Bold and Chic Hats for Women with Curly Hair 

Women with natural curly hair rocking the latest hats fashions

What’s the biggest lie in fashion? 

If you guessed “Hats and curly hair don’t mix”, you’d be right! 

It’s a shame that such misinformation has become so widespread. Allow us a moment to enlighten you. 

Hats are trendy, edgy accessories that effortlessly elevate your wardrobe, top off virtually any outfit, and complement your curls beautifully. 

Unlike the myths you may have heard, hats and curls make for a flawless combo. Just ask bona fide trendsetter Janelle Monae who daringly rocked a cornucopia of hats as she commanded the spotlight at the Met Gala. 

Not convinced? 

Take a good, hard look at the models who strutted their hat-topped curls at New York Fashion Week. Perfection…we know. 

Beautiful Moment in Hat History

Close up of Janelle Monae in a four-tiered wide brim hat.
Close up of Janelle Monáe in a four-tiered wide brim hat with a long braid at the 2019 Met Gala in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)

There’s no better example of hats done right than Janelle Monae’s iconic hat ensemble. She made a statement like none other when she waltzed into the Met Gala with her quadruple-tiered hat complete with a magical Rapunzel-esque jumbo braid. The ensemble was a real-life manifestation of surrealist art and made a gigantic splash in the fashion world. 

Janelle Monae wears a wide brim hat tower to Met Gala
Janelle Monáe wearing a four-tiered wide brim hat with a long braid at the 2019 Met Gala in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

The foundation of the hat tower is a lusty black wide brim hat with white brim trim, topped off with three smaller women’s boater hats. One has a hot pink hat band and the others have white grosgrain ribbon sewn around their brims. Together, the hats perform a stunning balancing act. The look is unorthodox, but we certainly can’t deny the fact that it works, and works incredibly well. 

There are tons of chic moments to be had in your curls and favorite hat, but to make it happen, you’ve got to follow the rules. Choose the right hat type for your hair, protect your curls, and then sport your look with confidence. 

By the end of this article, you’ll realize that hats are the hottest accessory in any curly girl’s wardrobe.

Best Hairstyles for Wearing Hats

Some hairstyles just won’t let you live your hatted life, like topknots, high ponytails, or tall updos. 

If you want to experiment with hats, avoid those and opt instead for medium to long length styles where your curls are able to move freely, think wash n’ gos or layered styles. 

You could also sport short curly styles like a curly pixie, a funky curly bob, or classic finger waves. 

If you’re into braided styles, go for box braids, lemonade braids, or a giant braid that hangs down to your waist. You’ve got plenty of choices!

Best Hats for Short Natural Hair

A model walks the runway in a wide-brimmed straw hat
A model walks the runway in a wide-brimmed straw hat with black trim during New York Fashion Week in New York City. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

If you wear straw, short, cute curly hairstyle practically demands a satin lined hat, but the one you choose makes all the difference. The key thing to be aware of when choosing hats for short curly hair is that less is more. 

Women’s straw hats make a statement without upstaging your natural curls. 

Here are a few hats to consider: 

Bowler Hats

A Bowler adds an air of vintage flair to any look, enhancing your short curls in a great way. Wear it cocked slightly to the back to show some curls along your hairline – trust us, you’ll love it. 


Fascinators and wide brim hats at Royal Ascot horse races.
Eunice Olumide and Nazer Bullen pose in white fascinators while Zeynep Kartal sports a floral wide brim hat during Royal Ascot 2021 on June 15, 2021 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images for Royal Ascot)

You’ve seen fascinators on the most stylish women at church – they’re as fascinating as you’d expect! Featuring elaborate lace, feather, and floral designs, they exude a delightful aura of sophistication and fun. Use this timeless accessory to complement your dressiest get-ups. 


Model on the runway in a black leather beret
BERLIN, GERMANY – SEPTEMBER 15: A model walks the runway at the Tom Tailor show during the ABOUT YOU Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 21 at Kraftwerk on September 15, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Reuter/Getty Images for ABOUT YOU)

The beret is a French classic that’s always in fashion, gracing the heads of celebrities like Regina King, Bella Hadid, and even Rihanna. But they don’t have to be wool.

This leather beret is substantial enough to add a touch of sass without being overwhelming. And it’ll keep you toasty on those cold winter nights.

