Need more hairstyles that work with your bodacious curls? This list of mixed race cute hairstyles for curly hair has you covered. Whether you’re rocking big, loose ringlets, tight spirals, or kinky coils, you’ll see lots of pretty options for all occasions in our guide!
Check out the hairstyles that work best with your curls, get curl-specific styling tips, and learn how to do classic and trendy styles that make the most of your curly texture. Keep scrolling to get started!
Mixed Race Cute Hairstyles for Curly Hair Tips
- Stick with mainly styles that take advantage of your curl + volume
- Use clips, elastics, buns, braids, and twists to create cute styles
- Try protective styles for pretty looks that last for weeks
When it comes to mixed race cute hairstyles for curly hair, it’s best to stick with styles that showcase and build on your natural texture and volume. You’re likely working with “in between” texture that’s coarser than most straight and wavy hair types, but not quite as thick and wiry as truly coarse strands.
Your curl type may be big and loose wine cork-sized ringlets with a medium texture (3A), tight corkscrew pencil-sized curls with medium-coarse texture (3C), tightly wound Z-shaped coils with a coarse texture (4B), or any curl type in between.
If you don’t know your curl type, it’s really helpful to find out before you begin to check out specific mixed race cute hairstyles for curly hair. We’ll cover that in just a bit.
Hairstyles that work for your strands should not only take full advantage of your natural curl and volume, but they should also look great, be simple to style, and keep your strands healthy and strong.
This is why we prioritize easy styles that use clips, ponytails, buns, braids, and twists to shape and arrange curly hair in the cutest ways. From simple claw clip “updos” to ballerina buns, twists, and protective braid styles, there are so many ways to contour and sculpt your curly mane into gorgeous styles that don’t take ages to create.
Determining Your Curl Type
Creating the best hairstyles on mixed race strands (typically medium-coarse texture) starts with determining your true curl type. Everyone has a hair type, whether their strands are fine and pin-straight (1A) or extremely kinky/coily and coarse (4C).
Knowing what your hair type (or in your case, curl type) is will help your curls reach their full potential with lots of bounce, definition, and shine. Having this solid foundation will make any curly hairstyle you try look a million times better!
The 3A Hair Type
- Big, loose ringlets with fine to medium texture
- Wine cork curl circumference
- Lots of body with some frizz
The 3B Hair Type
- Medium-sized curls with medium texture
- Sharpie curl circumference
- Bouncy curls that tend to be frizzy
The 3C Hair Type
- Smaller corkscrew curls with medium-coarse texture
- Pencil curl circumference
- Springy S-shaped curls that tend to be frizzy
The 4A Hair Type
- Tight corkscrew coils with medium to coarse texture
- Defined S- or O-shaped coils
- Tiny curls that tend to be dry and frizzy
The 4B Hair Type
- Zigzag coils with medium to coarse texture
- Less defined than 4A coils
- Tiny, kinky coils that are always thirsty for moisture
The 4C Hair Type
- Very kinky, angled coils with coarse texture
- Little coil definition
- Highly textured with most shrinkage and dryness
Pro Tip: Not sure about your hair type? Take our “What Type of Hair Do I Have” quiz!
20 Mixed Race Cute Hairstyles for Curly Hair
Now that you’ve nailed down your curl type, let’s check out some of the best mixed race cute hairstyles for curly hair! From simple, sophisticated looks that let your natural texture shine to relaxed, casual looks and long-lasting protective styles, you’re going to find tons of new styles to try below!
1. Chic French Twist With Boosted Volume
Wrangling those curls doesn’t mean you need to straighten, relax, or braid them into submission! Try a chic French twist for added control while showing off your texture. Bring your hair into a low ponytail without securing it.
Twist it tightly in one direction to form a coil while pointing the coiled ponytail vertically upward. Once the twist is tight, use bobby pins to secure the ends “inside” the twist to hide them. Add pins down the length of the twist for added security.
2. High Ponytail With Split French Bangs
A high ponytail is spirited and high-energy without requiring tons of effort. It’s a low-key, casual look that keeps your hair out of your face while putting your curly texture front and center. And it’s super easy to do! We love this look with a split French bang.
Gather your hair into a high ponytail near or in front of your crown for height. This extra height is what makes the pony stand out and highlight your curls!
Make sure it’s tight and make the ponytail as neat or messy as you’d like. Split your curls to fan them out a bit for more volume. Split your French bangs in the middle for some face-framing magic and you’re set!
3. Deep Side Part With Golden Brown and Honey Blonde
Bright, golden color with golden brown and honey blonde is really the focal point of this super-simple style. A deep side part stacks most of your hair on one side for a volume boost that works really well on round and square face shapes.
You can use a little gel and curl cream to bring out your natural curl definition and give your curls more shape-ability for this style. Create a deep side part – in line with your temples – for the most volume to show off your strands.
4. Messy High Scrunchy Bun
Scrunchies are trendy again because they’re so cute and practical! Choose a big scrunchy with a strong elastic for a messy bun. It’ll be strong enough to hold your bun in place, and the larger/puffier the scrunchy is, the more it’ll show up in the finished style.
