Natural & Transitioning Hairstyle Gallery for Ideas and Styling Inspiration

Hairstyle for Transitioners and Natural Hair

[See my favorite hair products here.]

A subscriber (Hey, DLT!) was searching for one of my natural hairstyles and couldn’t find it.

She suggested I create a hairstyle gallery so all my styles are on one page.

Your wish is my command. :)

Below I’ve divided the page by style with links to videos/tutorials.  Unfortunately I’ve been a little lazy about taking pictures lately, but I will be more diligent in the future so I can continue to update this page.

Many of these styles can be worn on both transitioning and natural hair.  If you’re still transitioning, add perm rods to the ends when appropriate.

Curious about products I use?  Click here.

Rod Sets

Rod sets are great because you can wear them when you’re transitioning or natural.

My First Rod Set on All Natural Hair

Rod Set Natural Hair

On day 6, I added a headband to mask the sides that had been smushed from sleeping.  The rest of the curls held up well.

Old Rod Set Natural Hair

To see the full list of products used and a video tutorial of this hairstyle, click here.

Rod Set With Flat Twists

This was the first time I was able to flat twist going upward (8 months transitioning).  If I can learn to do this, anyone can!  Just keep practicing. :)

Rod Set With Flat Twists

Here’s the video for this style.

Rod Set With Pompadour

I was transitioning when I created this style.

Rod Set Transitioning

Click here to see a video tutorial of this hairstyle.

A Beanie With Curly Bangs

Rod Set With Beanie on Natural Hair

A fun, easy style with rod set bangs and a beanie.  Click to see how I created this hair style.

natural hair t shirts

Flat Twists

Slanted Flat Twist Up Do

This is my favorite flat twist style.  Sorry there’s not a clearer pic of the hairstyle.  I didn’t really have any good still shots so I took a screenshot from the video.  I was 12 months into my transition here.

flat twist slanted

Watch me create this hairstyle.

Flat Twist Bun

This is a great protective style for both transitioners and naturalistas.

Flat Twist Bun

Click here for a video tutorial of this style.

Flat Twist Up Do

I wasn’t a fan of this style at first, but it grew on me.  Another great transitioning style.  Just rod the ends.

Flat Twist Up Do

Here’s the video tutorial.

Flat Twist Pony

If your hair is not long enough to make it to a ponytail, this is a way to “fake it till ya make it.” :)   I was nearing the end of my transition here and needed something casual and simple.

flatTwistPony

I don’t have a video for this exact style, but here’s another variation with bangs.

Flat Twists “To the Side”

Another flat twist style you can wear in twists and take the loose twists down for a twist out.

Flat Twist to the Side

Flat Twist to The Side

Click to watch the video.

Flat Twists & Two-Strand Twists

I wore this style near the end of my transition.  My hair was almost all natural with the exception of a few ends here and there.  This was the first time I could wear two strand twists without rodding the ends.

Flat Twists and Two Strand Twists

The Puff/Pony

If you’re still transitioning, you can still wear puffs, just use small perm rods to curl the ends.

Mini Twist Out Pony

This is a ponytail I created after wearing my hair in mini twists for about a week.

The Low Puff/Pony

Another puff accessorized with a headband…

puff with a headband tied into a bow

Wash and Go Puff With Eco Styler Gel

After wearing a wash and go style with Eco Styler Gel for three days, I put my hair into a puff.

washandGoPuffEco

Wash and Go With Kinky Curly

I liked the Wash and Go (above) with Eco Styler much better than with Kinky Curly Curling Custard, but the puff came out nice.  You can really see how the curls popped.

Wash and Go With Kinky Curly Curling Castard

Click here to read more about the Kinky Curly Wash and Go.

Wash and Go With Miss Jessie’s Curly Buttercreme

This is a FOR REAL wash and go because I didn’t spend time shingling product through my hair and it dried pretty quickly compared to the styles above.  It took me all of 15-20 minutes to create out of the shower.

wash and go puff napturallycurly

Click to learn more about this puff hairstyle.

