21 Best Protective Hairstyles for Black Women

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When looking at the best protective hairstyles for black women, you want something that’ll actually do the trick – give you a way to wear your hair how you want to while causing minimal damage and moisturizing or rehydrating the hair at the same time.

That’s where these beauties come into play – the best protective hairstyles for black women… Oh, and why they work!

1. Havana Twists

Using Havana hair extensions, these twists are created with two strands (rather than three with cornrows and braids). If you want bigger and fuller twists, you apply minimal tension. If you want thinner twists, you pull them tighter. Easy to wear but more expensive than other twist-styles, these will require quite a bit of preplanning and maintenance, something you’ll definitely need to bear in mind.

Havana Twists Protective Hairstyle for Black Women

Source: @adoreurface

2. Faux Locs

These ones have become increasingly popular over the years and it’s not hard to see why. Faux locs can be both temporary and permanent, giving you a beautiful way to protect your hair, the yarn or synthetic material woven around it. You can have human hair as well as synthetic hair and yarn, and you can pick from a wide range of colors giving you a million ways to wear them.

Faux Locs Protective Hairstyle

Source: @anthonycuts

3. Ghana Braids

An African style of wearing your hair just as the name suggests, Ghana braids are long-lasting braids, offering a way for you to have fabulous hair when time just isn’t on your side. These ones have simply been braided back and left loose at the nape of the neck at which point, you could easily bun them up or wear them in a pony tail.

4. Box Braids

Twist them over to one side, wear them loose, throw them back in a ponytail or weave them into a bun… There’s nothing you can’t do with the right box braids and even worn casually, they are beautiful to look at. For the days your makeup and accessories are on point, keep the hair away from the face like this large twisted and braided look.

5. Crochet Braids

When crochet braids unravel, they look beautifully curly and as long as you keep them well hydrated and maintained, frizziness will be at a low, ensuring you can wear your look for longer. These crochet braids are adorable and definitely follows the 90’s vibe which has hit this season with a vengeance.

Crochet Braids Protective Hairstyle

Source: @elbonyxdenaya

6. Twists with a Pop of Color

We loved the side-swept nature of this larger twists, and we also love that red shade running through them too, another classic way of revamping a look you may have worn a thousand times before but making it look a little different. You could change your color every time you head to your stylist, and you could even add multiple colors if you wanted to. What color combos would you come up with?

Twists with a Pop of Color

Source: @faithketay

7. Custom Wig

Of course, you could just all-out cheat and opt for a custom wig to perfect your look. We love this one, a cute and curly style with just the right amount of caramel bronde running through for added measure. What do you think? Would you be brave enough to rock a big and bold look like this? We want to see your versions of it!

Natural Looking Wig Protective Hairstyle

Source: @ladyafrika

8. Double Halo Braid

We loved this double halo braid, fit for an angel of course! What we love the most about it is that solid pop of bright red running through the braids! Why not add a slightly subtle pop of color to your braids and twists? It helps you to stand out from the crowd and let’s face it, who wants to look like everyone else anyway?

Braided Protective Hairstyle for Black Women

Source: @ezbeautified

9. Short Twists

Hair accessories are a very big thing for right now and we are one hundred percent in love with these cool corn row cuffs, or hair cuffs as they are otherwise known. Add them to your regular cornrows or twists to accessorise just like you would with earrings, necklaces, bracelets and other types of jewellery. Bling it up!

Short Havana Twists Protective Hairstyle

Source: @kiitana

10. Short Braids

Just because you can have length doesn’t mean you need to have length. The weight of all that hair causes stress and tension on your scalp and can damage the follicles so from time to time, go a little shorter than you usually would. These short braids are super awesome and still incorporate a beautiful braided look along with regularly short length.

Short Box Braids Protective Style

Source: @taneeone

11. Rope Twists

For when you don’t know how to braid, the rope twist or Senegalese twist is super simple and easy to do. It’s a twist with a twist! Cool right? The rope twist looks like rope, hence the name, and again, you’ll need to get the tension right to ensure these twists look the same all over.

