My sisters in curly, coily, wavy, kinky hair goodness – we love our hair and can all benefit greatly from protective hairstyles for curly hair to maintain the care we express and style we desire. Strictly speaking, a protective hairstyle is one that keeps your ends well moisturized, tucked away, and protected from damage. While it is nearly impossible to prevent breakage, we can help minimize it with a little extra care – and look great in the process! If you are seeking protective hairstyles for curly hair that work, we have eleven suggestions (have to end somewhere) to help you along. While these styles are perfect for winter season protection, you can wear them any time of the year.
1. High Bun
The high bun is probably one of the easiest protective hairstyles for curly hair that works. Almost everyone can do it. The best way to rock this look is to ensure the sides are well moisturized and smooth. The product you use to smooth the edges is up to you. No matter the tools you use, be sure to gather the hair loosely and secure with hairpins to avoid pulling edges too tightly. Pulling the sides too tightly can result in severe breakage or worse.
2. Two-Strand Twist
The two-strand twist it one of the gentlest protective hairstyles around. I use this method quite often, especially after sealing my hair. Divide the sectioned hair into two and twist around, smoothing the end of the section. Arrange and pin your twists in an up-do, ensuring that the ends are tucked away. I like styling my hair in this manner after my moisturizing routine because it helps lock in the moisture. It also helps to set the curl pattern if I want to wear it later as a “twist out.” You can take this style a step further by dividing hair into smaller sections before you twist. Done in this way, you have further style options for your hair while keeping your strands moisturized. If you choose to wear the twists down, mind those ends.
3. Flat Twist
A flat twist is a method of styling that uses the two-strand twist to create a style that lays close to the scalp; it is a cross between two-strand twist and cornrows. The flat twist creates a lovely texture that resembles waves. It’s quite lovely. You can use the flat twist as a base for other styles, such as an up-do or bun – low or high. Part your hair in whatever pattern you like, flat twist and gather the ends together, and tuck them under to finish this protective style.
4. Natural Braids
Braiding hair is a fantastic technique. It is also a technique that many people find challenging to execute. It’s pretty easy to learn (cue any number of video tutorials available on the Internet). Once you have the technique down you are golden. Braided natural hair is another fantastic protective style. The texture is interesting and the styling options are plentiful, depending on the size of your braids. Part hair, weave three strands together, and twirl the ends with your cream coated fingers to secure the end curl. Voila! Gather the braids together in a lovely way, tuck the ends, and secure the entire creation in place with hairpins.
5. Finger Coils
The finger coil style is super cute and easy to do. Simply detangle and part damp, well moisturized (and sealed) hair into small sections and smooth from root to end. Use your fingers to twirl and shape your hair into a coil paying close attention to the ends. The dry coils look super stylish and polished. I’ve seen ladies rock this style on different lengths of hair from TWA to waist length. If your hair is a little longer, just gather the coils up into a loose bun, tuck the ends, and pin in place. Lovely! Video Source: MissJoyceMD
6. Braided Extensions
Braided extensions, sometimes also referred to as box braids, are another versatile protective style that can last for several weeks if properly cared for and treated well. Many of us use braided extensions as a protective style for several reasons, including the ability to limit damage and over manipulation. Braided extensions also aids in length retention. Should you decide to try this style, be sure to do your research first to learn more about the technique, as well as how to maintain a clean and healthy scalp while wearing them.
7. Twisted Low Bun
A low bun is a great way to have a stylish look while protecting those ends. Creating this look is incredibly easy and quick, and protects really well! All three are music to my ears when I’m styling my hair. You can create this look on freshly washed or two day old hair.
8. Goddess Braids
Oh my gosh, I just love this style! Goddess braids are lovely and feminine! The goddess braid is simply two giant cornrows on either side of your hair, connecting at the nape of your neck. How simple is that?! And wonderfully elegant to boot! Of course, the goddess braid requires a bit of foundation knowledge concerning how to do cornrows or French braids. Once you have either of those two basic techniques down, you are ready to create your very own goddess braid! The goddess braid makes a regular appearance in my winter hairstyle rotation. Yep, I have a style rotation. Gotta switch it up sometimes…gently and well moisturized with ends tucked away, of course!
10. Classic Pompadour up-Do
This list would not be complete without a pompadour and (next) a vintage look. Oh, the classic pompadour! Love it! After you create a classic pompadour on top, gather the rest of your hair in back and roll into a simple bun or French twist. Gently smooth the edges and secure in place with hairpins. Voila! Don’t forget the red lip and cat eyes.
11. Go Vintage up-Do
Ok, ladies, we know how much I love vintage inspired looks. We finish our list with a suggestion to try a fabulous, fantastic, vintage inspired up-do. I love them and wear them quite often. Faux bangs and victory rolls are a great way to protect your hair from every angle while looking fantastic at the same time! Combine these details together and you have a classic vintage look that you can wear any day. Rock this style with a pencil skirt and red lips!
These are only a tiny few of the countless number of protective style options around – had to end it somewhere. These are styles I use, all of which work to help maintain moisture and length. Curly hair can be lots of fantastic things: fun, funky, stylish, and versatile to name a few. To keep our hair healthy we must moisturize well and mind those ends. A protective style does wonders to help us along that path. How do you protect your curly hair? Have you used any of these styles? Please, share!
By Shannon Pete