12 Black Wedding Hairstyles From Real Brides

Whether you rock your crown natural, relaxed or braided, our guide of trending and timeless wedding hairstyles has inspiration for everyone.
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Jenn Barthole
jenn barthole headshot
Jenn Barthole
The Knot Fashion & Beauty Contributor
  • Based in New York City, Jenn Barthole is a Freelance Editor for The Knot, where she contributes fashion and beauty content.
  • Jenn also contributes wellness, interiors, celebrity, fashion, beauty, and travel content to notable publications including ELLE, Refinery 29, Domino, TripAdvisor, EBONY, Cosmopolitan and PopSugar.
  • She graduated with a major in Communications and a minor in Spanish, from Loyola University in Balt...
Updated May 11, 2023
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One of the most meaningful choices for a bride-to-be is deciding on a hairstyle and makeup look that boosts her confidence and reflects her beauty. For Black women, this process can feel even more crucial since Black wedding hairstyles can serve as a bold representation of cultural pride and individuality. Thanks to its thickness and density, textured hair is incredibly versatile so the number of stunning options to choose from (or create) is simply endless.

Finding the right wedding hairstylist and glam squad can make all the difference in making your beauty vision come to life. Ahead of your consultation, be sure to check out their portfolios to ensure they have experience with your hair type and the styling ability required. Once you assemble your team, arrive at your hair trial prepared with saved Pinterest photos and images of your wedding dress, veil, venue, and theme as a visual reference.

To make the process a little less overwhelming, we curated a guide of 12 Black bridal hairstyle ideas, using real-life images of actual brides, with styles that speak to every vibe—from modern and sleek to bohemian and effortless. So whether you want to rock your crown natural, braided, in locs, relaxed, or coily, this list of trending and timeless choices is guaranteed to leave you inspired.

Trending Black Bridal Hairstyles for 2023

Need help narrowing down the aesthetic and styling you're drawn to? Start with this list of the hottest 2023 hair trends for modern options for brides, bridesmaids, and guests. With the help of Spoke & Weal Master Stylist, K.Miller who works with everyday brides and celebrities to create red-carpet worthy looks, we're breaking down each trend with styling tips, product and accessory recommendations to take your look to the next level.

High Updo

Hair Length: Long

This double-twist updo is the perfect example of taking a traditional style and making it your own with playful updates. Miller says, "Achieve this look by adding length, using Kanekalon synthetic hair or non-visible extensions, that are flexible enough to mold into sculptural buns." To secure the updo for a long night on the dance floor "ask your stylist to pin the buns down into the foundation of the ponytail to keep them from shifting".

The Sleek Bun

Hair Length: Medium

A timeless, clean chignon evokes instant sophistication to complement a classic wedding theme. Take the polished bun up a notch by pumping up the volume and shape using "subtle Bombay Hair padding, matched to your hair color" recommends Miller. For even more oomph, embellish it with these elegant, multi-size Kristen Ess Hair Pearl Party pins that catch the light from every angle .

Side-Swept Curls

sideswept long curls
Photo: Popography

Hair Length: Long

If your Pinterest board is full of Old Hollywood references, these bombshell waves are for you. To get the look, "Prep hair with a smooth blow dry, while finding your part, and set the hair into pin curls using a BioIonic 1-inch Long Barrel curling iron" explains Miller. "Once set, brush curls into soft waves and finish with got2B Glued Blasting freeze spray for maximum hold." For some drama, add a glitzy, vintage-inspired bridal comb to the parted section, like this version from Twigs & Honey.

Center Part with Tucked-Back Bangs

Hair Length: Long

A slicked back low ponytail, with a defined center part, creates a striking silhouette. Modern accents, like the bride's geometric pearl earrings, add even more impact. To recreate this minimalist-chic pony, "mold hair into center part and slick back bangs with jam or gel, like Shine N Jam Magic Fingers, to ensure smoothness. Add a natural-looking textured drawstring ponytail, like this version from Heat Free Hair."

Wispy Tendrils

Hair Length: Medium

To incorporate romantic elements into your hairstyle, ask your stylist to frame your face with a few loose curls that feel piece-y and "artfully undone". The slightly messy placement oozes femininity and softens your features for an oh-so-flirty effect.

Effortless Curls

Hair Length: Medium

Keep your look sweet and simple with relaxed curls that highlight your natural beauty. To create textured waves with movement, "mist a light-hold hair spray, like Kenra Volume Spray 25, before using the Dyson Corrale Styler Straightener to create soft waves away from the face. Mist light hold hair spray again to hold the curls. Don't pin curl but rake through waves with your fingers for a more tousled look."

Elegant Wedding Hairstyles for Natural Black Hair

There's so much to love about a bride who embraces her natural texture—a great option if relaxers and heat tools aren't your thing. To add some personal flair, adorn your fro' with modern accessories that speak to your wedding theme.

Crowned Curls

Hair Length: Medium

Bring your lush curls to life with a whimsical floral crown, like the Blushing Beauty Bridal Crown from Etsy that shines in a rural setting. Selecting a headpiece with multicolor blooms in varying sizes will add some bohemian flair. To make your coils glossy, Miller suggests "spraying hair with a light mist of Aveda Brilliant Spray On Shine to add sheen, prevent frizz and fly-always."

Cornrows and Curls

curls with side part and cornrows
Photo: Gabriel Conover Photography

Hair Length: Short

A well-placed braided side part, secured with a hair clip, adds some edginess to this natural style. "Be sure to bring your hair accessory to your appointment so the stylist can match the braided section to be the exact same size" advises Miller. "Also, to maximize the fullness of your hair, pick it out using the Afropick Tribe Pick."

Black Wedding Updo Hairstyles

For a fabulous, fuss-free style, try an updo that will keep your hair off your shoulders, especially if you plan to dance the night away. It works for both curly or straightened tresses, making it a great option for bridesmaids. Just keep extensions on hand if someone needs a bit of extra length.

Tendrils On Top

Hair Length: Long

The cascading curls in this dreamy updo the eyes upward, to visually elongate the neckline and keep the focus on the bride's ethereal dress. "Prep with a fresh wash-and-go and apply Oway Curl Potion to keep your coils defined and hydrated" notes Miller. "Then, pin hair into a high 'pineapple' ponytail and fluff it out to enhance texture and arrange tendrils to softly frame your face."

A Gilded Upgrade

Hair Length: Medium

For the ultimate style statement, rock ruby red lips and top your updo with a golden headpiece, such as the Jennifer Behr Eris Headband. To give the regal accessory the spotlight, Miller advises to pull silk-pressed hair back into a clean middle-part chignon. "Ask your stylist to maintain some volume so the hair accessory looks more natural. It should sit elevated in the middle of the head towards the veil, just not too close to the front."

Loc and Braid Wedding Hairstyles

Thanks to the versatility of locs and braids, you can pretty much recreate any classic style and customize the look to be uniquely yours.

Chignon With a Twist

Hair Length: Medium

This bride's wavy locs are pinned back to give her side-swept chignon dimension and keep the focus on her stunning makeup. Before your big day, Miller advises to "freshly twist locs in advance, using Loc N Twists Wave Edge Gel, for clean parting and shine."

Bold Braids

half up small box braids
Photo: Derek Bedwell Photography

Hair Length: Long

Ideal for the effortlessly cool bride, these half-up, small box braids are dainty and structural to match the vintage texture of her dress. "Take 2-3 braids from the front and behind the ears and fasten them loosely. Smooth down edges to make the style look finished using the Pattern by Tracee Ellis Ross Edge Tool." says Miller.

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