It’s safe to say 2020 hasn’t exactly gone the way most of us planned. Yet sometimes change is a necessary and powerful thing, no matter how uncomfortable it might be at the time. As most of us emerge from quarantine and are finding new ways to embrace the beauty of our melanin we are looking to make some physical changes too. 

This summer, after spending months on lockdown, so many of us want to re-enter the world like a butterfly emerges from a cocoon. We want a fresh look, to reinvent ourselves, and to find a standout way to celebrate our unique individual hair types.

Knowing which summer 2020 natural hair trends are best for you and your hair can be difficult and so can the decision to make a dramatic change. We’re helping you out by breaking down the top five natural hairstyles for the summer, what to expect when getting each of the hairstyles, how to best maintain them, and how to know what big change is the right one for you.

Why It’s The Perfect Time For A Change

It seems like everything right now is changing, and most of it is for the better. There has been a major push to devote 15% of retail shelves to black-owned businesses and products, to cast more black models in mainstream ads, and to celebrate natural hair in all its glorious forms. 

Recently, there’s been a definite increase in textured hair influencers, celebrities, and a larger social media presence of natural haired-beauties. There has also been a shift for mainstream media to include more diverse content and stores to have more readily-available natural hair products. With all these improvements it’s no wonder why so many of us with curls and coils are excited to explore new ways to style our hair that go beyond the traditional weaves and chemical relaxers. 

We love the creativity of protective styling and Instagram-friendly hair trends that are much more inclusive. Now is the perfect time to celebrate your hair and learn new ways to embrace and style it.

Let’s also not forget, summer is a time to have fun! There’s something about the sun shining that makes us want to wear happy floral prints, bright lipstick, and rock a bold new ‘do. Though you should have fun styling your hair all year round, summer presents the perfect opportunity to be as playful as you want with your hair.

Discover The Top Natural Hair Trends 

The beauty of textured, curly, and coily hair lays in its versatility. From extravagant braids and edgy cuts to an effortless wash-and-go, there are endless styling opportunities for you to choose from.

We’ve detailed the five biggest natural hair trends for 2020 below but keep in mind, this is not the time to play it safe. The best natural hairstyles this summer are all about being bold and taking risks.

The Big Chop

Structured cuts are all the rage right now and for good reason. There’s something so elegant and timeless about a short ‘do (hello Halle Berry!) especially in the hotter summer months. The bonus? In addition to looking fabulous, making the big chop helps your hair grow back stronger and healthier than ever.

Going short can mean something different for everyone since there are a variety of different styles to choose from. When going short for example, you can opt for a buzz cut, a tapered cut, or an undercut. 

A full buzz cut or fade is the most “drastic” natural hairstyle change but it comes with the least amount of maintenance. It takes hours off your hair care routine and you don’t have to always worry about going to bed with a scarf or bonnet. Plus it’s easy to dress up, it makes your makeup (especially a bold lip) pop and allows you to go extra funky with your jewelry.  

A tapered cut or ‘fro leaves you with slightly more hair than a full buzz cut as the hair on top of your head is longer than the sides and back. While you can always go for a full high top, this updated version is customizable to your unique curl pattern and personal style. Having shorter sides lets the hair on top to look bigger and longer, allowing your curl pattern to truly shine. 

As opposed to a buzz cut, this style will require more upkeep and trips to the salon as you’ll need more frequent cuts to maintain the structure of the hairstyle. 

Lastly, an undercut is probably the most edgy of all three haircuts but is still super versatile and feminine. For this look you don’t need to cut all your hair but just the lower portion which usually involves shaving a spot at the nape of your neck. While you can play up undercuts, they are also super easy to hide simply by letting down your curls to cover it when you want to.

What’s great about undercuts is how much you can customize them, from borders and faded edges to intricate lines and designs, you can really make this style your own. Plus, they add some pizazz to updos and ponytails. Just be sure to communicate with your stylist about what your goals are (it’s always good to bring an inspo pic to your appointment).

What to know: While some of the hairstyles on this list are achievable at home, you shouldn’t attempt a DIY haircut, especially one as bold as these. Go to a professional stylist and make sure they are cutting your hair dry. This is super important as your curls look and feel different when they’re wet versus dry. Cutting dry makes sure your haircut is even and allows all your different curl patterns to be taken into account.

Another thing to keep in mind when making the cut is that short hair isn’t immune to dryness or damage and just because there is technically less hair, you shouldn’t neglect it. In fact, you should treat your shorter strands with extra love. Employ the LOC method and keep your curls hydrated and healthy so they can grow back better than ever. 

With a unique blend of Castor oil, Argan oil, Coconut oil, Olive oil, and Grapeseed oil, our African Pride 5 Essential Oils is the perfect formula to nourish strands and lock in moisture. 

african pride 5 essential oils

Is it right for you?:

A big chop is great for everyone but especially if you’re not afraid of an edgy look, you live in a warm climate and want to keep cool, you don’t have time and/or dislike the upkeep of longer hair, or you have severely damaged hair.

Embellished Braids

Whether you’re going for trendy knotless box braids or those ever-fabulous Gabrielle Union braids give your summer hairstyle a little more oomph with some extra decoration.

