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.
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
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.
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
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:
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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!