Looking for protective black hairstyles that feel fresh? Fear not: you don’t have to wear the same ‘do as last year. In fact, you’ll be surprised at the range of styles you can create while protecting your natural hair from everyday elements. And if you’re worried that you’ll have to go to the salon to create them – think again. The truth is, you don’t have to resort to commitment-heavy weaves and extensions. Surprisingly, most natural hairstyles are quick, low maintenance and – importantly – easy to do yourself. So, if you’re stuck for ideas and need inspiration, see our selection of protective black hairstyles to try now.
7 Black hairstyles that promise to protect
1. Plaited pigtails
Thought plaited pigtails were just for the playground? This protective style is a great way of protecting your strands from damage. Best of all, you can play around with a number of different French plait, Dutch braid and cornrow variations to mix things up.
2. High bun
Just because the bun is simple, it doesn’t mean it should be forgotten. Taking under five minutes, not only is it the epitome of quick and easy, it’s a great option for those with natural black hair. For maximum care, remember to keep your bun ultra high and tuck away all of your ends. This will limit contact with clothing and accessories, and will decrease chances of friction-induced split ends.
Tip: To help banish pesky flyaways, smooth a 5p-sized piece amount of VO5 Smoothly Does It Frizz Free Creme (£3.99*) over your mane after styling.
3. Goddess braid
Looking for a protective hairstyle that’s practical and super feminine? Then the goddess braid is for you. There are lots of plait variations you can try, like the Dutch braid, French braid, and lace braid – each of which will help limit damage to natural hair. And, while technically not a braid, we love the flat twist for an equally pretty – and care-effective – look.
4. ’90s buns
It’s time to embrace the ‘90s – at least when it comes to your hair. Like the high bun, it’s easy to overlook styles that are simple, but ’90s buns are definitely worth considering as part of your protective black hair repertoire. Cute, easy to do, and practical: what more could you ask for?
5. Bantu knots
Crazy Eyes from Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black probably has a thing or two to do with the revival of this retro hairstyle. Although it’s not as quick as the high bun, it’s a great style for anyone that wants to avoid handling their natural hair everyday. Not to mention, you also get a great twist-out when you undo the Bantu knots!
Tip: Apply 1-2 pumps of Toni&Guy Glamour Serum Drops (£7.49*) to your hair before styling, as this will help you create smooth-looking, neat Bantu knots!
We love Janelle Monáe for giving us a fresh, uber cool reference for this retro updo. A great way to protect and play in one go, it’s an effective hairstyle that looks stylish and boasts natural hair care benefits to boot. Heads up: this style will require plaiting and pinning, so have your bobby pins (and some trusty TRESemmé Freeze Hold Hairspray (250ml, £2.89*)) close to hand!
7. Twist it
If you get easily bored with your hairstyles, single twists might be the answer for you. This option may be more time consuming compared to the other styles, but hear us out: once you’ve single twisted your hair, you have the flexibility to style them in a range of updos. And don’t forget, like Bantu knots, when you finally decide to undo this style, you’ll have a great twist-out! Credit: @queenpokoo
See? Protective black hairstyles don’t have to be boring.
*RRPs are Unilever suggested retail prices only, it is at the discretion of the individual retailers to set the actual price.