Protective styles become an essential factor in caring for your afro-textured hair. The African hairstyles community is growing stronger each year, with more and more creative ways to protect your precious locks from damage. If you have this natural hair texture, you are well aware of the challenges it imposes. Nevertheless, you can reduce stress in more ways than one with these alluring styles.
1. Protective Styles for Natural Hair
If you are one of the fortunate ladies who have succeeded in growing out their natural locks, this style is a must. After properly relaxing your hair, you can twist the sides and tuck the ends in a safe and stylish chignon.
2. Faux Locs
Dreadlocks are a beloved hairstyle, but we all know how much long-term damage it can cause. For a gentle approach with a similar visual impact, think about getting some faux locs. They look ravishing and are protective as well.
3. Protective Hairstyles for Hair Growth
If your aim is to grow your natural hair, you should consider protective styles that put as little strain as possible on your locks. For instance, this twisted crown hairstyle is nowhere near tight. Consequently, your hair won’t undergo breakage.
4. Havana Twists
For a tropical island gal look, Havana twists are your go-to protective hairstyle. They consist in a two-strand twist that gracefully flows into a dreamy hairdo. You can also style them with ease after they’re done.
5. Protective Styles for Short Natural Hair
Already flaunting some natural locks? If you’re at the beginning of your journey and your natural hair is short, you should really think about flat twists as your protective style of choice. You can also mix them with a half flat twist out for some cute curls.
6. Protective Hairstyles for Transitioning Hair
Similar to the abovementioned hairstyle, this one mixes flat twists with adorable corkscrew curls in a pixie hairstyle. It’s an exceptional way to protect your locks while transitioning to natural hair in the long run.
7. Box Braids
As far as braided hairstyles for African American women are concerned, box braids are easily in the top 3 trending ones. They have a myriad of benefits, from being available in various widths, to having the opportunity of getting them as long as you can imagine.
8. Ghana Braids
In addition to box braids, Ghana braids are an endeared protective hairstyle. These jumbo braids are undoubtedly eye-catching, owing to their chic thickness. As for styling, feel free to let yourself be inspired by this side ponytail.
9. TWA Protective Styles
The Teeny Weeny Afro, or TWA for short, is the first major step in embracing your natural hair. After you have undergone the BC (Big Chop), you can start growing your afro curls. To protect them throughout your transition, think about using this type of hairstyle.
10. Half Up Twists
Twisted braids are a dream come true for African hair care. They are part of the loose braids category, meaning that they won’t distress your hair any further. If you want to style them fashionably, you can try this half up top knot.
11. Protective Hairstyles Braids
Speaking of braids, this photo proves our point in the most beautiful way possible. Although there’s a long road to getting natural hair with this length, you can protect your locks with extensions in this style.
12. Goddess Braids
Women with bold personalities will adore the way goddess braids complements them. These big, breathtaking and brilliantly safe braids will make you stand out amazingly. The metallic bead accessories are also super stylish, whether they be in silver or gold.
13. Nubian Twists
If you’re all for spring coil locks, Nubian twists are the protective styles for you. After getting these braids installed, you will enjoy a unique texture that makes raking your hands through your hair a pleasure.
14. Flat Twist Protective Style
We can’t stress enough how significant flat twists are among protective styles. In this photo, you can observe a full flat twist on natural hair, delicately guarding it from harm. Aside from the protection, you get a sleek look you will adore.
15. Protective Hairstyles for Relaxed Hair
Once you have long, natural hair, you can enjoy an entire world of infinite styling possibilities. If you really want to get creative with your hairstyle, start doing research on updos. This example shows how jaw-dropping they can turn out.
16. Senegalese Twists
Yet another way to enjoy long strands while shielding your natural locks is the Senegalese twist. The name comes from its area of origin, and the outcome is nothing less than radiant. Don’t hesitate to try short or long twists to see which ones suit you the best.
