7 Protective Hairstyles To Keep Your Hair Healthy and Happy

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Rebecca Moses
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Looking for ways to keep your hair healthy and happy while also looking stylish? Protective hairstyles may be the solution you’ve been seeking! These hairstyles shield your hair from harmful elements and reduce the need for constant styling and manipulation, allowing your hair to grow and thrive.

Ahead, we’ll explore seven protective hairstyles that will help keep your hair healthy and looking fabulous.

7 Protective Hairstyles for a New Look

Want to switch up your look and look brand new in an instant? These seven protective hairstyles for natural hair are ways to go. Check them out and get inspired!

1. Box Braids

Box braids
Box braids

Traditional box braids are a protective hairstyle that involves sectioning the hair into small, square-shaped sections and braiding each section. Start the braiding from the root to the ends. These sections create a “box” pattern on the scalp, hence the name.

The braids can be made with synthetic or natural hair extensions, and because they are low maintenance, they can last for several weeks or even months with proper care. This style is popular among those with natural texture because they allow for a break from daily styling and can help promote hair growth.

2. Plaited Updo

Plaited Updo
Plaited Updo

The plaited or braided updo hairstyle involves creating a series of braids and twisting them into a high, elaborate updo. Inspired by Yoruba royalty, this protective hairstyle suits formal and casual occasions and can suit any hair type and length.

To create the look, the hair is sectioned into smaller parts and then braided. The braids are then twisted and pinned into place to form a stunning and intricate updo. This hairstyle works best for those with medium to long hair and can be adorned with accessories like flowers or pins.

3. Bantu Knots

Bantu Knots
Bantu Knots

Bantu knots are a traditional African hairstyle that requires dividing the hair into small sections and twisting each section until it resembles a mini bun or knot. The knots are secured close to the scalp with bobby pins or bands, and the ends can be left out or tucked in, depending on the desired look.

This style is known for creating defined and bouncy curls when the knots are unraveled, making it a famous choice for those who want to achieve a curly or wavy look without heat styling or chemical treatments.

4. Dreadlocks With Highlights

Dreadlocks with Highlights
Dreadlocks with Highlights

Dreadlocks with highlights are a stylish twist to the traditional dreadlocks hairstyle. This hairstyle involves sectioning the hair, rolling the sections, and interlocking them to form dreadlocks.

Highlighting the dreadlocks involves adding a vibrant pop of color to the hair with dye or tape-in extensions. Adding highlights can create a bold contrast with the natural dreadlock color, highlighting the texture and volume of the hair.

6. Flat Twisted Updo

Flat Twist Updo
Flat Twist Updo

This chic, versatile hairstyle requires parting the hair into small sections and flat twisting it from the roots to the ends. The twists are then gathered into an updo, creating a simple yet elegant look that can be worn to any event.

This protective hairstyle protects the hair from damage, reducing the need for daily manipulation and styling. The flat twists can also be decorated with beads or hair accessories, adding a touch of personality and style to the look.

7. Cornrows With a Faux Pony

Cornrows with a Faux Pony
Cornrows with a Faux Pony

Cornrows with a faux ponytail is a trendy and fashion-forward hairstyle that involves creating rows of small, tight braids along the scalp and attaching a faux ponytail extension to the end. The cornrows can be styled in different patterns and designs, depending on your preferences and the hair length.

This hairstyle adds an extra edge to your look and can be worn with a straight or curly ponytail. The faux ponytail adds length and volume to the hair, creating the illusion of a longer and fuller ponytail without growing your hair.

8. Chunky Braided Mohawk

Chunky Braided Mohawk
Chunky Braided Mohawk

The chunky braided mohawk is a bold and edgy hairstyle perfect for those who want to make a statement. To create this look, the hair is braided into thick and chunky braids, starting from the nape of the neck and going up to the crown.

The braids are then arranged in a modern mohawk shape, with the sides of the head shaved or trimmed short. The result is a dramatic, attention-grabbing hairstyle showing your personality and style.

Protective Hairstyle Tips

Frequently Asked Questions

What are protective hairstyles?

Protective hairstyles are hairstyles such as braids, twists, buns, and knots that protect natural locks from damage caused by heat styling, daily manipulation, and environmental factors. These involve low manipulation, shielding hair from harmful elements, helping retain moisture and length, reducing breakage, and promoting healthy hair growth.

How long can protective hairstyles be kept?

Protective hairstyles can last from a few days to several months with proper hair care and maintenance. The length of time they can be kept depends on the specific hairstyle, the type of hair, and how well the hairstyle is maintained.

How do you clean your scalp in a protective style?

Here are some tips for cleaning your scalp in a protective style:

  • Dilute shampoo with water, put it in a spray bottle, spray it on your scalp, massage gently, and clean.
  • Mix a glass of water with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Spray, massage gently, and rinse after a few minutes.
  • Mix a glass of water with two tablespoons of witch hazel, then spray, massage gently, and rinse after a few minutes.
  • Use a scalp massager to scrub your scalp gently.
  • Use a dry shampoo that is safe for your protective style.


Protective hairstyles aim not only to help keep your hair healthy and happy but also to give you time to create unique and vibrant styles to show off. Whether you choose an elegant twisted updo, box braids, or dreadlocks with the highlight, wearing protective hairstyles guarantees that your natural hair stays strong and revitalized without sacrificing fashion.

Now is the perfect time to show the world how creative and stylish you can be with the chich, protective hairstyles, no matter the occasion. Don’t forget having good hair health is one of life’s greatest luxuries; protect yours!


  • Rebecca Moses

    Depending on the day, you’ll find Rebecca in a well thought-out ensemble that she handcrafted herself, or in hiking and rock climbing gear. An avid outdoorswoman, cyclist, and cat lover, Rebecca reminds us all on the Groom+Style team just how much we need to get outdoors. She’s worked in spas and salons off and on before going full-time with the G+S team. Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebecca-moses-3158b914b/