50 Protective Hairstyles for Natural Hair for All Your Needs

For women with afro-textured hair, natural curls are a blessing but also a responsibility.

In comparison to straight or wavy hair textures, natural afro hair needs some extra TLC to flourish.

Whether you’ve just completed your Big Chop or you want to take care of your growing curls, we strongly recommend you choose one of these protective hairstyles for natural hair!

See 50 protective natural hairstyles for natural hair below!

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1. Protective Hairstyles for Natural Hair Growth

The aim of protective hairstyles is to promote natural hair growth in a healthy manner. Among the styling solutions you have at hand, twists are some of the most effective. If you want your curls to become long and strong, they’re definitely the way to go.

2. Box Braids

There’s no denying the cuteness of box braids, no matter what style you get them in. However, what’s more important is how they work to shield your natural locks while they grow. All you have to do is choose your favorite style of braids and get them installed by a professional.

3. Protective Hairstyles Braids

Speaking of braids, you’ll discover throughout our article that they represent one of the most popular and practical protective hairstyles for natural hair. There is a myriad of braiding techniques for you to choose from, based on your personality and style.

4. Flat Twist Hairstyles

When it comes to protecting natural hair, flat twist hairstyles are lifesavers. Essentially, it’s a hairstyle that you can always count on for adequately supporting the proper growth of afro-textured hair. Additionally, they look and feel wonderful.

5. Easy Protective Hairstyles

If you’re not up for complicated braids, you can look into some easy protective hairstyles as a reliable alternative. Nevertheless, your natural hair should already have a decent length in order for you to style it like in the photo above.

6. Protective Styles with Extensions

Is your hair too short for the easy hairstyles we were talking about? No worries – that’s what extensions are here for. If you want to be extra careful with yours, we recommend using a soft material, like yarn, for your extensions.

7. Havana Twists

Among protective hairstyles for natural hair, Havana twists stand out through grace and style. Havana twists can be easily identified through the rope-like braiding technique, an aspect that also leads to them being regarded as rope braids.

8. Cornrows Hairstyles

Cornrows are possibly one of the most well-known protective hairstyles for natural hair, which also go beyond the community. They succeed in creating the perfect blend of edgy and chic, all while ensuring that your natural hair is in good hands.

9. Protective Hairstyle with Head Wrap

Accessories are a smart and easily accessible way to protect your natural hair. Head wraps, for example, are readily available at many local retailers. You can even purchase a few different ones to go with various outfits.

10. Ghana Braids

If you like the idea of cornrows but you’re not that much into the small braids that come with them, Ghana braids are for you. You can usually find them as a jumbo or chunky braid style, with feed-in braids that you can get in a wide variety of designs.

11. Half Styled Protective Hairstyles for Natural Hair

Braids are undisputedly beautiful, but a full head of them may not be for everyone. Whether you want a temporary braided style or you just want to maintain some of your afro curls freely, get a half styled look like the one shown in this photo.

12. Halo Braid Hairstyles

Sweet, ladylike and flattering are all key traits of the halo braid. If you have reached the milestone of medium-length natural locks, you can continue to care for them with this type of hairstyle. Relax your hair and create the braid around the crown of your head.

13. Crochet Braids

Do you dream of curls galore? Well, if you’re not quite there with your natural hair yet, you can get accommodated with the look by using crochet braids. In a nutshell, this technique results in bouncy ringlets that also help you secure your existing locks.

14. Protective Hairstyles for Short Natural Hair

Short hair, don’t care! In this day and age, you don’t have to sport waist-length locks to express your femininity. In fact, we encourage you to embrace your short natural hair with a pretty protective hairstyle, like these soft twists.

15. Bantu Knots Protective Hairstyles for Natural Hair

Bantu knots shine as a traditional African hairstyle treasured to this day. Sometimes, you can also find them as Zulu knots, owing to their origins. Regardless of how you call them, Bantu knots look amazing and they do a fantastic job of protecting natural hair.

16. Senegalese Twists

Although they come in quite close to Havana twists, Senegalese twists have a couple of distinct features. Firstly, they involve a different hair type (Kanekalon, as opposed to Marley braid hair). Afterward, Senegalese twists usually are thinner than their Havana cousins.

