Wedding styles for Natural Hair and locs

March 20 | Guest post by Cassandra Bentley
The most amazing braided loc bun I have ever seen!  It's heart-shaped! Photo by Dante Williams Photography, used by permission.
The most amazing braided loc bun I have ever seen!  It's heart-shaped! Photo by Dante Williams Photography, used by permission.

Every time I see a natural bride straighten out her gorgeous curls, or, worse yet, cover them with a weave or wig just for the sake of looking more "polished" or "feminine" for her wedding, a little piece of me dies inside.  I've had Natural Hair for 16 years, loc'd for 12 of those years, but I'm still always on the lookout for new ways to style my hair, especially now that I'm getting married in May.  But I understand how those who are new to the Natural Hair "movement" may be a little unsure of what to do with their hair on their wedding day.  There are quite a few photos out there of curly natural hair styles, and I wanted to provide some inspiration for the loc'd ladies as well.  So cancel that sew-in appointment, girl, and check out these 'dos:

Curled locs pulled up in the back and flat twisted in the front:

Curled locs pulled up in the back and flat twisted in the front. (Photo courtesy of anutwist.com
Photo courtesy of anutwist.com
Carlos Santana's drummer/wife, Cindy Blackman. (Photo courtesy of popsugar.com)
Carlos Santana's drummer/wife, Cindy Blackman. Photo courtesy of popsugar.com

Spiral curled locs in an updo:

Photo by Dotun Ayodeji, used by permission.
Photo by Dotun Ayodeji, used by permission.

Pin-curled locs with a basket weave in the back:

Pin-curled locs with a basket weave in the back. (Photo courtesy of Karl Anderson, as seen on munaluchibridal.com
Photo courtesy of Karl Anderson, as seen on munaluchibridal.com.

Side braid into a bun:

(Photo courtesy of Natural Hair Resources Salon in Houston, TX.)
Photo courtesy of Natural Hair Resources Salon in Houston, TX.

Vlogger Chescaleigh's natural wedding hair. You can get the full tutorial on her Youtube channel:

Vlogger Chescaleigh's natural wedding hair. You can get the full tutorial on her Youtube channel. (Photo used by permission.)
Photo by Chescaleigh, used by permission.
Chescaleigh at her wedding.
Screenshot from one of Chescaleigh's videos. See more on her YouTube channel!

Loc twist-out with front flat twists:

Loc twist-out with front flat twists. (Photo by Andrew Thomas Clifton, used by permission.)
Photo by Andrew Thomas Clifton, used by permission.
Photo credit: America's Next Natural Model, used by permission.
Photo by America's Next Natural Model, used by permission.

Afro bouffant:

Afro bouffant. Photo from Afrobella.com, used by permission.
Photo from Afrobella.com, used by permission.

Long locs braid-out swept to the side with flat twists:

Long locs braid-out swept to the side with flat twists. Photo by The Natural Bride, used by permission.
Photo by The Natural Bride, used by permission.

Side swept spiral curled locs with flat twisted basket weave in the front:

Side swept spiral curled locs with flat twisted basket weave in the front. Photographer, Keith Claytor, Model NuNuu, MUA: Brettnee Nelson, Stylist: Maria Thompson. From twistandcurves.com, used by permission.
Photographer, Keith Claytor, Model NuNuu, MUA: Brettnee Nelson, Stylist: Maria Thompson. From twistandcurves.com, used by permission.

No hair, don't care… there are even options for ladies who have just BC'd (Big Chopped):

No hair, don't care… there are even options for ladies who have just BC'd (Big Chopped). Photo source: woowootalks2you.com
Photo source: woowootalks2you.com

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  1. Thanks! I think I'm in love 🙂 This is very helpful now that my hair has decided to go all blah and lose it's curl.

    1 agrees
  2. This is great! I'm a fan of showing the natural hair styles, it's good to see the diversity. I'm a lady with semi-natural hair, i.e. I relax my hair every four or five months, and so my curls are slightly more loose. Do you think we could see a collection of that hair type? Or just a "curly hair" collection? I think I only found one truly curly hair, rather than natural hair, in the archives.

    12 agree
  3. These are gorgeous! I also love that you added the technical terms for what the styles are. That no-hair look at the end is to diieeeee for!

    7 agree
    • I liked that look so much that it took me years to move out of Big Chop and into growing out my natural hair. Now I'm growing locs, but I still sometimes sigh over freshly buzzed looks.

      1 agrees
  4. Were I a lady with natural hair, I'd rock the hell outta Cindy Blackman's hair!

    4 agree
  5. Just curious:
    Most wedding updo's in the books have curled hair, so how is curly hair not "feminine"?
    Seriously, bedroom curls/ringlets(tight or big)/naturally crimped has always struck me as more feminine, so I do not get.

    • It's more a question of curly black hair (which is often tight curls or coils), which is not generally seen as acceptable by white and even many black people.

      In school, people mocked my hair as "kinky" or "coarse" or even just plain "poofy." In middle school, a boy told me my braids looked like poop, a comment which was devastating to 12 year old me. I went to an all white school and my natural hair (not to mention my skin, my nose, my lips, and this ass which white people can only dream of having) was mocked into oblivion. By college, I was on the expensive and painful road of regular relaxers (to straighten my hair). Eventually I cut off the relaxed hair, accepted myself for who I am, and started locs.

      I am thrilled to see styles I can wear my locs in at my wedding because my hair type, whether loc'ed or loose, is not pictured in those manicured, white, curled hairstyles in wedding books and I'd have to straighten my hair to do those looks.

      It's super thrilling to see examples of black women not having to lose their beautiful, natural hair just to feel ok about themselves as a bride.

      52 agree
  6. I love these styles! I am still trying to figure out how to style my locs for my day and this definitely gave me some ideas. Thank you!

    1 agrees
  7. I love all these looks so much. I'm a white girl with a pixie cut, and I love Offbeat Bride for showcasing all these gorgeous styles I might never have seen otherwise. Rock on, ladies!

    8 agree
  8. This is so on time; i just started my loc journey and I'll be getting married in the next 5 years so I have constantly been looking at all of the beautiful ways I'll be able to style my hair. Love it!!!

    4 agree
  9. these styles are awesome. totally showing that you do not have to have perfect updos with silky straight hair in order to be a beautiful bride.
    I have synthetic dreads and my wedding was featured on this site too. I wore my dreads with pride!

    1 agrees
  10. Love love love love love!!
    I've got my Jamaican Granny's hair (despite almost all of the rest of my genes being from my white mother/paternal grandfather) and have recently been enjoying it in its natural state after years of damaging it with chemical straightenings (I got a LOT of stick for looking "white" and having a 'fro at school, nicknames such as "frizzo" "ronald mcdonald" and things I wouldn't even repeat tend to stay with you, so it has taken a lot of self-acceptance to just let my hair be), I was a bit stumped about what to do with it for the wedding, so am really loving this style inspiration for those of us who don't have "normal" hair.
    This is really inspirational! 🙂

    5 agree
  11. Thank you! These styles are awesome!!! I've been growing locs (this go around) for a year, and I love seeing formal styles for them!

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