17. Natural Protective Styles
Twists are a fundamental part of styling your natural hair once it’s grown out. If you decide to go for a playful hairstyle like this one, make sure that you don’t twist your locks tightly. As you’ll find out throughout our list, loose is key to protection.
18. Marley Twists
When we hear Marley twists, we think about the celebrated musician who inspired their name. However, Marley twists also refer to the hair used for this braided hairstyle. Try it for yourself if you’re into chunkier braids.
19. Protective Hairstyles with Extensions
Extensions play a crucial role in hairstyles for women at the beginning of their natural hair transition. As your natural locks will be extremely short, you can extend the length of your hair through various braided extensions.
20. Kinky Twists
If you aim for a natural, afro-like look, you should experiment with kinky twists. These funky braids can be kept for a few weeks at a time, and you’ll look remarkable with them every day. This photo also shows a popular cut for kinky twists, so keep this layered approach in mind.
21. Natural Hair Bun
Buns are a terrific way of preserving natural hair. After all, you didn’t invest time, money and patience into growing your hair for your efforts to be in vain, right? This hairstyle takes just a few minutes for wrapping up and adding the accessory of your choice.
22. Winter Protective Styles
If the weather outside is frightful, it is best to cushion your locks as you would shield your body from the cold. A simple way to do so is with a braided updo, which frees your face and keeps your locks in place. Moreover, updos also cater to any formal events you may have in your agenda.
23. Protective Hairstyles for Natural Hair with Weave
There’s quite the conversation going on regarding the safety of weaves. While they indeed can protect your hair, they can also destroy it if they’re glued or tightly installed. The best solution is to work with an expert stylist and speak to them openly about your objective of growth and protection.
24. Short Box Braids
While you will often find box braids in long versions, their shorter alternatives look just as fabulous. You can get inspired by popular haircuts for the shape of your braids, like the inverted long bob from this photo.
25. Funky and Protective Hairstyles
Olayinka Mia Noel is an international model that countless women look up to for her natural beauty. She is also an avid supporter of the natural hair community, displaying funky protective styles like this one on her social media accounts.
26. Protective Styles for Summer
After covering protective hairstyles for winter, it’s natural that we would recommend some summer counterparts. To fight the heat in a glamorous way, take a look at this example for inspiration. Not only is it safe, but it’s also fit for casual and fancy environments alike.
27. Cute Protective Hairstyles for Natural Hair
Channeling your inner teen? Dare to go for a playful and youthful hairstyle! You can even take a trip back to the 90s with a super pretty hairstyle with half up space buns. They look fantastic on spring twists!
28. Faux Hawks
Repeat after me, ladies: “roll and tuck”. Once you get a hang of these techniques, they will become your ultimate natural hair mantra. Together, they serve as an unbeatable method for guarding your natural hair with numerous styles.
29. Headwrap Hairstyles
What better way to secure your natural locks than with a charming and inspiring accessory? Not only are headwraps extremely fashionable, but they’re also a delightful way to go back to your African roots.
30. Protective Braid Styles
Keep the braids coming, girls! In example of braided protective styles, we want to point out the enchanting parting technique upon installation. You can express your creativity through diamond shapes for each braid.
31. Elegant Pompadours
Have a wedding coming up? How about a black-tie office party, or an important red carpet event? The classic pompadour will ensure a dazzling appearance at any of the abovementioned events. Aside from its elegance, the pompadour glamorously guards your hair.
32. Curly Protective Styles for TWA
Hands down, one of the best ways to show off your TWA is to get those curls popping! Make sure that you start off with a haircut that properly accentuates your natural shape. After that, let those curls bounce around like there’s no tomorrow!
33. Bantu Knots
As far as African roots are in discussion, Bantu knots are as close as you can get to them. This traditional hairstyle has been worn for hundreds of years, and it keeps trending to this very day. Don’t hesitate to spice yours up with some color or accessories.
34. Easy Protective Styles
Does time never seem to be quite on your side? No need to worry, we have prepared a few fast and easy styles to get you going. Women with medium or long natural hair can braid their way to this angelic updo in a few minutes.