Here’s another wash and go with Shea Moisture Leave-In Conditioner (Can only be found at Amazon.)

wash and go shea moisture

Click here to see how I achieved this style.

Side Twist Out Pony

Side Twist Out Pony

Click here to watch the video on this style.

Chunky Twist Out Low Puff

Chunky Twist Out Pony

Watch the video on this hairstyle.

Side Puff

This is one of my favorite lazy styles. I just take a Goody band, doubled it up, slid it up my head and to the corner to make a side puff.

I use Eco Styler Gel and water to slick my edges down and tie a scarf on my head for about 30 minutes for a better hold and slick look.

sidePuffonNaturalHair

Twists and Twist Outs

Super Stretched Twist Out

stretched twist out on natural hair

I created this look by twisting my hair in about 15 large twists every night with water and Oyin’s Burnt Sugar Pomade.  Then I took it down in the morning.  It takes about 20 minutes to twist.

As you continue to re-twist your hair at night, it will continually stretch your hair so it doesn’t shrink up as much.  The product also helps keep it stretched, but doesn’t make it greasy.  (You don’t need a lot of Oyin.)

By day 5, my hair was super stretched.  One night, I didn’t re-twist. I just put the hair in a lose ponytail and it stretched it even more.

This is a great way to reduce shrinkage without using a blow dryer.

My Favorite Mini Twists 

It takes me anywhere from 4-6 hours (depending on the size) but it’s so worth it because it lasts weeks.

mini twists natural hair

Watch the hairstyle video to see how I created this style.

Two-Strand Twists With Flat Twists

When you wear the sides of your hair up, it can give the illusion of longer hair.  This is one of my favorite two-strand twist hairstyles.

Two Strand Twists and Flat Twists

Watch the video on this style.

Medium-Sized Twists

This was my first set of twists after I became completely natural.  I used Miss Jessie’s Curly Buttercreme.

medium twists natural hair

Twist Out With Flat Twists on the Side

twist out with flat twists

Twist Out on Medium Sized Twists

medium twist twist out

Stretched Twist Out on Mini Twists

You can really cut down on shrinkage if you stretch your hair before twisting.

Stretched Twist Out

See the comparison between stretched and non-stretched styles here.

Homemade Flaxseed Gel Twist Out

This is some AMAZING stuff and now my go-to product for twists and twist outs.

Flaxseed Gel Twist Out

Check out my flaxseed gel recipe and watch me make it.

Wash and Go

5-min Wash and Go With Kinky Curly Curling Custard

Wash and Go

Here’s the trick to doing a moisturized, residue-free wash and go in just few minutes on kinky hair….

Your hair has to be super moisturized!  Read about the Max Hydration Method here.

Wash and Go with Eco Styler Gel

wash and go eco styler gel

Watch the video tutorial on this hairstyle.

Protective Styling

I’m not a fan of wearing my hair in protective styles because I need fullness for my narrow face. LOL

However, I was participating in a protective style challenge on my hair forum and this is the style I chose.

protective hairstyle

It’s simply two-strand twists that are randomly pinned to the top of my head.  I also have 3 flat twists on each side to give it a cleaner look.

Products I Use

Curious about the products I use on my hair?  Check out my up-to-date list of natural hair products I use.

Here’s a list of the products I used when transitioning.

Save on Products at Amazon

I buy a lot of my hair products on Amazon because I can often find great deals, but be careful.  Always compare prices with the actual retail sites (if applicable) because sometimes 3rd party resellers will hike the prices up.

Comments

  1. says

    Great article, thanks for the hair styles. I am 10 months post relaxer and definitely needed some transitioning and protective hair styles to do. Thanks for sharing.

      • Chamika Frazer says

        Thanks for that extra information, of the transition just starting. It just been a month and time is a vengeance. But, ill be patient I died my whole head a vigorous red before I decided to do the natural look. Then, I decided that the color looks better natural so, it’s on the verge though. But, I am following your steps, planning to see results by 6-10 months

  2. Alexandra says

    Thank you so much for these photos, your instructional video and all of you information! I am in college and I stopped straightening my hair last week! Your website is helping me think about ways to style my hair!

