KMazur/Contributor/Getty Images Hairstyle 2016 female.
Your Face Shape Matters
Almost every woman can pull off a natural afro. Or a pixie. Or a long, wavy wig. But your face shape does matter. You want to create the illusion that you were born with a perfectly round face and there are ways to achieve this. Find out more in:
Your Lifestyle Matters
If you work out a lot, a wig isn't going to be your best bet. Natural hair is, or even a weave. And if you are super busy, for example, if you are working full-time and raising kids, a weave is a time commitment you may not be willing to make. Keeping your hair natural may be your best bet, or relaxing it with chemicals so it's more manageable is another option. There are few things more ugly than a grown-out weave that needs to be replaced STAT.
Weaves and wigs are pricey. Chemical relaxers and keeping your hair natural aren't. If you do go the weave or wig route, you want to invest in quality hair and a quality hairstylist. Human hair trumps synthetic and the wrong stylist can leave you looking as if your hair is obviously fake or worse, can cause you to experience permanent hair loss.
Consider Your Personality
To pull off the very trendy pixie or the super edgy pompadour, you have to have confidence. But even more, you want to be comfortable in your hairstyle. If you are flirty and fun, you should pick a hairstyle that makes you feel that way. If you don't like trends, go for a more classic style like a chin-length bob.
Left: Michael Buckner/Getty Images; right, Tyra Banks/The Cut Life Instagram
Tyra Banks wasn't the first celebrity to chop her hair off into a pixie: (and apparently she sports her real hair, not a wig, according to her stylist). Pixies are more popular than ever, and they've never been more gorgeous.
No matter your natural hair texture, whether thick, kinky, curly, chemically straightened or wavy, a pixie can be a gorgeous choice for you. It's also a good choice for women who prefer weaves or even wigs.
Ladies short hairstyles
Stefanie Keenan/WireImage/Getty Images
Long, black hair remains the most popular hairstyle choice for black women. You can wear long hair straight, wavy or curly with the help of relaxers, curling irons and flat irons.
Whether you opt for a weave, a wig, your natural hair or choose relaxers to get your own hair long, these photos of long black hairstyles should inspire you.
It's hard for some women with thick, kinky to grow out their natural hair long. Your best bet for long hair in this case is a weave or even a wig.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Wigs are becoming more and more popular now that really well-made lace wigs are available. A well-made wig made from human hair can be pricey, but they look natural.
Pros: Talk about instantaneous change! Once you are fitted for your wig and the hair is cut to flatter your face shape and the wig's hair texture, your transformation will take as long as it takes to put on your wig. You can have wigs attached to last up to a month, but the ones with combs are easiest to take on and off. You can change up your look as much as you want and a wig won't affect your natural hair at all.
Cons: A well-made wig is expensive (they typically cost between $300-$1000). Plus, they can be hot to wear, especially in the summertime. If you work out a lot, then you're better off with a half-wig or a weave.
Wigs are a great option for women with hair loss. Viola Davis, pictured here in one of her many wigs, revealed in an interview with Vulture Magazine that she lost half of her hair to alopecia when she was 28. After that, she says she wore a wig everywhere:
"I wore a wig in the Jacuzzi. I had a wig I wore around the house. I had a wig that I wore to events. I had a wig that I wore when I worked out. I never showed my natural hair. It was a crutch, not an enhancement … I was so desperate for people to think that I was beautiful. I had to be liberated from that [feeling] to a certain extent."
At the 2012 Oscars, she left the wig at home and wore her hair natural. It was a breakthrough moment. She still wears her wigs, but not all the time and that, she said, is freeing.
NeNe Leakes. Grant Lamos IV/Getty Images
Weaves have been very controversial in the black hair community. Women who wear weaves have been accused of wanting to look white. But weaves are more popular than ever. They come in all lengths and styles and are a great way to change your look without having to cut, color or chemically alter your own hair.
Benefits of Weaves
Weaves are popular because you can change your look instantly (well, at least in the few hours it takes to sew or attach your new hair) without damaging your natural hair. You can change your look every few weeks moving from short to long to medium hair lengths if you want as well as try out different hair textures.
Fashion short haircuts
Pros: Great for women who don't like to mess with heat or chemicals and want little fuss. Weaves also protect your natural hair and can look natural if you use a great stylist and invest in quality hair. They are a better bet than wigs if you work out a lot.
Cons: The best weaves use authentic, real hair and this can be a pricey habit. A quality human hair weave can set you back between $600- $1200. Plus, they can take hours to apply and considering the average weave lasts about six weeks, that's a lot of visits to the salon to maintain your fabulous hairstyle. A poorly trained stylist can cause hair loss or a messed-up hairline if they make your cornrows too tight or don't sew or glue on your weaves properly.