Gather your hair into a high ponytail and secure it with an elastic at or near the crown. Make the ponytail as neat or messy as you’d like.
For this kind of style, leaving a few lumps and bumps is preferable. Twist your ponytail loosely to avoid compressing your curls and wrap the twist around the base of the ponytail. Secure with a scrunchy to finish the look.
5. Relaxed Curls With Double Baby Braids
This style works whether you’ve used a relaxer to straighten out your curls or are working with your natural texture. Double baby braids hang loosely at the front of the style to frame your face and add a little more texture to your ‘do.
Create 2 sections on each side of a middle part in front of your ears (4 sections total) to start. Braid a simple 3-strand braid down each section and secure with a clear or black elastic near the ends.
Style the rest of your hair however you’d like – simple curled ends or straight texture works for relaxed hair, while natural, bouncy curls look great, too!
6. Scarf Spillover Updo
A scarf spillover updo puts your curly texture in the spotlight while keeping your strands nicely contained and out of the way. This is the perfect look for a summer day or to rock while running errands!
Start by situating a scarf centered at the back of your head with your head upside down. This leaves the ends free to “spill out” of the scarf.
Bring the ends of the scarf around the front to twist and tie it securely. If your scarf is very large, you may need to tuck and twist a few times. Arrange your curls and top with a little shine serum to finish!
7. Tapered Bob With Curly Side Bangs
Big, bouncy 3A and 3B curls look amazing in a short, tapered bob. Tapering the cut keeps it from being bottom-heavy and helps prop up your curls.
Adding in a side bang brings your texture front and center for a cute, everyday look. Start off by adding your preferred curl products to define and shape your curls. Use a little anti-frizz serum to keep the frizz at bay for this look.
Dry your curls upside-down using a diffuser to maximize volume and definition. Let your bangs hang naturally after creating a side part for the cutest, casual look!
8. Low Puff Ponies With Split Bangs
You saw the French bangs paired with a high ponytail earlier, and this style uses the same framework to create an easy, trendy look. Two low puff ponies are perfect for styling 4A to 4C coils in just a few minutes.
Create a middle part and secure each half of your hair into a low ponytail. Fluff your hair out by separating your coils to create more volume in each ponytail. Style your bottleneck bangs by splitting them down the center and finger-styling with a little gel or curl cream for hold. That’s it!
9. Defined Spiral Curls
These supremely-defined, bouncy ringlets are a cross between the shape and size of 3A curls (wine cork circumference) and the tightness and definition of 3B curls. The result is a gorgeous texture with tons of shine and perfect shape!
A style this defined starts with product layering. In wet or damp hair, add your products in the following order:
- Leave-in conditioner (after washing)
- Lightweight mousse for definition
- Curl cream for control and definition
- Styling gel for hold and shine
Then, you can either diffuse your curls until dry, finger twist for the most definition and minimal frizz, or “plop” your hair in a very high ponytail until dry. Add shine serum once dry to finish the look!
10. Tied Scarf Headband
Scarves are such an easy way to dress up an otherwise basic “down and loose” style. On day 2 (or 3, or 4…) hair, tying in a scarf headband makes it simple to switch up the look without pulling your hair up just yet.
Find a cute scarf pattern or color and fold it a few times into a long, rectangular shape. Hold onto the ends and center the folded scarf at the nape of your neck.
Bring both ends up to the top center of your head and tie the scarf. Slide the scarf over to put the tie on the side to copy this look, or flip the bow all the way to the nape of your neck to hide it.
11. High Bun With Tied Scarf Headband and Face-Framing Pieces
Scarves are also a great way to accessorize and dress up second-day hair when you’re ready to pull it up! This simple accessory elevates a basic bun into something a little more chic and stylish. Create a high bun and pull a few curls loose to give it a lived-in look.
Pull out two or three thin, face-framing pieces in front for a softer look. Fold the scarf over itself until it forms a long, thin rectangle and center it at the nape of your neck. Bring the ends up and tie it, tucking the extra fabric under the scarf to get this cute result.
12. Bantu Knots
Twisted Bantu knots are a cool protective style that can last for a few days to a week and look cute every second of the day in the meantime! These imaginative knots wind your curls into sturdy, coiled buns and create beautifully uniform curls when you take them down. It’s like 2 styles in one!
Section your product-prepped hair into areas the size of your choice. Use a rattail comb to make the sections precise.
Clip each section as you work to keep everything tidy. Twist and coil the hair in each section tightly to create tiny coiled buns that stack. Use pins, elastics, or both to secure your knots.
13. Half-Back Easy Updo
Half-up and half-back styles are one of our favorites for all hair types, but especially curly hair! You get to take full advantage of your volume and texture while keeping your strands out of your face with an easy look like this.
Take hair from your ear to your middle part line on each side and bring it to the back. Secure the two sections together with an elastic, hair clip, or even a coiled bun to complete the look. So simple and perfect for everyday wear!
14. Jumbo Cornrows
Take classic cornrows and jumbo-fy (yes, we made that up) them for a super cute and easier style for curly hair! Making the cornrows bigger makes them a lot less time-consuming and much simpler.