This style has been gaining traction, especially on social media, and for good reason. Embellished braids can be adorned with almost any hair jewelry like yarn, beads, cuffs, shells, and rings to make a statement and showcase your personality. 

They are also a great way to pay homage to your ancestry. Fulani braids for example, are a meaningful historical hairstyle from West Africa and incorporate a unique braided pattern with beaded accessories. From extra-long braided cornrows, colorful extensions, or short braided buns, this hairstyle can be customized to your hair type and curl pattern. 

What to know: This can be DIY’d and customized to your preference which makes it a very versatile style. However, it typically looks best when combined with hair extensions. While you can do this hairstyle at home it will take some practice, work, and patience. It might be easier to get it professionally done or employ the help of a friend or relative.

african pride braid loc and twist gel

This hairstyle also requires a fair amount of products like yarn, string, smoothing cream, and our Black Castor Miracle Extra Hold Braid, Loc, & Twist Gel so be sure to gather everything you need before you get started.

Is it right for you?:

This isn’t always the most practical of hairstyles as it typically only lasts about 2-4 weeks. This is the perfect look however, if you are planning on attending a special party or event, want to practice your DIY skills, or need a fresh look for the ‘gram.

Passion Twists

The product of goddess locs and Senegalese twists, this stop-and-stare hairstyle has been everywhere lately. It’s effortless-looking boho vibe makes it the perfect summer hairstyle. Miami-based hairstylist Kailyn Rogers created Passion Twists as she wanted a look that was easy to maintain but still glamorous.

These twists work on every type of hair and length, though will tend to work best with shoulder length hair or longer. To achieve this look, approach it as you would with any two-strand twists. Start with clean, dry, and stretched hair, next section your hair into several small sections, smoothing with a hydrating gel.

Twist hair around Water Wave braiding hair and tie around root, twisting hair all the way to the ends of hair. Repeat this all over your head until every section is twisted.

What to know: Unlike other intricate protective hairstyles and locs, Passion Twists are easy enough to install by yourself at home. While you can attempt this style on your natural hair you will likely need to incorporate special passion twist extension.

 These fabulous twists can last up to 2 months, depending on your hair type and how well you maintain them.

Is it right for you?:

You want a show stopping look that’s slightly more toned down than embellished braids. You want a relatively low-maintenance protective style that captures a carefree boho look.

Get Bangin’

Most of us grew up thinking having bangs only worked on straightened hair, oh how wrong we were. Curly bangs are a youthful way to frame your face. This is also a great look for those a little on the fence about making a drastic change.

The great thing about bangs is that they allow your natural curl texture to shine. If you’re worried that bangs won’t be very versatile don’t worry. You can slick or braid them back, let them flow, or part them to the side, there are so many styling options. Plus, when the rest of your hair is in a protective style it’s a striking look to leave your bangs out. Be sure to create standout definition in your bangs by applying a hydrating cream like our Moisture Miracle Flaxseed Oil Curling Cream.

shea butter and flaxseed oil curling cream

What to know: Coily and 4C girls shouldn’t fear this look, it’s a great way to showcase your curls and coils and will work no matter your hair type. However, this hairstyle requires regular trims to keep hair out of your eyes, typically every four to six months. 

Is it right for you?:

Bangs work for every type of hair and curl pattern! However, if you’re a super active person who works out daily, bangs might be more of a nuisance as you won’t want anything in your face

The Natural Wash n’ Go

Being quarantined for months led to an explosion of people embracing their natural hair type and texture. Indeed it became much easier (and cheaper) to go all natural and it gave most of us the time our natural curls and coils needed to repair and flourish. 

African Pride’s foolproof Coily Girl Method is a 5-step wash day routine that ensures hydrated, nourished hair. You can read about this method in more detail here.

To begin, detangled unwashed hair with a gentle Pre-Shampoo. This lightweight cream moisturizes and detangles hair using the natural benefits of Aloe Vera and Coconut Water. It works to condition, protect and remove tangles from natural coils; leaving hair easy to manage during cleansing and styling. 

african pride aloe and coconut water pre-shampoo bottle

Next, clean and condition hair with our sulfate-free Coconut Oil Shampoo and Coconut Oil Conditioner. This moisturizing combination removes dirt and buildup without stripping your strands of their natural oils. Still skipping shampoo? Studies have shown that this can be damaging to your hair’s overall health. 

The last thing you want to do after all that work is to have your coils dry out again right?

Adding a few spritzes of Leave-In Conditioner ensures curls are hydrated and manageable. Next you want to define moisturize curls. Whether you’re doing a twist out, braid out, or finger coils, our Flaxseed Oil Curling Cream provides tons of moisture and definition without all the frizz and flakes. 

If you are putting your hair into a protective style or letting your curls flow, it’s important to seal in all that moisture. Apply a few drops of our nourishing African Pride 5 Essential Oils to replenish your hair’s natural nutrients, protect against breakage, and promote natural hair growth. 

What to know: Your unique curls are a part of you and elevate your natural beauty. Caring for your curls is just as important as how you take care of the rest of your body. Depending on your exact hair type and pattern you may need to alter the frequency of these steps or how much product you use. 

Wash-and-go’s are all about embracing your natural texture. It’s important to work with your hair and not try to fight against its natural shape. 

Is it right for you?:

This is right for everyone! Especially those with dry hair or coily curl types.