prefer it a little less perfect. In fact, the texture helps to pump up the bun and make it look even fuller. A light mousse will help with the styling here. Sweep your locks into a high ponytail and then backcomb the strands for added volume before winding it around and pinning in place.

In addition to choosing the right style, there are a few other considerations you’ll want to take into account with curly or frizz-prone hair.

 Build an anti-frizz foundation

black woman looking at her hair

Make sure you’re using all the right products for your hair. | iStock.com

If you have curly or frizzy hair, it’s important to create a solid foundation that will put your strands on the right footing from the start. That means a daily hair care ritual is crucial. Yes, you may have to spend more time than some ladies, but it will be worth it when you have luscious locks as a result.

Hydration is key to your anti-frizz formula, and it starts with a curl-enhancing shampoo and conditioner that will appropriately moisturize your hair without weighing it down or stripping it of its natural oils. For even greater effect, try applying a deep conditioner to your hair and tuck it into a shower cap before you hop in the tub. The steam from the shower will lock in the moisture.  You really don’t need to completely wash out all the conditioner, either.

After you get out of the shower, apply a leave-in conditioner or a serum that’s specially designed to moisturize curls. These types of products will not only hydrate, but also help create a humidity-resistant barrier. Coconut oil is also a good, all-natural way to add extra shine.

When towel-drying the hair, don’t rub too aggressively. It is better to blot gently. Try “pineappling” your hair by piling it into a loose bun atop your head while it’s drying. This will keep gravity from pulling the curls downward, which can contribute to frizz. It’s also best to avoid blow-drying frizz-prone hair because it often ends up looking fuzzy rather than fantastic.

Get the right cut

hairdresser curling woman's hair

Make sure your hair is cut well, too. | iStock.com/grinvalds

Lastly, make sure you have the right hair cut. Curly hair often looks best when it’s shoulder length or longer. Layers throughout, especially to frame the face, are also essential to keep any style from looking boxy or heavy. This also supports ringlets to keep them looking as full and healthy as possible without any heaviness. Just make sure the shortest layers aren’t cut too short to avoid a fluffy effect; no higher than the chin or collarbone is a good marker.

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