Cleanly section your product-prepped curls into 5 or so vertical sections from the front hairline to the back. Clip temporarily to hold them separately.
French braid tightly from the front to the back and secure with small elastics to hold each braid. Repeat for all sections and rock your jumbo cornrows for a week or so before taking down to reveal pretty waves!
15. Sleek and Chic Curled Ends
If you’re planning to straighten or relax your hair, this is a great style to keep in your back pocket. Simplistic, chic, and sleek, it doesn’t take much time to finish and works for laid-back or more formal events.
After straightening your hair (or relaxing it chemically), use a large-barreled curling iron to curl the bottom third of your hair away from your face. Make sure to apply heat protectant spray first to avoid damaging your hair! Part it on the side or down the middle to suit your style.
16. Sophisticated Low Pony
A low ponytail is synonymous with style and sophistication. Plus, it couldn’t be easier to do and works on all hair types and curl types! The curlier your hair is, the more voluminous your low pony will be – and the more character it’ll have.
Create a middle part and firmly brush each side of your hair down and back to gather it at the nape of your neck.
Secure tightly with an elastic and use a pretty hair clip or barrette to top it off! Finish with some hairspray and/or shine serum to add hold and extra glisten to your strands.
17. Tightly Coiled Ballerina Bun
The model’s hair is relaxed and straight in this example, but a tightly coiled ballerina bun works really well on ultra-curly hair, too. Whether your hair is relaxed, curly, or coily, you’ll find that this is an easy style you’ll return to again and again.
Brush and gather your hair into a high ponytail, making it as neat as possible. You can follow through with a fine-toothed comb to eliminate any bumps.
Secure the ponytail at your crown tightly and coil the hair around in one direction before wrapping the coil around the base. Secure with bobby pins and finish with hairspray for a longer-lasting style.
18. Dutch Boxer Braids
This style is really similar to the jumbo cornrows we checked out earlier, but it’s even simpler and quicker to pull off! Sporty Dutch braids are done just like French braids, but you weave sections under (unlike French braids, where you weave over) to make the braids sit “on top” of the hair.
Split your hair into 2 sections with a middle part. Pick up a small section at the front hairline on one side and begin Dutch braiding along the side of your head, moving closer to the center as you reach the back. Finish and secure the braid and repeat for the other side.
19. Coiled Space Buns
Space buns give us all the nostalgic feels and look super cute on curly hair! They’re easy and quick to style – the most difficult part is making sure you get both buns at the same height and placement!
Create a middle part and secure one side with a scrunchy or clip for now. Brush the loose side upward to gather it into a high ponytail near the center or further off to the side – your choice.
Twist and coil the ponytail to wrap it around the base, forming space bun #1. Secure with an elastic and bobby pins for more security. Repeat on the other side, ensuring the two buns line up.
20. Big Loose Curls
Love the wild and free look of big, loose curls but have a tighter or kinkier curl type? No problem! You can start with your natural texture for this style and use a large-barreled curling iron to create these mega ringlets.
It does take some time, but the results are worth it! Apply your styling products in advance (we recommend curl cream and styling gel) and spray on heat protectant evenly.
Heat a large-barreled curling iron to your preferred temperature and take 1-1.5 inch sections to curl. Use larger sections for faster curling and looser curls. Finish with lightweight hairspray to leave a little bounce in your curls!
Style Tips and Things to Consider
What else should you know about trying these mixed race cute hairstyles for curly hair? Here are our best styling tips and considerations for curly strands with a medium to coarse texture.
- Layer your curl products properly. Apply your products to soaking wet hair for the best results. Use this order to get the most definition, shape, and bounce from your curls: Leave-in conditioner, lightweight mousse, curl cream, and styling gel. Finish with heat protectant spray if you’ll be heat styling.
- Consider trying the Curly Girl Method. The CGM prioritizes select products that avoid harsh ingredients (alcohols, silicones, sulfates, etc.) that interfere with curl definition, health, and texture. It also involves using special curl-enhancing techniques that better shape and define your curls for better styling results. Learn more about the Curly Girl Method next.
- Go longer between washes. It’s better for your hair to wash less often and let your natural oils do their magic to hydrate and nourish your strands. If you’re not sure how often you should wash your hair, aim for shampooing once every 3-7 days (err on the longer side if your hair is coarse).
- Try longer-lasting protective styles. If you find yourself sick of going through so many steps to perfectly define and style your curls daily, longer-lasting protective styles are a great solution. Braids, twists, knots, locs, and buns keep your strands cleanly contained in pretty natural hairstyles so you can spend less time managing your mane.
On wash day and for a day or two afterward, you can rely on some of the down and loose styles you’ve seen in this guide.
Half-up styles work well for second and third-day hair, while updos, ponytails, and braids are perfect for hair that you’re not quite ready to wash, but isn’t as perfectly defined and fresh as it was on wash day.
If you’re mixed race, cute hairstyles for curly hair don’t have to be difficult, time-consuming, or boring. You have a great texture and curl pattern that creates the basis for so many pretty hairstyles! Get creative and branch out with your styles to keep things interesting. Your curls deserve it!