26 Modern Curly Hairstyles That Will Slay on Your Wedding Day

Updos and down-dos that work WITH your natural texture, not against it

curly hairstyle for wedding

Photo by Christine Doneé via OnceWed

If you’ve ever looked for curly hairstyles online, you may have noticed something funny: curly wedding hairstyles, it would seem, are not actually for girls with curly hair. Almost all of them are straight hairstyles in disguise. Which is why for so many naturally curly-haired girls, formal hairstyles can be a nightmare. First there’s the “let’s just pile it all on top of your head and call it an updo” technique. Then there’s the “let’s blow-dry your hair straight only to re-curl it” routine that leaves you praying to God no moisture comes within a ten-foot radius of your body. And if you’re lucky, you won’t end up with a bad ’90s prom do with those two godforsaken tendrils hanging down (why, stylists, why?).

Luckily, times they are a changing. Curly hair is having a resurgence (thanks in large part to the tireless work of the black women championing the natural hair movement). There are even hair salons dedicated specifically to curly hair. And formal curly hairstyles aren’t all bad ’90s flashbacks anymore. So we’ve rounded up twenty-six of them (plus plenty of video tutorials, in the event you’re DIYing) that won’t insult your hair’s sensibilities (note: one or two of these were obviously created on hair that has been curled with a curling wand, but we think they’d look just as good on naturally curly hair too):

Curly Updo Wedding Hairstyles

25 curly hairstyles for your wedding day

Photo by Carmen Santorelli Photography via Style Me Pretty

Low Tuck Updo via Delightfully Tacky

curly hairstyles for your wedding day

Photo by Krista Lee Photography via Mon Cheri Bridals

25 curly hairstyles for your wedding day

Photo by Hair and Makeup by Steph

25 curly hairstyles for your wedding day

Photo by Lindy Yewen via My Wedding

25 curly hairstyles for your wedding day

Photo by Joey Kennedy via OnceWed

25 curly hairstyles for your wedding day

Photo by Cat Mayer Studio

curly hairstyles for your wedding day

Photo by Hair and Makeup by Steph

curly hairstyle for wedding

Photo by Giuli&Giordi

 curly hairstyle for wedding

Photo by Alex G McClelland

Half-Up Half-Down Curly Wedding Hairstyles

Photo and Tutorial via Hair Romance

curly hairstyle for wedding

Photo by Ciara Richardson Photography | Hair and Makeup by Hair and Makeup by Steph (similar tutorial here)

curly hairstyle for wedding

Elegant Updo via Wedding Sparrow UK | Hair by Amelia Garwood

down-do Curly wedding Hairstyles

curly hairstyle for wedding

Photo by Sawyer Baird via Style Me Pretty

curly hairstyle for wedding

Photo by Sposto Photography via Style Me Pretty


Photo by Katy and Co via Rock My Wedding

Photo by Michael Radford Photography | Hair and Makeup by Jen Plus Colour

curly hairstyle for wedding

Photo via Emilia Jane Morgan | Hair by Kathy Collins

diy curly wedding Hairstyles

If there’s anything a curly-haired person knows, it’s that sometimes the best stylist for your hair is you (or your parent or your BFF). Luckily there are plenty of tutorials out there specifically for curly hair; YouTube in particular is a goldmine (and video tutorials are typically much easier to follow than photo spreads because rewind button). Here are ten that you can try yourself:

1. Curly wedding hairstyle: Naturally Curly shows you how to pull off a sideswept curly wedding look.

2. Easy half-up half-down curly hairstyle: This tutorial is simple, but the results are super pretty and also veil-friendly.

3. Naturally curly updo: I like this style because it’s not too fussy. If there’s wind or humidity, it won’t be the end of the (hair) world.

4. Romantic UpdoThis tutorial is done on wavy hair, but it’s the kind of style you could adapt to different textures. And it’s simple enough to pass off to a friend to try.

5. 10 hairstyles in 10 minutes: If you want range with your tutorial, here you get ten hairstyles for short curly hair—all in ten minutes and forty-five seconds.

6. Braided updo: Once you get past the intro music, this tutorial is super great for anyone looking to pull off a braided updo on their own.

7. Easy updo for naturally curly hair: If you’re worried about your hair coming undone, this tutorial might be what you’re looking for. It’s not going anywhere.

tips for diy curly hair

If you are going the DIY route, one of the easiest ways to practice for your wedding is by simply figuring out how to make your curls look their most awesome on the daily (because that’s half the battle, amiright?) And for that, YouTube is once again your best friend. Here are my best general tips for curly hair care and daily prep:

find your routine: The bulk of getting your curly hairstyle to look right is in the prep. It has taken me thirty years to figure out a prep routine that works with my hair’s texture and curl pattern (super fine, super dry, wimpy curls). But now that I’ve got it down, I can make my hair look ? in under ten minutes. There are a million YouTube videos on curly hair routines for just about every texture and length of hair. I just search for my texture and then “curly hair routine” and scroll until I find someone whose hair kind of looks like mine. While just about every video is different, there’s typically a common thread to curly hair prep:

  • Avoid drying your hair out. I don’t wash my hair daily (I think I get it wet with conditioner once a week, and cleanse it every other). But when I do, I try to avoid anything that contains drying ingredients like sulfates.
  • No, but seriously, don’t dry it out. It’s almost a joke how many curly hair prep steps are about retaining moisture. In fact, I just learned that my towel-drying routine is adding friction to my hair and I should switch to a microfiber towel or a t-shirt. #themoreyouknow
  • Add moisture. Add moisture. Add moisture. For the longest time I thought that if I added things to my hair after showering, it would weigh the curls down. But it turns out almost all my curly hair grievances can be answered with “add more moisture.” So now I have a running cocktail of products I use to keep my hair moisturized (my hair is short, so I spring for the expensive stuff). I start with a heat protection lotion, then add curl cream, and top it off with an oil serum and shine spray.

Here are a few videos I found particularly helpful:

1. VCoral’s curly hair routine: Like I said, I have fine, wimpy curls. This video is the closest approximation to my own hair texture. It’s also a good example of how you can add more definition to your curls if you’ve got fine, wimpy curls like me.

2. best curly hair products from Shawnta’s Way: Not sure where to begin looking for products that work well with naturally curly hair? This breaks down all the different types of products, and what each one is used for. And as an added bonus, a lot of them are more affordable brands, which is good, because curly hair gets thirsty.

3. Diana’s Beauty’s Big Curly Hair Routine: I really liked this video because it shows not only which products to use, but also how much of them. Also, it’s a great example of how much your hair’s appearance can change through prep. If you struggle with frizz, this might be a good video for you.

Learn the tools of the trade: Beyond learning which products to use, unlocking the secrets to my curly hair has also been about how to use them. Some curly-haired folks have hair that can air dry into a perfect curl (hint: not me). But the number one game-changing tool in my arsenal is my diffuser. It cost $15 on Amazon and it’s the best money I’ve ever spent on my hair. If you have a hard time getting your curly hair to have volume, diffusers are like magic. Again, there are tons of videos on how to use a diffuser for all hair lengths. The video above is a good example of how to get more relaxed curls. And the videos below are good examples of how to use a diffuser for bigger, bouncier curls:

1. Veronica Mezza’s Curly Hair RoutineThis video is great for people who are trying to figure out how to add more definition to their curls, while still getting big, bouncy hair.

2. Discocurls’ Diffuser Routine: This video is great if you’re looking to add more volume to tighter curls.


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