35. Full Wigs
If you long for colors or textures that would normally destroy your hair, it’s best to go for a full wig. In recent years, wigs have become more and more popular among celebrities with all types of hair textures. Essentially, they’re the key to changing your look in a jiffy with 0 damage.
36. Micro Braids
Gabrielle Union holds a special place in our hearts for more than one reason. Aside from her flawless acting, she also flaunts braids from time to time. In this shot, you can admire her micro braids and even think of getting some of your own.
37. Protective Styles for Kids
We’re back to space buns, this time in a version that your daughter will go crazy for. The hairstyle is incredibly adorable for young ladies, and will also shield their natural curls from harm. The baby hair is the icing on the cake!
38. Quick Protective Styles
As promised, here is another protective hairstyle for women on the go. If your natural hair is already long, gently create a twisted braid to the side. After you master the braiding technique, you’ll get the look in less than 5 minutes.
39. Clip in Hairstyles
Remember what we said about the concern around weaves? Well, an extraordinary way to avoid any hair scares is to get a clip in one. In other words, all you have to do is clip in the extensions and leave your worries behind.
40. Cornrows Protective Style
Cornrows have been popular for ages, and Beyoncé made sure that the trend is back and booming more than ever with her latest album cover. For a creative approach to cornrows, don’t hesitate to play around with feed-in designs like the ones in this shot.
41. Afro Puffs
Looking for a hairstyle that will guard your hair while accentuating your voluminous curls? Afro puffs are just what you have been longing for. This is yet another effortless hairstyle that will highlight your afro-textured hair safely.
42. Crochet Braids Protective Style
If curls are your main focus, crochet braids represent the perfect answer. By applying this technique, you will enjoy large, perfectly shaped curls that frame your face in a highly flattering way. Furthermore, crochet braids work for short and long hair alike.
43. Halo Braids
Whether you call them crown braids or halo braids, these beauties create a hairstyle impossible to forget. No matter if you want to bring out your bohemian personality at a festival or make a graceful appearance at a wedding, you should keep this protective style on your list.
44. Protective Styles for Thinning Edges
If you are struggling with thinning edges, the faux hawk can help you conceal them and show off the rest of your gorgeous locks. Make sure that you are gentle with the edges though, so you won’t cause any further damage throughout the repair process.
45. Sisterlocks Hairstyles
Want to combine the ideas of curls and braids? Welcome to sisterlocks, the ideal blend in which you get the best of both worlds. The braids are similar to micro ones, while the strands are then super curly all around.
46. Protective Bridal Hairstyles
On your wedding day, you deserve to look and feel like absolute royalty from start to finish. After choosing the dress of your dreams, think about the perfect hairstyle to complement it. This goddess braided updo just might be the one.
47. Long Braided Protective Styles
Hair extensions are life savers for multiple reasons. Aside from their obvious protective factor, they can also be worn extremely long. For instance, you can extend your cornrows with waist-length braids in the same size.
48. Protective Updo Styles
If you plan on wearing your hair up more than you would down, you can get it braided directly into an updo. For this, you will have ascending braids all around, leaving the top perfect for ponytails or buns.
49. Turban Hairstyles
For 100% protection in harmful weather conditions, don’t hesitate to rock a turban. You can pick a headscarf with a pattern that reflects your personality and wrap your hair entirely. It’s a lovely way to accentuate your facial features too.
50. Professional Protective Hairstyles
Last but not least, we want to leave you with a protective hairstyle that can be worn in an office environment. The locks style is pulled back into a sleek ponytail, making it suitable in a corporate setting.
In summary, there is an endless variety of protective styles to choose from. No matter what hairstyle you pick, you should know that caring for afro-textured hair requires time, patience and plenty of love. We warmly encourage all of you to put a bit of time and effort into taking care of your curls, as the benefits will be outnumbered in the end. But let’s talk about you. What’s your favorite protective style?