  3. Tihijahne says

    Hi, Mrs. Lisa I’m 16 Years Old I Have Been Natural For 9 Months Now And I Have Recently Big Chopped On Nov. 27 And Have Completely Messed Up My Natural Look . My Mom About This Curly Activator And I Keep It On My Hair To Long .. Soo Now My Roots Won’t Curly But My Ends Will . I Really Need Some Advice On What I Should Do Because Its Driving Me Crazy Yes I Do Miss My Fro But I Just Don’t Know What To Do About My Roots . And When I Wash My Hair Its Straight Then When It Drys My Ends Curl But Riots Don’t . PLEASE HELP !!!

    • Nina says

      Hey girl. I’m 16 and I had my last relaxer at the end of last February (Feb 2012). Transitioning for me wasn’t really hard because I have a nice texture in hair, and plus my mom does hair…anyway’s, a very good product to use is Lusti Organic Argoin Gel. It’s only $1 and can be purchased at the DOLLAR TREE!! I love this stuff and it makes ALL TYPES of hair curl and wave up. For about 6 months, I had a 12′ Brazilian sew in, and when I wore my hair in high messy buns, I applied the gel and it immediately made my hair curl and wave up, and I really got a lot of compliments on my hair. Hope this helps, but until then, wash your hair and braid it, and before you go to school, take it a loose and style it. Good luck!

  4. Nyree says

    Ok, so last night I decided to begin my transitional journey. I began with twist outs. Pulled my hair out and loved it….BUT! When I was leaving the house, it was snowing. I almost called out of work in fear of what the snow would do to my hair OR having hat hair. I need tips and tricks. I have never really worn my hair pulled back from my face ( I guess I have to embrace my forehead too)

    I can wear hats to work on what we call “dark days”, but on live days I’m in corporate attire. I just want some suggestions as to how maintain style when weather calls for me to cover my do.

    • lisa says

      Hi Nyree

      For days like that when I needed a quick, easy style I wore a wig. I found a very natural looking wig at a local beauty supply that looked like a natural hair twist out. It was PERFECT for days where I had failed styles or needed something fast.

      I understand what you mean about embracing certain styles with your face. I am still working on that myself. LOL

  5. Nicole says

    Thank you for this website! I had been transitioning all wrong until about two weeks ago.
    I have 4c hair and my mom is against although I’m an adult….she has a picture of her Afro and tells me I’ll lose my job for wearing a natural…..I love the pics of the Flat Twists & Two-Strand Twists, Flat Twist Bun….I used to have long flowing hair but sadly the perm, hair color and lack of product and management led to where I am now….transitioning with damaged hair….have you heard of nioxin? when I did my big chop about 7 yrs ago I used it & my hair grew! :) I gave in to the perm after my hair grew back….I’m kickn myself now…anyways keep up to encouragement/motivation

  6. Sata1117 says

    Thanks for the ideas Lisa I will diffently try these styles..we’re do you get your hair scarfs from? I really like how you are wearing the black one..had to throw that one in..:)

  7. says

    just started transitioning & I pray that one day my hair will be all natural thanks to the video tutorial & hairstyle gallery. do you have a tutorial on how to deep condition

  8. Calliope says

    Hello Lisa i am currently transitioning for about two months now and i have a lot of new growth already. I have never had a perm but i did wear my hair straighten for about a year. My problem is my hair is to the middle of my back and i don’t want to do the big chop just yet. I am aware of alot of different styles considering i have been natural most of my life but now that i want to go back its hard to find a style that works for my hair now. Any suggestions?

  9. Tihijahne says

    Hey Lisa , I have been natural since the middle of July of last year BIGCHOPPED last year Nov. 27 was rocking my natural afro until my mom bought this curly activator Dec. 20 and I kept it on to long so now when I wash my hair my roots are straight leaving my ends curly I need your help of what I could do to maybe getting my afro back or just returning my roots to curly … PLEASE HELP !

  10. says

    If you’re transitioning, or simply want a new protective style, try Marley Twists. In this video tutorial, Cassandre Beccai demonstrates how to do Marley Twists by using synthetic hair to add length and thickness.

