8 Natural Bridal Hairstyles That Will Elevate Your Wedding Day Look

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Growing up, whenever I envisioned my wedding day, I always pictured myself with long, flowy hair—the opposite of my kinky 4C coils. Wearing my natural hair in mini twists for my recent engagement, however, completely changed my vision. Not only did I feel confident in my natural texture, but I also felt completely myself—a feeling, I’ve found, is imperative to enjoying milestone moments. “Wearing natural hair [on your wedding day] can boost confidence and empower Black brides to feel proud of their cultural heritage and individuality,” says Keziah Jones, founder of Black-owned bridal makeup and hair company, The Key Look. “Embracing natural hair on such a significant occasion can be a powerful statement of self-love and acceptance.”

The misconception that wedding hairstyles for Black women have to be long and straight is out. Now, brides-to-be can look to a vast list of textured hairstyle options that are beautiful and elegant enough for even the most momentous occasions. If you’re unsure how to start ideating your wedding hairstyle, Jones says to consider your hair texture first. “Black hair comes in various textures: curly, coily, or kinky. So choose a hairstyle that complements your natural texture and makes you feel comfortable and confident,” says Jones. For example, kinky type 4 coils may not lend well to a messy bun style like wavy type 3 curls would.

Also, think about the weather—depending on the season and location of your wedding, the climate may affect your hairstyle. “Humidity, wind, or rain can impact certain styles, so choose one that will hold up throughout the day,” says Jones. Lastly, the wedding outfit ultimately determines the hairstyle. “Your chosen hairstyle should complement the overall theme of your wedding and work well with your dress,” says Jones. “Doesn’t matter if it’s an updo, braids, twists, or a natural afro, make sure it harmonizes with your overall bridal look.”

Whether you want to let your Afro do its thing or are looking for a more structured style, the possibilities are just about endless. For my own wedding day, I’m currently envisioning a braided crown bun or curly updo. Below, discover bridal hairstyles that let your natural hair shine in all its glory.

Classic Twist Out

Nichelle Bancey

You can’t go wrong with letting your curls out for your wedding day. Wearing your hair in its natural state practically guarantees you’ll exude confidence. If your hair is prone to shrinkage, try putting it in twists a few days before the wedding and unraveling them the morning of. If you opt for a twist out, braid out, or flexi/perm rod set to define your fro, New New York City-based hairstylist Monae Everett suggests reaching for the Doux Mousse Def Texture Foam, as it “provides a strong hold and does not flake.”

The Doux

The Doux Mousse Def Texture Foam

Bedazzled Mohawk

Monae Everett

Make a statement with this bedazzled mohawk style. Everett created this hair look using Dosso Beauty Kinky hair. “I divided the hair into sleek ponytails vertically down the head using the Design Essentials Max Hold Edge Control,” says Everett. To fashion the mohawk, Everett braided the length of each ponytail, before braiding all the ponytails together and pinning the ends. Use a tacky gel like the Got2Be Glue Gel to attach rhinestones to the side of your head for a touch of sparkle.

Dosso Beauty

Dosso Beauty Marley Hair

Design Essentials

Design Essentials Sleek Max Edge Control

Göt2B

Got2b Glued Styling Spiking Hair Gel

Baby’s Breath Crown

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A short Afro adorned with a baby’s breath crown makes for an ethereal bridal hairstyle. The beauty of this look is its simplicity; it comes together quickly and easily. You can make a baby’s breath crown on your own, but if you don’t have a DIY spirit, Etsy has many whimsical options.

If your hair is too fine or short to secure accessories directly, Jones says wearing a headband as a base is the best solution. “You can attach flowers or other accessories to the headband for a stylish and secure fit,” says Jones. Opting for smaller headpieces will also help the style last all night. “Lightweight flower crowns or accessories won’t weigh down your short hair and are easier to secure, making it less likely to slip or move around,” says Jones.

Blonde Finger Waves

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For edgy brides, a sharp style like Jodie Turner Smith’s platinum buzz cut with finger waves is a great way to go. This look requires minimal styling—perfect for a no-fuss bride—but the result is still stunning. “Smoothing your curls with pomades, mousses, and gels will help keep [the waves] in place as you style,” Everett previously told Allure. She recommends using the Mizani Styling Foam (for its non-flaky hold) and Eco Styler Argan Oil Gel (to add moisture and hold).