17. Faux Locs Protective Hairstyles for Natural Hair

Do you love the edge or cultural background that come with dreadlocks? If you want to shield your natural hair from harm, we encourage you to try faux locks as an alternative. You can customize yours however you’d like.

18. Roll and Tuck Hairstyles

Here’s another lovely idea for our ladies who already have medium or long natural hair. The roll and tuck has been around for decades, generally being classified as a retro hairstyle. Well, the good news is that it works brilliantly for natural hair protection.

19. Protective Hairstyles for Natural Hair with Wigs

Sometimes, you can’t get the specific style you want out of braids or other extensions. In situations like these, classic wigs are just what you need. Nowadays, you can find wigs in literally every shape, size, and color your heart could ever long for, making them an awesome personality statement.

20. Half Up Protective Hairstyles

The benefit of getting extra long braids installed is that you can venture into all sorts of protective hairstyles for natural hair. Thanks to the generous length, you can play around with half up hairstyles, among many other updos.

21. African Braids Hairstyles

Self-expression is essential for a protective hairstyle that accurately reflects your personality. If you are passionate about your roots, you can learn more about braids inspired by African tribes. Feel free to use accessories to further customize your look.

22. Protective Hairstyles for Relaxed Hair

The ultimate goal for plenty of women is to have long and healthy natural hair. Once you’re at this stage, the only other aspect you have to take care of is relaxing your hair for certain hairstyles. This two-way crown braid is a gorgeous example.

23. Twisted Updo Protective Hairstyles for Natural Hair

Updos are not only eye-catching protective hairstyles for natural hair, but they’re also among those that are comfortable. Compared to long braids, soft updos will ensure that you won’t get hair in your face or that you won’t get too hot during the summer.

24. Braids into Bun Hairstyles

Alternatively, you can combine the two ideas in a hairstyle that brings braids into a bun or other updo. If you choose to get this protective hairstyle, be careful with the direction that you braid your hair, starting from the edges towards the center all around.

25. Loose Side Braids

Other cute substitutes for braid extensions are all sorts of loose braid styles. As you can see in the picture above, you can mix braiding techniques like the halo braid and a side-swept fishtail braid for a remarkable hairstyle.

26. Protective Hairstyles for Natural Hair with Weave

Weaves are a fabulous method for safeguarding your natural locks as they grow. Be that as it may, you should be extremely attentive to the installation technique you choose. We personally recommend that you avoid bonding and opt for sewing, as an example.

27. Braids and Buns Protective Hairstyles for Natural Hair

Yet another way you can get creative with protective hairstyles for natural hair is by experimenting with ideas. Having longer natural hair allows you to get a few braids on top, for instance, and wrap the rest from your nape down into two pretty buns.

28. Nubian Twists

To continue our list of extraordinary braiding styles with African origins, here are Nubian twists. They stand out as a thinner and tighter braid, which often tends to curl up a bit at the edges. Nubian twists look astounding in any length.

29. Protective Hairstyles with Straight Extensions

Like any woman keen on changing up her look every once in a while, you may want to try out different textures at one point. For this, you can get straight hair extensions that start from protective braids.

30. Marley Twists Protective Hairstyles for Natural Hair

Want more of a dreadlocks feel to your hairstyle? Marley twists are just what you have been searching for. The braids get their name from the type of hair used in the installation, but also for their resemblance to the reggae icon who had this kind of hairstyle.

31. Tied Back Twisted Locks

Like we previously explained, longer hair or extensions obviously result in a broader range of styling opportunities. If this is the case for you, try out a hairstyle that involves lightly tying a few braids backward in a half up fashion.

32. Protective Hairstyles for Transitioning Hair

The Big Chop can be daunting for an abundance of women, particularly those who aren’t comfortable with super short hair. To ease the transitioning process, you can get thin or jumbo box braids to enjoy long locks in the meantime.

33. Scarf Puff Hairstyles

You would be surprised how much a simple accessory like a silk scarf can prove to be useful when personalizing your protective hairstyle. You can have fun with ponytail puffs, buns and other updos while fending off damage to your roots.

34. Sisterlocks Protective Hairstyles

Are you all about curls, no matter what form they come in? Sisterlocks are ideal for recreating a curly texture with braids. To put it simply, sisterlocks are notably thin braids that take the shape of afro-textured curls.