  11. Buky Caleb says

    Am not able to find the transitional 123 in store pls do u know a particular store I can get it from ? Thanks awaits your reply.

  12. says

    For some women, weaving their hair away during transitioning is much easier. You can even choose extensions that mimic natural hair so that you can get an idea of what your new texture will look like on you. Twist and braid extensions are easy enough to get from a professional who’s qualified in this area.

  13. Talia says

    So like, I just decided to transition a week ago. Do I just put it into a style and hop right into it? Is there anything I have to do?

    • lisa says

      The first two months or so will be just like normal. As your new growth comes in you might want to try some of the styles I listed on this site under the Hairstyles section. For example rod sets, bantu knots, etc. The lower manipulation styles with no heat are best.

      • Natasha says

        I already cut over 2 inches of my hair off because I had dye at the ends of my hair, and I am new to going natural. Do you have to do the Big Chop in order for you to go natural? I haven’t had a perm in almost three months now.

  14. Anissia says

    Hi Lisa, I love what you’ve done with your hair and I am 4 months post relaxer and I am proud of myself ^_^ The hairstyles you’ve done have helped me a lot with the transition and now I am about to get my first cut since I began the transition and I’m going to try to do some of the styles on my head. THANK YOU A MILLION!!!!

  15. Mar says

    Hi Lisa,
    I have had a bad experience with relaxing my hair (breakage, split ends, dryness etc.) because I have switched my relaxer (Yeah, I know it was dumb). I’ve waited three months then I relaxed my hair again it has been in for 2 weeks now and this is my final relaxer, so far no damage. These transitioning styles look great on you! But I was wondering how do I maintain the “Bantu Knot Out” for more than one day. I have fine hair and the more I touch it the more it breaks.
    Oh btw, your site is heaven sent, I love this site.
    Thanks :)

    • lisa says

      Sleeping in a satin bonnet may help or doing the pineapple method where you pull all your hair on top of your head with a goody band. This may help preserve the curls.

  16. Talia says

    So like, I just decided to transition a week ago. Do I just put it into a style and hop right into it? Do I get a transitionig style ? I’m lost

    • lisa says

      The first two months will be like normal. You probably won’t have to start adjusting your styling till the end of month 2 or start of month 3. Try to wean yourself off heat styling if you can and experiment with rod sets or bantu knot outs. These styles are heat-free and will last a long time. Now’s a good time to practice on long-lasting styles. I wore lots of rod sets.

  17. Jade says

    I have never had any chemical put in my hair, EVER! My hair texture is very thick and curly. The problem is that I will twist it and sleep at night, but in the morning it is still wet from the products I use. If I don’t use products my hair sheds more than usual and the twists don’t come out correctly. Please help me my hair holds heat and water very well. Thank you.

  18. MaMa Scherrie says

    Hey Lovely!

    There are so many look options post the TWA. When I get the length I will use the twist technique and puffs. I love the mini rod set too. Peace and blessings
    MaMa Scherrie

  19. Shaquilla says

    So I have been saying for awhile now I want to go natural. I got my last perm mid-april and thats not long long but i have been going without blow drying and flat ironing it , I just wash it and wrap it. But I dont know what to grease my scalp with after I wash my hair I use a raw shea butter leave in conditioner mixed with dr miracle growth drops & even tho it makes my hair soft & managable I dont know if I should still grease my scalp and does my grease have to be organic ?

    • MaMa Scherrie says

      If you don’t have time to make your own, I noticed Walgreens is carrying a couple of natural hair care products without sulfites, petrolatum and other harmful products. Read Lisa’s page on care and moisture tips. There is a wealth of knowledge to get you started. MaMa S

  20. MaMa Scherrie says

    Hi lovelies!

    I understand what you are saying. Just yesterday a Caucasoid lady who works where I do said she
    liked my hair straight. I told her I am done with the
    Death hair or fitting into the expectation of others. I am free!