Rope Twists Protective Hairstyle

Source: @createddlove

12. Bantu Knots

Bantu knots are a super cool look if you can pull them off, very 90’s. But you know how fashion comes around – the 90’s look is back in again. If you’ve pulled your old neck choker out the closet, you need to rock the bantu knots too. Hair twisted around until it turns back on itself, you need to remember how uncomfortable this look could be to sleep in if you don’t take the appropriate precautions.

Braided Bantu Knots Protective Hairstyle

Source: @laeldivine

13. Big, Side Swept Box Braids

Box braids are super awesome when you’re looking for a good protective style and as well as giving you the opportunity to add some impressive length to your own hair, you can create some pretty stunning looks out of them too! Just remember the longer your weave, the heavier it will be and the more stress and tension it will be putting on your scalp. Longer doesn’t always mean better. Give your hair a break from time to time.

Big Side Swept Box Braids Protective Hairstyle

Source: @itsmilan_baby

14. Yarn Faux Locs

There are many benefits to rocking protective styles like these – you’ll be protecting your own hair from the elements such as battering wind and rain and the heat of the midday sun. You’ll also be able to ensure your hair is well moisturized as long as you keep up with the care regime. You can keep the length you’ve always wanted while taking care of your own hair at the same time, and you can create beautiful and stunning looks easily. Do we need to carry on?

Red Faux Locs Protective Hairstyle

Source: @kersti.pitre

15. Cornrows Updo

Cornrows are always a classic look when looking at the best protective styles for black women, and one of the best things about them is the fact you can twist and turn them into a range of different looks. There are literally so many ways you can customize this look, you’ll never run out of ideas, all while protecting your hair at the same time too. Winner!

Small Cornrows Updo

Source: @myhaircrush

16. Elegant, Twist Updo

Wearing your hair up is actually a great way to protect it but this only works when you have the right tension on your scalp. Whether you opt for an updo or loose locks, twists, cornrows, braids or more, make sure you get them done by someone who knows what they’re doing. Incorrectly installed weaves will cause follicle damage later on in life and this in turn can lead to baldness.

Elegant Twists Updo Hairstyle for Black Women

Source: @sheilandinda

17. Senegalese Twists

Also known as rope twists, Senegalese twists are an easily worn protective style often using Marley hair, Kanekalon hair, and also Toyokalon hair. Keeping the tension the same across the style is necessary to give this look the uniform twisted look. It’ll take some practice but does look simply stunning!

Senegalese Twists Protective Hairstyle

Source: @tupo1

18. Flat Twist Updo

Flat twists are great for those who are new to the world of these protective styles for black women, and they’re easier than cornrows and other types of braids because you only work with two strands of hair rather than three. If you can twist two strands together, you can create a flat twist and it can be fun coming up with new and interesting patterns and formations to wear them in.

Flat Twist Updo Protective Hairstyle

Source: tumblr.com

19. Crochet Twists

There are a few care tips you should know about if you fancy going for something like this beautiful crochet twists look. You should sleep with a silky or satin scarf over your head at night to keep frizziness to a minimum. You should let your hair air-dry over night where possible rather than using heated styling tools. Finally, make sure you apply hydration balms or natural oils to your scalp and natural hair before you start to work your magic and create your look.

Long Crochet Twists Protective Hairstyle

Source: @ik_lifenstyle

20. Big Cornrows into a Ponytail

With the ability to rock a number of complicated and intricate designs and styles, why wouldn’t you take full advantage of that? We love these big cornrows pulled back into a simply ponytail – a real no-nonsense look for when you’ve got a busy day ahead. With everyone rocking thin cornrows, stand out from the crowd and opt for a thicker option every once in a while. Go crazy, why not?

Big Cornrows Protective Hairstyle

Source: @naturally_ci

21. Yarn Twists Long Bob

For an easy way to revitalize a look you’ve worn before, or perhaps you’ve been rocking for a while, is to add a touch of color when heading to the stylist. A color change can make the world of difference to your protective styles for black women, even if you’re rocking the same look you’ve been wearing for the last year!

Yarn Twists Bob Hairstyle

Source: @naijaabynature