Mizani

Mizani Styling Foam Hair Mousse

Eco Style

Eco Style Moroccan Argan Oil Styling Gel

Pearly Baby Hairs

Olivia Hancock

Any natural hairstyle is made infinitely more elegant with dramatic baby hairs. Add dainty pearls between each swirl and you have a beautiful bridal hairstyle. To really let your edges shine, pull your hair back into a curly ponytail and carve out your baby hairs using a stronghold gel. Everett recommends the Got2B Ultra Guled Invincible Styling Hair Gel which will keep your edges intact from the ceremony to the end of the reception.

Göt2B

Got2B Ultra Glued Invincible Styling Hair Gel

Anezus

Anezus Pearl Stickers

Flower Bun

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Ever since Taraji P. Henson showed up to the 2024 Met Gala in this pink floral bun, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. This hairstyle wowed on the carpet, so you can imagine how stunning it would be coming down the aisle. Choose floral hair accessories that match the color palette of your wedding to tie everything together. The Key Look hairstylist Jenever Volf recommends using bobby pins to securely fasten the flower hair accessories to the bun. “Crisscross the pins for extra hold to ensure that the accessory stays in place throughout the day,” says Volf.

Jennifer Behr

Jennifer Behr Susanna Hair Pins

Perfectly Messy Bun

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This effortless curly bun would look gorgeous just about anywhere, but especially on your wedding day. The wispy tendrils falling out of the updo give it an undone vibe that would work well for a bohemian theme or add a relaxed element to a sleek or modern aesthetic.

When creating this style, Volf suggests starting with a strong ponytail base. “Make sure the ponytail is tight and secure to maintain the sleek look,” says Volf. Then, reach for a wand curler (we love the Pattern Beauty Interchangeable Curling Iron), using a ¾ inch barrel to create medium-sized curls before fashioning your bun. Then use a ⅜ inch barrel to create small curls that cascade down.

Pattern Beauty Interchangeable Curling Iron

Bumble and Bumble

Bumble and Bumble Does It All Light Hold Hairspray

To get this style to last through all the festivities, you’ll need a lot of bobby pins and a generous spritz of hairspray. “A light-hold hairspray will set the style in place and ensure long-lasting hold throughout the day,” says Volf. We love the Bumble and bumble Does It All Light Hold Hairspray, which has oat and corn starch in the formula to help keep the hair from reacting to moisture while you dance the night away.

Curly Ponytail

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Gabrielle Union has been inspiring the girls with beautiful natural hairstyles for years, and this voluminous ponytail is one of my favorites, especially for brides. The slicked-back style allows your face to be front and center while the cascade of curls from the high ponytail add just the right amount of drama. The For Kurls Drawstring Ponytail from Heatfree Hair is an easy way to achieve this look—just slick your natural hair into a high bun and attach the ponytail. For a sleek ponytail base, “brush your hair up using a boar bristle brush or a fine-tooth comb to ensure that your hair is smooth and free of any bumps or flyaways as you brush it up,” says Volf. Fluff out the ponytail extension for more volume and you’re ready to say “I do.”

For Kurls

For Kurls Drawstring Ponytail

Braided Ponytail

This elevated twist on a braided ponytail was practically made for brides. Everett created this look by fashioning two ponytails vertically in the center of the head. “I added Biolage Gelée Styler along the hairline and at the parts to set the ponytails in place,” says Everett. Then, she elongated the hair by adding braiding hair extensions as she plaited the two ponytails. Add hair pearl pins all throughout the braids and stick-on pearls along the sides of the head for a regal finishing touch.

Biolage

Biolage Styling Gelée

Willbond

Willbond Pearl Hair Pins

Locs Updo

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The amount of creative styles Halle Bailey can wear her locs in is impressive. This woven bun pulls the actor’s long locs out of her face to reveal her stunning bone structure. Artfully swoop your baby hairs like Bailey, fasten a veil at the top of the updo, and you have a poised bridal hairstyle.


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