    • lisa says

      Good for you! I actually had the OPPOSITE experience a few days ago. I was in Ace Hardware and a blond lady complimented me on my hair. She thought it looked so cool and said she wish her hair would “do that”. She said it looked fun and was tired of her boring straight hair.

      I found it a bit funny because so many of us wish/wished we had straighter, more “manageable” hair and here is this woman with society’s “ideal hair texture” who is saying she wished she had my texture. I thought that was pretty cool.

  21. Marquetta says

    I’ve been transitioning for the past 4 months and the first 2 months were easy cause I had micros, but now when I say I’m catching it I’m catching it. I have shoulder length hair and finding a hair style that works for my thin hair is killing me. it’s a day to day struggle. I’m not at the point where my new growth is moisturized and trained but my permed hair is dry no matter how much and long a deep condition it. It stringy looking and is causing breakage. I’m so lost what can I do for this. Please someone help!!!

  22. says

    I recently got decided to go natural and decided to find a stylist that could do a protective style (I have all sons, no hair practice in my home). IT WAS HORRIBLE! I called 3 weeks in advance to see if she could do the twist (she advertised them on website) and she confirmed. I made my appointment 3 weeks in advance, confirmed the fee, blah blah. On the day of my appointment, I’m informed “she forgot” she had another appointment, so it would be a bit before she could get to me. my appointment was at 11:00 am, I didn’t get into the chair until 3:00 PM. She didn’t finish my hair until 1:15 am, well after midnight. She complained the entire time about how much she HATED to do braids and in twist. After $160.00, and an entire missed day of work, an ugly color added because she underestimated the amount of hair she need, and a style that I did not ask for (I took a photo) I am wondering what other options of available. That experience has made me think twice. I just moved to FL, and I had to rely on the internet as a resource.

    I wish that this site could provide HIGHLY QUALIFIED, HIGHLY EFFICIENT stylist that are considerate of their patrons time and can get the job done. I’m new to this, have no desire to deal with my own hair right now (it’s permed), but no desire to do the big chop either. Any suggestions? I’ll also post on the forum for additional answers. Thank you for this site.

    • Ruthio says

      Hi. I went natural over a year ago. I love it but agree it can be tricky sometimes finding a style that fits. I found that extension plaits helped with the transition as the new growth grew out. Wish you all the best!

  23. betty says

    Hae,am transitioning and this is my second.month and the growth is really crazy n cant comb it unless its wet…am having bantu knots but there.not lasting…please please take me through this process and how to define my curls and know my hair type since with the new growth my curls are not showing and am transforming without the big chop.is it a must i braid my hair or can i grow it with braiding.plus can i grow my hair than my normal length cause ave never had long hair

  24. says

    The braid out style was one of my favorites when I was transitioning. By simply making a plait, or braid, in large sections of hair, you can blend the relaxed and natural textures of your hair into a loose wavy look. Of course, as you can see by watching the videos below, a successful braid out is about more than the braids. You must moisturize your hair if you want hold and shine. I also would do my braids on wet hair a few hours before bed, because I found that the next morning the braid outs would be more defined. Experiment and see what works for you.

  25. says

    The braid out style was one of my favorites when I was transitioning. By simply making a plait, or braid, in large sections of hair, you can blend the relaxed and natural textures of your hair into a loose wavy look. Of course, as you can see by watching the videos below, a successful braid out is about more than the braids. You must moisturize your hair if you want hold and shine. I also would do my braids on wet hair a few hours before bed, because I found that the next morning the braid outs would be more defined. Experiment and see what works for you.

  26. Neisha says

    Hello Lisa,
    Thank you for sharing what you’ve learned and for making this website for people like me who don’t know where to start with my transition. I decided to go natural a few weeks ago so I had braids put in and I would like to know how often I should wash my hair with the braids in and how to keep it moisturized without allowing to much build-up. Thank you again :-)

  27. LeeJ says

    Your site is awesome. I had gone natural a couple of years ago for about 2 years. I like the natural hair but it was too time consuming I thought back then. I went back to the relaxer because I couldn’t find a style that was convenient and consistent. I have have gotten some ideas on your site that make me want to try it again. I tried the rod set and love the result. I’m excited. Thanks for the inspiration.