Mid Brim Hats

Mid brimmed hats are statement pieces poised to make you stand out. They’re a perfect compromise between short and women’s wide brim hats

Best Hats for Mid-Length to Long Curly Hair

Long curly hair worn stylishly with a women\'s cowboy hat
EAST HAMPTON, NY – JULY 23: Cynthia Bailey wears a women’s cowboy hat to Jill Zarin\’s 4th Annual Luxury Luncheon at Private Home on July 23, 2016 in East Hampton City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

With long curly hair, you’ve got more versatility when it comes to choosing a hat. Because your hair is long, you don’t have to worry about it getting lost under larger hats, so you can wear women’s cowboy hats or any of the hats in the previous section in addition to the ones below: 

Wide Brim Hats

Naturally curly hair with a straw sun hat and yellow hat band
A model walks the runway in a yellow accented wide brim straw hat with wide cotton yellow hat band at the Aje Resort 22 Runway show on May 11, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

When you want to stop cars, invoke stares, and cause a stir, wide brim hats are your best bet; think wide brim fedoras, floppy hats, or large sun hats. They’re larger than life and command attention.

Long Oval Brim Cowboy Hat

Depending on your look of the day, you can go with a cowboy hat like Cynthia Bailey’s. You’re sure to make an entrance wherever you go. 

Bucket Hats

Kassandra Lee with long curly hair in a matching patch bucket hat
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 19: Kassandra Lee attends Breaking Hits presents – Summer Icebreaker Industry and Influencer Red Carpet event celebrating female BREAKING HITS artists at W Hollywood on August 19, 2021 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images for Key Elements PR)

If you’re into a more relaxed aesthetic, play up your long curly tresses with a suede or leather bucket hat. The cloche hat, which became popular in the 1920s, is the grandmother of the bucket hat.

Top Hats

Janelle Monae in a black top hat and mesh veil
Janelle Monae wears a black top hat with a mesh veil at the \”Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty\” Costume Institute Gala in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

For when you’re feeling a little playful and theatrical or “mad”, a custom fitted top hat is just what you need. Women’s leather top hats are also popular if you’re riding on the back of a motorcycle.  

Protecting Curly Hair While Wearing Hats

Regina King at The 74th Annual Cannes Film Festival in a pink slouchy beret
Regina King attends The 74th Annual Cannes Film Festival in a pink slouchy beret on July 16, 2021 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images).

Just like Regina King dazzled in her beret, you too can turn heads in a hat that complements your personality. But you’ve got to do so carefully. 


Some hats can pull, damage, and break your hair strands or leave you with dreaded hat hair, causing many of them to end up in storage or buried in your closet (yikes!). But with the right information, you can avoid all of these negatives. 

Tips for Wearing Hats with Curly Hair

Model in a red hat at the Osman show at London Fashion Week
A model walks the runway in a red beanie hat at the Osman show during London Fashion Week September 2021 at The Amazonico on September 20, 2021. (Photo by Estrop/Wireimage)

The tips below will make your hat-wearing experience a breeze, no matter how curly your hair is.

Make Sure Your Curls are Dry

Putting a hat on wet curls is a surefire way to end up with hat hair. The moisture makes your hair pliable, and when it dries, it takes on the internal shape of the hat. 

So, we recommend waiting until your curls are 100% dry. If you’re in a hurry, use a blow-dryer on its low setting to dry your curls. 

Choose Satin Lined Hats

The inside of a given hat may be made of many different fabrics and materials, the most common of which include: straw, cotton, linen, polyester, and even plastic. 

All of these could wreak havoc on your curls, causing breakage, dryness, and frizz due to the friction. 

The solution? 

Choose hats with a silk or satin lining on the inside. Some progressive hat companies have curlies in mind and line their hats accordingly, but most don’t. If you have sewing chops, break out your needle, thread and silk fabric, and get to work. Your hair will thank you. 

Every hat has its own attitude and spirit that it adds to your look. 

June Ambrose at Prabal Gurung NYFW Fashion Show in a black bell-shaped straw hat
June Ambrose attends the Prabal Gurung NYFW Fashion Show in a black bell-shaped straw hat with chinstraps on September 08, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/WireImage)

Whether you want to unleash your inner Cowgirl like Cynthia Bailey, become a Mad Hatress with a top hat, or go casual with more wearable sun hats or fedoras, you can and should.

Have the best of both worlds: beautiful curly hair and hats that take your aesthetic to the thousandth power!


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