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As someone who grew up with thick, coarse, and by some standards long hair, I remember thinking my hair was unruly (my childhood hairstylists charged my parents extra) and could only be worn relaxed, straight, and down my back. So short hair for someone with hair like mine was a no-no because “my hair was my glory.” I imagine that response was primarily due to the myths and untruths that orbit Black hair.
Now that I’m older and wiser, in the words of India.Arie, “I am not my hair.” I took that song and made it my mantra when I cut my hair into a pixie. That was a time that proved difficult because I felt like I was constantly explaining why I cut my hair. The short answer was I was going through a difficult time and needed a change, and for some reason, the first thing that came to my mind was chopping off my hair (which I think everyone should do at least once in their life).
Whether you’ve had long hair all of your life or are currently rocking short hair and need some inspiration for a new cut, ahead are 31 styles that are ideal for thick hair that could give you your very own well-deserved, hair-changing moment.
A middle part and a blunt shoulder-length cut is a true classic that never goes out of style. Tuck your hair behind your ears or let it move about freely. Either way, it is a vibe.
Opting for a bob doesn’t mean you can’t accessorize. In fact, we say, go for the gold, add pearls, and even sparkle—or all three—to bring this beloved shape into the current moment.
We love a fringed pixie, and the great thing is they work on a variety of hair types and densities. Chat with your stylist about your lifestyle and daily routine to get a cut tailor-made for you.
We love this ’90s shape on Ambrosia as the full bangs give length and body to this cropped cut.
Full bangs with flipped length are a perfect style if you’re growing your hair out or want your hair just short enough to experiment. For thick hair, your stylist may take the weight out of the style by subtly layering the hair that frames the face.
Going full-on pixie is always stunning. To get the piecey look you see here, take a little pomade and move it through the hair.
For thick coils, a cropped, tapered fro gives the hair shape and height. Keep a spray leave-in conditioner and continuous water bottle close by to keep hair moist between wash days.
Here we see Erica’s beautiful hair texture shine through. For a bit of help making those waves shine through, try a sea salt spray.
We love a good side part, especially paired with this beautiful fro.
Lobs make an excellent shape and style for long hair, and this shoulder-length ginger style doesn’t disappoint.
Short hairstyles are full of variety and can even make way for a simple, sleek ponytail.
With this cut, you can wear your hair straight or play up your natural texture.
This ombré curly bob is both styled and lived in simultaneously, and we can’t get enough.
Leaning into the accessory trends can take a bob to new heights. Grab your go-to claw hair clip, and you’ve got a new style.
It’s the angled bob and the white headband for us. Talk about understanding the assignment.
These short two-toned locs are an excellent option for naturals looking for a protective style without too much length.
The auburn curls with the pearl accessories are a perfect match.
Thick hair, in my opinion, always looks great with a bang. In this case, my opinion still reigns true with this cropped silhouette.
Kat Graham’s French bob frames her face beautifully.
The curtain bang is all over TikTok, and we see why. To get this look, start by round brushing the bangs forward, then follow up by curling the fringe away from the face, and lastly, set the hair with a touch of hair spray.
We are obsessed with Gabi Fresh’s curly bob. This cut and shape works on various curl types, so don’t be afraid to chat with your curly stylist if you’re ready for a change.
Box braided bobs were all the rage in the ’90s, and we love that they’ve continued to make a statement long past their heyday.
To achieve this look, working with your natural hair texture is the key. For thick hair, a cream and gel product combo (a small amount) will help pull this look off.
If you’ve ever wanted to try shorter hair but have been worried if your thick hair could carry it, Priyanka Chopra’s voluminous, wavy lob proves thick hair looks great at any length.
Cut and crafted to perfection, Kim Kardashian’s chin-hugging bob is a stunner.
Opting for short hair can seem one-dimensional, but hair accessories like headbands constantly change the game.
Yes, you can get a topknot with short hair. Depending on your hair type, you’ll need different stylers to achieve a tight topknot, but it’ll be effortless once you have those down.
Layers are typically important for thick hair, especially when wearing shorter styles. If you’re ready to trade in your medium to long hair for a pixie, we think Rowan Blanchard’s layered look is a good choice.
Willow Smith’s finger coils offer up a multipurpose style. If you’re looking to have a look that lasts you for a week or so, finger coils lock in moisture and keep coily hair hydrated. However, if you’re looking to loc your hair, finger coils can create an optimal foundation.
Experimenting with your natural texture takes the right products. For wavy hair, spritz on a touch of this hydrating aloe vera, sea salt-infused mist.
This flexible, water-soluble wax adds volume, hold, and definition to pixies and everything in between.
Because shorter hair can require more heat styling, protecting your hair with a heat protectant is non-negotiable. This lightweight cream, silicone-free heat-protectant cream helps smooth, minimize, and protects hair against heat up to 450°F.
I count this treatment as a wash-day holy grail (and I’ve tried a lot of products). Formulated with rice water ferment and moringa seed extract, this mask not only has impressive slip, but it elongates and defines curls (including 4-type hair) which is ideal, especially if you want to combat shrinkage with a short cut.
With nearly a five-star rating on Amazon, we’d say this copper-plated flat iron (that remembers your temperature setting) is worth a try.
For curly and coily people with thick hair who diffuse, this dryer is the ultimate timesaver. Not to mention, it prevents my curls from frizzing and drying out during the diffusing process. Next: These Are the Only Hair Sprays Worth Buying, According to Hairstylists