The Cookbook


10 Simple Hairstyles for Short Natural Hair or TWA

More and more women are going natural by doing the Big Chop- cutting all chemically treated hair off at once, and starting fresh with healthy hair. The Big Chop is a great way to start your healthy natural hair journey! Not only does it get rid of your unhealthy hair, but it can also be liberating and empowering if you have grown over-attached to your hair.

However, hair takes a long time to grow back, so the Big Chop means committing to several years of short hair. Short hair is versatile and beautiful, but if you've had long hair for a long time, it can be hard to know what to do with your new short hair.

short natural hair

We searched the internet for short hairstyle ideas, but most of the looks we found involved getting a very specific haircut or color. We are more inspired by simple hairstyles you can achieve without a hairstylist, and by styles that won't require constant cuts or color treatments to maintain. You can achieve almost all of the 10 styles highlighted below as your hair grows from an inch long, to two inches, to four or five!

We also wanted to find hairstyles that are accessible to a range of hair textures and curl patterns. Whether you have 4C hair, 3B hair, or something in between, this guide is for you!

hydrating avokiwi hair product collection

So if you just did the Big Chop, plan to do the Big Chop soon, or have short hair for another reason, read on to learn some fun and easy ways to style short natural hair!

lupita nyongo bantu knots

1. Bantu knots.

The shorter your hair is, the smaller you’ll need to make the knots, but we love the look of small bantu knots! (We’re looking at you, Lupita Nyong’o.) If you want larger bantu knots, you can easily use extensions to make them bigger. Here is a bantu knot tutorial that uses just your natural hair!

natural hair finger waves

2. Finger waves. 

This sleek style will turn heads! Waves are so simple, yet elegant, and work on any hair length. Check out this finger waves tutorial.

twist out on short natural hair

3. Twist out. Thought twist-outs were just for long curly hair? Think again! Try smaller twists to create a stunning textured look. You can do this style on almost any hair length, and you can do it on 4c, 4b, or 4a hair. Learn how to do a twist out!

short natural hair faux hawk

4. Faux-hawk.

You don’t need as much length as you think to pull off this cute look! Here is an easy faux-hawk tutorial.

twa styles

5. Simple side part.

This style looks BOMB on tapered 4B and 4C hair, and can be achieved in a couple minutes. Combine with a vibrant color for a dazzling summer look.

flat twist twa

6. Flat twists.

These are achievable with very short hair, and they can be as simple or complex as you want. Check out this incredibly detailed tutorial for flat twists on short hair.

natural hair puff TWA

7. TWA puff.

You don’t need long hair to rock a puff! Here is a TWA puff tutorial that uses just your hair, but you can also add clip-ins or Marley hair for a bigger, higher puff.

finger coils short natural hair

8. Finger coils.

Finger coils look great on short curly hair if you’re willing to put in the time! (This might be one of the most time consuming hairstyles in this list.) Here's a tutorial for how to do finger coils on very short hair.

natural hair protective style

9. Protective style.

If none of these options sound fun and you just want to wait out the short hair phase, you can get box braids, Marley twists, or whatever protective style calls to you. Just be sure to take care of your hair in the style! Check out these myths and tips about protective styles.

wash n go twa

10. Wash n go.

One of the most beautiful things about short natural hair is that it takes so much less time to style than does long hair. Enjoy this unique phase of your natural hair journey by rocking your curl pattern with a wash n go. Here is a great wash 'n go tutorial.

Muhga Eltigani

Muhga Eltigani

After years of using products that left her hair dry, damaged, and dull, Muhga Eltigani decided to chop off her hair and start over. For 6 months, she committed to using only natural ingredients on her hair- foods from her fridge and the grocery store with names she recognized, like avocados, olive oil, coconut, baking soda, and even eggs. She found support through an online community of women like her, sharing recipes and ingredients on Youtube.

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