Ever heard of protective hairstyles for your hair? They’re like superheroes that keep your hair safe and healthy. They can be made from your hair or with extra help from extensions. Their magic lies in their ability to require minimal maintenance while offering maximal protection. Just spritz a bit of oil and water on your scalp every other day and you’re good to go.

But these styles aren’t just about being easy. They’re like bodyguards, protecting your hair from rough weather, tugging, cooler temperatures, and heat. It’s your best bet to avoid damaging your hair with split ends or breakage.

Protective hairstyles to the rescue

These styles aren’t just defenders. They’re also growth boosters. They help your hair grow healthier and fix any breakage over time. But, a word of caution: don’t go in blind. If you get these styles done wrong, they can actually do more harm than good. A sloppy technique or overly tight braids can pack in the damage, potentially leading to hair loss. The best approach to this is to do your research and look for a skilled stylist who not only excels in the art of installation but also promotes natural hair growth.

Before you get a long-lasting protective style, wash, detangle, and trim your hair. After your new style is in, moisturize your scalp and roots and use a satin pillowcase or bonnet to keep it looking good overnight. Satin pillowcases and bonnets are soft and smooth in texture. They’re a great way to maintain moisture in your hair while sleeping while locking in products. Additionally, it helps prevent split ends and fights against frizz in our hair.

Protective styles aren’t just about keeping your hair on fleek. They’re like your hair’s support system, helping it grow strong and healthy. From low-maintenance care to being growth buddies, these styles are all about giving your hair the VIP treatment it deserves. Protective styles are a smart way to keep your natural hair healthy, avoid frequent washes, and still look stylish.

  • Cornrows

    Cornrows are a classic protective style. They can be small or big, with zig-zags, front-backs, and more. These braids are done close to the scalp using an underhand motion, creating a raised row. Short cornrows let you add extra hair for a cool look. Many people go for faux ponytails or buns to add volume or texture. You can also bring in a touch of sparkle with hair accessories, just like singer Alicia Keys.

  • Faux Locs

    Faux locs offer a fantastic way to sport the natural locs look without the commitment. A bonus with faux locs is that they improve in appearance over time. The more they’re worn and get a little messy, the closer they resemble natural locs. This protective style is actually a personal favorite of mine. I love adding gems and occasionally some colorful extensions. Certain stylists will braid your own hair, and then wrap extensions around each braid, while others will braid cornrows and attach the faux locs to your natural hair using a latch hook.

    Faux Locs, protective styles for cooler temps, pink locs, purple locs, and teal locs

    @itsKaylaMo, Instagram

  • Knotless Braids

    Knotless braids offer a gentle and lightweight choice, allowing for versatile styles without worrying about straining your scalp, which might hinder hair growth. What sets knotless braids apart is their avoidance of knots at the roots. Unlike traditional box braids that employ small knots at the scalp, this method sidesteps tension that often leads to hair breakage. Depending on braid size, you can create elegant updos, weave them into larger braids, or let them cascade down your back. These braids are available in various lengths, ranging from chin-length to hip-length. Just remember, the length and size influence your time in the chair.

  • Passion Twists

    These light and springy twists give off a cool boho vibe and are both long-lasting and easy to look after. They look a lot like faux locs, so it’s easy to mix them up. These twists are made using Freetress Water Wave braiding hair, giving them a natural texture. They’re natural-looking, low-maintenance, and perfect for trying out fun styles like space buns or bantu knots.

  • Bantu Knots

    Bantu knots are truly stunning. Celebrities like Mel B., Rihanna, and Beyoncé have effortlessly showcased their regal charm with this style. Bantu knots have their roots in the Zulu people of southern Africa. This hairstyle involves sectioning off the hair, twisting it, and skillfully wrapping it to create a stacked and spiraled knot that adds a unique flair.

  • Two-strand Twists

    Twists work wonderfully on natural hair and serve as an easy choice when you’re unsure about your style. It’s important to highlight that relaxed (chemically straightened) hair is often too sleek to maintain twists without them unraveling. This style can remain intact for days or even weeks, needing only minimal touch-ups. It offers versatility in styling while safeguarding delicate ends. The classic two-strand twist is easily achievable at home. Just divide your hair into desired sections, split each section in half, and twist them around each other from root to tip. For added volume and intricate styles, extensions can be incorporated.

  • Wigs, Sew-ins, and Weaves

    Many TV personalities and celebrities including Oprah, Megan Thee Stallion, Nicki Minaj, Kyle Jenner, Lady Gaga, and Cardi B love wearing wigs. Wigs give your natural hair a break and save you time styling. But not all wigs are the same . There’s no one-size-fits-all. Your budget, what you like, and whether you’re new to wigs all matter when choosing one. Synthetic wigs cost less and need less care than human hair wigs, but they’re not as flexible for styling and might not look as real. I prefer human hair wigs for protective styles because they look more natural and you can do more with them. You can sew, glue, or use a band to put them on.

  • Head-Wrap

    Adding a headwrap over braids, twists, or your natural hair adds a fashionable shield against the elements. They’re awesome for giving extra protection to your protective style, too. And the best part? Headwraps come in all sorts of cool styles and colors, so you can rock them as a fab accessory. Or just pop one on when you’re not in the mood to fuss with your hair.

  • Banded or Braided Ponytail

    An effortless ponytail with a sleek finish and styled edges is absolutely stylish. Just smoothly brush your hair into a high ponytail using a bit of gel to keep any flyaways in check. Secure extensions at the ponytail’s starting point, then position elastics at intervals along the ponytail’s length or go for a straightforward braid. This style can also be pulled off with your natural hair, no extensions required.

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