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7 Protective Hairstyles That Will Save You Hours Of Styling Your Natural Hair

7 Protective Hairstyles That Will Save You Hours Of Styling Your Natural Hair

While our natural hair is beautiful in all its kinks and curls, we can all agree that styling Afro-textured hair can be quite a chore. Think of all the things you could do if you didn’t spend so much time in front of the mirror styling your natural hair. You could probably have responded to some of the hundreds of emails you’re yet to open or made that business call you’ve been postponing, so why not opt for a protective hairstyle that saves time? Recently, the beauty world has gone agog with endless inspiration of protective hairstyles for Black women. Excitingly, this means you’ll have so much to choose from. 

Protective hairstyles save you the time of daily blow-drying, stressful combing, and most importantly, they keep your ends carefully tucked away. They also reduce damage to your natural hair from regular manipulation and heat. Whether you opt for single braids or cornrows it is a matter of choice as they allow your scalp to breathe better. Another plus? These hairstyles require very little daily upkeep and also help the hair to retain its moisture.

Also, if you’re tired of the wig life and feel like letting your natural hair out, #teamnatural on Instagram provides an endless inspiration to choose from. Being able to style your natural hair in a variety of hairstyles can become a good problem seeing as you will never run out of options. However, making the final decision to settle for just one can be daunting but we have narrowed the list to a few options. These options will definitely guide your styling journey and your next trip to the salon.

Check out 7 trendy protective hairstyles we’re totally gushing over…

#1. Bob locs

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Hair By Susy (@hairbysusy)

Any kind of locs are great, but bob locs boast a certain attitude. This chin-grazing option will definitely flatter any face shape and play up your facial features while keeping your natural hair in shape.

#2. Braided top bun

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by DeMario Ward (@marquiswardbeauty)

This sleek option marries class with an edge, creating a look that works well from day into night and also aces a plethora of fashion takes. Whether you rock it with a suit or with a chic dress, the braided top bun will complement your look to maximum effect.

#3. Box braids

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by TONI TONE (@t0nit0ne)

There’s a reason box braids are one of the most popular protective styles for Black women. From its versatility to its ease of maintenance, this ‘OG’ hairstyle is beloved by many natural hair aficionados. More recently, box braids have taken an upgrade with the knotless braids trend that begins with your natural hair rather than the extension. This is great as it reduces tension on your scalp and also gives your hair less chance of breakage. Certainly, with so many innovative box braid options around, you for sure won’t be boring!

#4. Bantu Knots

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Song Bird (@gyakie_)

Bantu knots are the perfect mix of playful and chic. Whether you’re looking for a style to complement your weekend slay or to maintain your curls, this is your answer. In addition, they’re one of the easiest protective hairstyles for Black women available so anyone can do them. However, easy doesn’t mean boring as Bantu knots come in a variety of options. 

#5. Fulani Braids

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Hair By Susy (@hairbysusy)

This is a face-framing hairstyle that flatters almost all face shapes. From diamond to oval, round to square, every woman can get her protective fix with this style and still look major. Plus, considering that there are so many parting options to choose from, you can always return to this protective look for a steady glow-up and not feel redundant. 

#6. Cornrows 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Rahel Brhane (@rahelbrhane_)

Cornrows have been protecting natural hair since inception, and in 2023, they still show no signs of abating. Interestingly, this hairstyle can be worked into any style and they’ll still give the desired results. Whether it’s simple cornrows or incorporating it into a faux pony, either way, it’s guaranteed to look good!

#7. Maxi faux locs

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by DIDI-STONE (@didistone)

Textures and curls are always a win when it comes to protective hairstyles for Black women. Because natural hair is curly and textured, it’s important to opt for styles that “honor” your hair for what it is. Of course, the whole idea of natural hair is to keep it in its natural state, styles that bend it to submission are a no-no.

Luckily, faux locs (and all others on this list) are a great way to protect your hair as well as honor its natural state. Finally, if you’re looking to up the switch, you can also add different colors to your faux locs for a welcome update. 


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