  28. says

    You have no idea what a life saver you’ve been our house!!!!! I’m adopting my niece who is biracial and has KINKY hair. We are pretty good at keeping it soft but when my mom had her, she straightened her hair and then had it cut, oui! Needless to say when her hair is natural, she has side show bob hair. Your twists have saved us so much emotional stress and time and I just can’t begin to thank you enough. She even wants to learn how to do them!!!!! God bless you!! I was wondering what kind of scarf you are using to sleep in with the twist. Quite frankly, it reminded me of a leg from a pair of Jammie’s, lol. I would love to know what it as and more importantly, where can I get one? My girl won’t wrap her hair at night because it always “comes off” in her sleep. She does use a certain pillow case but after a day or so she starts getting the fly always. ANY HELP WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!!!!!!! Thank you again!

    • lisa says

      LOL! Glad I could help. I’m not sure which wrap you meant but it may have been my Survivor buff. But I usually sleep in a satin bonnet with the elastic around the edges because it stays in place. You can get them at any beauty supply that sells black hair products. Good luck!

      • says

        Hi again and thank your for responding. In your video for doing the twist, you put something on that keeps them flat to your head. We did the satin bonnet for sleeping but it bent them so I said no to that. I’ll watch the video again and see if I can catch what it is. Thanks again for everything!

  29. Pam says

    Thank you so very much. Was in big need of something new and fresh. My problem is I’m getting really frustrated withy hair. I’ve been natural for 2 and a half years and I’m bored and irritated. I see all these different product ( that often enough have bought) and its getting costly?! Plus I really don’t know what works for me since my hair is longer now, so I’m ready to chop it off. So again Thanks I will try out some of your Awesome styles on myself! :-)

  30. Danelle says

    HI!
    I just had to say thank you! I’ve been watching your videos for months and I was recently able to replicate one of your styles of flat twists up the back and two strand twistbangs in front (on my 4 month trasitioning hair). The first few times I tried were not great but I watched your video where you said you kept trying until you got them how you wanted. And that its okay if your hair isnt perfect. Im so proud of myself. Also, with your tips my hair is no longer dryand breaking and its also growing in very well…

  31. Takesha says

    I am terrified of going natural….AGAIN. My first experience lasted about 2 years. My hair is extremely coarse and extremely thick. I gave up after breaking my pick trying to style my hair…it wasn’t a flimsy one either. Nonetheless, I want to go natural again because these relaxers mixed with my medication is just sending my hair health on a downward spiral. Is it possible for someone with 4C hair to transition to natural without the big chop?

    • lisa says

      Hi Takesha

      It sure is. The key is going to be constant moisturizing and lots of low, low manipulation styles like extensions (but not too often), rod sets, twist outs, and straw sets.

  32. Renova says

    Hai Lisa,

    does the wash and go style with the ecostylergel also work for transitioning hair?
    I’m in my 12th month of transitioning.

    • lisa says

      No because your hair is straight. The gel will just weigh it down. Gel works best on curly hair. So your ends would just hang. You’re better off doing rod or straw sets.

  33. sophiaonus says

    Ok I been on transition since dec last year 2013. Its may 2014 and I haven’t used a relaxer on my hair! Altho I use a lot of serum sheer butter hair booster and a variety of other when my hair is free off extensions! I had ma hair cut last december also so I’m starting again , my scalps gon all sensitive on me since may last year “2013”. I really want to grow my hair, I got great hair texture for sure but I need advise cuz round my hair is chopped ! What’s a girl to do! Need a knight in shining armour! I’m in Nigeria so d weather here is also crazy hot!

  34. Dymond says

    I am just starting my natural process. I had kinky twist in for about 3 months and hadn’t had a perm for maybe a month before that. I have tried the twist outs with the Eco styler gel (red container) but the relaxed part of my hair just won’t take. Do you have any advice? I am scared to do the big chop.

NEED HELP? It's getting very difficult to answer all comments individually, so please consider joining the Napturally Curly forum to get faster help and answers to your questions about your hair.


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