20 Protective Natural Hair Hairstyles You’ll Love

protective styling natural hairstyles

What is Protective styling for natural hair? Hit that link to find out, already know? Then you’re about to discover some beautifully made protective natural hair hairstyles from Queens all over the world.

One of the first ways you can protect your natural hair and retain its beautiful curls is through natural hairstyles, if you are transitioning or decides to take the big chop, you would need protective hairstyles to keep your hair under wrap.

Protective natural hairstyles can be just as beautiful as hairstyles for relaxed hair, all you need is a list of simple styling to pick from.

Your natural hair needs protective hairstyles not just to keep it healthy but help you track its growth and prevent washing too often and drying it out, all you need is to ensure cleaning your scalp every two weeks and use spray conditioner to keep it hydrated.

Worried about the right natural hair protective styles? Not to worry, we did find 15 suitable hairstyles that are simple to make, strengthen your hair strand and keep your scalp clean.

Protective Natural Hair Hairstyles

If you want to preserve your curls then you would definitely need these protective hairstyles, you can easily style them at home or find a stylist to help you with it.

1. Box Braids

Short Medium Box Braid
Image: @AfricanBraids // Instagram

It’s really easy to put your hair under wrap with a box braid. There are lots of reasons box braid is recommended for natural hair but one you have to keep in mind is that it protects it from the harsh climate. Box braids are safe for length retention when you are transitioning to natural hair and with proper care, you should be able to rock braid for 4 weeks or more.

2. Two Strand Twist

Two strand twist for natural hair
Image: Brydie

It’s quite hard to have natural hair and not try two-strand twists. This hairstyle has a unique way of framing one’s face, but its major benefit is that it helps grow your hair. The two-strand twist should be your go-to if you are just growing your natural hair from scratch.

3. All Back Cornrow

Jumbo All Back Cornrow
Image: Hair Adviser

Jumbo all-back cornrows can be described as a modern braid hairstyle. This has just the right kick and fancy any hairstyle should hair. It is also not too dramatic which is just the hairstyle for many of us that don’t like long hairstyles.

4. Bun With Twist Bangs

Bun With Twist Bangs
Image: The Every girl

Frankly, the hairstyle you choose does not have to be overly dramatic. Something simple and nice as this bun with bang above will keep your hair nourished and protected. This type of styling works for long and short natural hair types.

5. Knotless Braid Hairstyle

Dreadlocks
Image: @hairtrend // Instagram

Many people tend to avoid locking their hair as they believed it leads to breakage but contrary to this belief, it can actually protect your hair from breakage. Dreads can be lots of fun to style however you have to ensure you won’t be craving any other hairstyle after locking your hair.

6. Protective Cornrow

protective natural hairstyle
Source: Essie

Protective hairstyles do not have to be dramatic, simple and elegant would do just fine, the cornrow above should not be too tight to give your scalp space and keep your curls from having split ends, you can add one or two more cornrows to make it more subtle and lasting.

7. Protective Messy Bun Styling

halo twist
Source: Pinterest

Want a protective hairstyle different from the normally recommended styles but still protects your scalp and hair from breakage? The hairstyle above is just what you should go for.

8. Protective Flat Twist Out

protective hairstyles
Source: Pinterest

The flat twist is a common hairstyle for Nigerians, natural or relaxed hair but has now become widely chosen by all Africans for keeping the curls healthy in natural hair.

9. knotless Box Braid

natural hairstyles
Source: refinery29

Rather than go for thigh edge braids, you should try knotless braids as they are loose and keeps the curls healthy without causing any damage, it is also easy to wear knotless braids for a very long time.

10. Heat Styling Protective Hairstyle

protective hairstyles
Source: hairstyles

if you have massive natural hair and wonder how to keep it neatly styled, you really should give this hairstyle a go, it’s not just beautiful but one of the most recommended protective hairstyles for natural hair and can be for occasions.

11. Protective Natural Hair Twist

protective hairstyles
Source: dailybasishairstyles

Simple twists with no extension can be beautiful too, all you need is the right length of natural hair to rock it with, this is one hairstyle that can be really beautiful and simple with no drama.

12. Senegalese Twist

Protective hairstyles
Source: Pinterest

Want to retain your chic look then we recommend you go for a simple Senegalese twist just like the one above, not too tight which makes it suitable for transitioning natural hair.

13. Bob Twist

protective hairstyles for natural hair
Source: allthingshair

For short natural hair, short box braids are the best. You can easily plait this hairstyle, and it takes less time than a long box braid, the purpose of this particular protective hairstyle is to keep you from manipulating and washing your hair too often.

14. Knotless Braid For Transitioning

knotless braid
Source: twitter

You do not have to go for full box braids at all times, something with fewer strands and long length can also keep your curls well tucked in, you can do this on short-growing natural hair or transitioning hair.

15. Marley Twist

protective hair styles
Source: allthingshair

Another fascinating hairstyle that can protect your natural hair, and you can wear for a very long time without having split ends is a Marley twist, very easy to style and if you are good with cornrows and twists, you can easily do it at home yourself or get a nearby stylist for it.

16. Dread Faux Lock

Protective hairstyle for natural hair
Source: Willow smith

Willow smith is looking dashing with that beautiful natural hair hairstyle, you can always plait this hairstyle at the beginning of your natural hair transition, it helps the growth of natural hair and keeps it well moisturized.

17. Bantu knot

Protective hair hairstyles
Source: FROtorial

Bantu knots can be a really interesting hairstyle for short and long hairstyles takes very little of your time to make and is very easy to change too.

18. High Ponytail With Sleek Base

protective hairstyles for naturla hair
Source: innovateboom

If you want to preserve your curls after a twist out, this high ponytail is exactly the hairstyle you need.

19. Tuck And Roll With Cornrow

natural hair haistyles
source: Kamdora

During the transition phase, your hair tends to become frizzy and hard to comb through, you can easily have this hairstyle made to strengthen it and keep the thick scalp area covered.

20. Simple Protective Hair Styling

protective hairstyles for natural hair
Source: Kamdora

If your natural hair journey just started then you need simple hairstyles that minimize the shedding here is one hairstyle that can be very easy, but you would need a wide-toothed comb to keep the curls in and nothing too tight at the mouth to cause more tangles.


Endeavor to check your natural hair from time to time regardless of the protective hairstyle you are spotting especially during the transition phase as it is easy for you to have split ends if you do not keep it maintained and less manipulated. What protective hairstyle are you wearing on your natural hair? We would love to know in the comment box below and follow us on Instagram @thrivenaija to get you updated on the trendiest natural hairstyles.

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