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“And I Can Put It In A Bun”: The Versatility of Black Hairstyles

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

Searching for a new look? Here are five ways to wear your crown!

box braids

This hairstyle is my personal favorite. Box braids originated in the continent of Africa and were first used to mark distinctions between different ethnic groups. The craft of doing box braids is also a social opportunity due to the time dedicated to the task. Since it takes so long (several hours), it is a great opportunity to bond with whoever is doing your hair, which is typically a family member or close friend.

Not only are box braids a part of Black cultures but they are also a “protective style.” Protective styles are perfect to maintain moisture, prevent the hair from becoming brittle, and generally help to keep natural hair healthy.


Not only does Black hair generally have versatility, but natural hair has its own range of variety as well. Hair texture is on a number-letter structure — similar to bra sizes. So if you have bone straight hair, that would be classified as 1a, while on the other side of the spectrum, lies the most coily type; 4c. For example, actress Zendaya Coleman has 3a hair, while actress Lupita Nyong’o has 4c coils. 

Choosing to wear your natural hair can mean that you wear it freely, in an afro or puff (ponytail), or you can style it into braids or dreadlocks like the sister-singing duo Halle x Chloe.


Wigs come in all colors and styles; that’s what makes them so fun to mess around with.

They do range in price. Synthetic wigs (made out of plastic fibers) are on the cheaper end while more expensive wigs are made out of real donated hair and are of better quality. For example, celebrities like Megan Thee Stallion, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, and Doja Cat are all bold wearers of lace wigs made from donated hair. 


While originally being very curly, natural hair can also transform into pin-straight strands through relaxers and heat treatments such as perms or straighteners. You have most likely seen Black celebrities like Meghan Markle, Zendaya Coleman, and Tayshia Adams rocking this hairstyle.

the “big chop”

The “Big Chop” is a term used for when someone cuts off almost all of their hair, to typically start over and regrow healthy hair. Celebrities like Amandla Stenberg and Winnie Harlow have gone through this grand hairstyle change.

Black hair can embody an infinite number of hairstyles. What is most important to remember is that Black hair will look good no matter the style!

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Amaka Agozino

U Mass Amherst '23

Amaka is political science major hoping to go to law school to become a lawyer. Her other interests include song writing, playing piano, and photography. She also loves creative writing and pop culture!