35. Faux Hawk Hairstyles

Whoever said that classy and edgy couldn’t work together to form a spectacular hairstyle? We’re talking about the faux hawk, a charming hairstyle that you can use to show off and protect your natural afro curls simultaneously.

36. Clip In Extensions Hairstyles

Want to add volume and density to your existing hairstyle? Clip in extensions with hair that comes close to your current locks are perfect for achieving the goal. We support them as a temporary solution that won’t cause damage to your hair.

37. Turban Protective Hairstyles for Natural Hair

Head wraps are incredibly versatile accessories for incorporating a personal touch into your appearance. You have already seen how one would look styled at the back of your neck, but just look at how beautiful a turban style is too.

38. Pompadour Protective Hairstyles for Natural Hair

As far as retro, pin-up or vintage hairstyles are concerned, the pompadour will always have a rightful spot on the podium. Ever since the 50s, the pomp has been a staple hairstyle for women and men alike. In our case, it’s also accurately protective.

39. Jumbo Twists Hairstyles

If you have an outgoing personality, voluminous protective hairstyles for natural hair are a must. Thanks to jumbo braid styles, you can have huge twists all around that bring out the best in your facial features and personal style.

40. Microbraids Protective Hairstyles for Natural Hair

Are you looking for braids that come as close as possible to the texture of a regular strand of hair? Microbraids will be the answer to all of your problems. Like you can guess from their name, microbraids are exceptionally small braids that can also be styled with ease.

41. Colorful Protective Hairstyles

If you’re at it, why not take advantage of braids or other extensions to express your tastes? In other words, we warmly encourage you to use your protective hairstyle to showcase your personality, through ideas like your favorite colors.

42. Elaborate Protective Hairstyles for Natural Hair

Indeed, you may not be able to wear intricate, highly accessorized protective hairstyles for natural hair on a daily basis. Notwithstanding, they are picture-perfect for special occasions, such as photo shootings or other art projects.

43. Bow Hairstyles

Hair bows have been increasing in popularity for years now, especially among girly girls. In the end, what dainty gal wouldn’t want an element as cute as a bow to be incorporated into their hairstyle? Get inspired by this photo for your very own hair bow.

44. Protective Hairstyles for Natural Hair with Locs

While you can adorn locs that look a lot like dreads, you can also rock them in other styles. For instance, your locs can be long and thin, depending on your preferences. Regardless of the specific locs style you pick, you can rest assured about their protective potential.

45. High Ponytail Braids

Any types of box braids are a true joy to style. Owing to their box-like installation, you can easily manipulate them into updos and other complex hairstyles. A high ponytail is just one of the ideas you can explore.

46. Poetic Justice Braids with Beads

Whether they’re gold or silver, metallic beads are a clever and glamorous way to customize your protective hairstyle. If you have Poetic Justice braids, for example, you can apply a few beads in the color of your choice to make them stand out.

47. Victory Rolls Protective Hairstyle

We’re back to pin up hairstyles for this one, with a look that will make you feel like a Hollywood movie star of the 50s. Victory rolls are a staple in pin up hairstyles, not to mention that they work astonishingly well for natural hair care.

48. Bicolor Protective Hairstyles

If you do decide on using ombre or balayage as techniques for personalizing your hairstyle, we strongly recommend that you do so on extensions, weaves or wigs. Hair dye can be particularly harmful to natural afro-textured hair.

49. Tree Braids

Also regarded as invisible braids, tree braids are excellent for additional texture experimentation. To put it otherwise, you will only see the microbraids at your roots, while the rest of the extensions can take on any texture you’d like.

50. Side Swept Braids

Finally, here’s a pretty and flattering braid style that will make you shine among your peers. When you get your braids done, you can have them installed in a side-swept manner. Nevertheless, please take note that you’ll have difficulties styling your hair any other way than to the side.

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So, What Is YOUR Hair Motivation?

In summary, protective hairstyles for natural hair help you successfully mix business with pleasure.

All in all, they provide a whole world of opportunities to express your style preferences while ensuring that your natural hair transitions healthily.

As a final note, make sure that your installation method is safe and carried out by a professional. Which idea did you end up going for?

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2 responses to “50 Protective Hairstyles for Natural Hair for All Your Needs”

  1. Shinda says:

    Thanks for the tips.

  2. Sandra Levy says:

    So many to choose from, thanks

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