15 Protective hairstyles for naturally curly hair

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Want to give your curly hair protection while still being stylish and fun? Try these 15 protective hairstyles for naturally curly hair and never complain of boring hairstyles again.

Protective hairstyle is a term coined for stylish hairstyles that helps protect the hair from breakage and damages. This is mostly used in the black community. Curly and coily hair is prone to damage and breakage because it has less moisture. Type 3 and type 4 hair are the most fragile ones. That is why protective hairstyles are commonly seen worn by black people. But don’t get us wrong, even girls with wavy hair can also sport this stylish hairstyle. A protective hairstyle can be worn for 2 weeks but make sure to give your hair some rest before getting a new one. Here are some of the coolest and stylish protective hairstyles for naturally curly hair.

Fulani braids

Fulani braids
Source: Instagram

From the Fulani people of Africa, this protective hairstyle is a combination of many different braided elements. It can be a combination of intricate or simple cornrow patterns until the top of the head, a braid on two sides of the temples or a braid running along the hairline. You can also add beads at the end of the braids to add extra colour and fun.  

Braided ponytail

braided ponytail

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Want to sport the Ariana look while protecting your hair? Then try a braided ponytail. After braiding your hair, gather them at the back of your head and tie them in a low or high ponytail. This hairstyle protects your long curly hair from damage and breakage. You can add colour to your braids to make them extra special

Marley twist

Marley twist
Source: Instagram

Make your hairstyle look bigger and more voluminous by doing a Marley twist. This protective hairstyle is done by wrapping your hair with a Marley hair extension to create a two-strand twist. This hairstyle will protect your hair and will make your locks look more textured and thicker.

Braided crown

Braided crown
Source: Instagram

A braided crown, as the name suggests is a French braid that wraps over the head, just like a crown. It can be a protective hairstyle especially for your girls who are very active and playful and are always on the go. It might take some practice to get this hairstyle done properly but it is sure worth your effort.

Sculptural headwrap

Sculptural headwrap
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Maybe you are bored of the usual braids to protect your hair. Or maybe you just want drama when you enter the room. Well, a sculptural headwrap will give you all the drama and protection that you need. Choose satin or a silk head wrap to make sure that there is less friction on your hair.

Bantu knots

Bantu knots
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Another protective hairstyle from the people of Africa. Bantu knots originated from the Zulu people from Southern Africa. It is done by sectioning hair, twisting them and wrapping it until it creates a stack. This creates multiple stacks on your head that look stylish and uber-cool.

High top knot

High top bun
Source: Instagram @freshlengths

If there is a man bun, then the high-top knot is the man bun for curly hair. There are many different ways to create this protective hairstyle. You can simply gather your hair on top of your head and twist them to create a bun. Or you can tie your hair in a high ponytail, then braid them. Wrap the braid at the base of the ponytail to create a bun.

Double braids

Double braids
Source: Instagram

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Remember when you were young and your mom used to braid your curly hair? Most likely, you have worn double braid during your childhood. And you can still wear this protective hairstyle now that you have grown up. Do a middle part from the front to the back of your head. Braid both sides and you get your childhood protective hairstyle back!

Pineapple bun

Pineapple bun
Source: Instagram

Gather all your curls on top of your head and tie them with a ponytail. Piece of cake for a protective hairstyle! Pineapple hairstyle is originally a hairstyle that protects the hair when sleeping. But due to its popularity, it has become a daytime look as well. You can add more fun and colour to your pineapple bun by choosing a colourful band to tie your bun

Afro-chic

Afro chic
Source: Instagram @mallampelliks

What better way to protect your hair than to let them breathe and flow naturally. After doing a braid for 2 weeks, it is best to let your hair down and rest from the tight styling. Moisturize and hydrate your hair to make them look at their best even without any styling.

Box braids

Box braids
Source: Instagram @lounalrx

This protective hairstyle is one of the favourites in the black community. Box braid looks very simple yet stylish. You can see box patterns on the scalp where the braiding starts. This is commonly done with hair extension but this can also be done with your naturally curly hair. This hairstyle protects the hair from too much tugging caused by tight braids.

Space buns

Space buns
Source: Instagram @Jasmine Winters

Create this uber-cute protective hairstyle and let out the inner space geek in you. Section off your hair into the middle and tie them into a pigtail. Twist your hair at the base of the ponytail to create 2 antenna-like buns on top of your head. Simple, stylish and protective!

Flowing cornrows

Flowing cornrows
Source: Instagram @tasleighmc

If cornrows are not stylish enough for you, then do flowing cornrows. Create cool and clean patterns using your cornrows. You can do wave patterns or curl patterns as you braid your hair. This is similar to how a cornrow protects your hair from breakage, only way cooler!

Multi-tonal braids

Multi tonal braids
Source: Instagram @natttybee

Another way to take your braids to another level is to create multi-tone on your braids. This can be done by using multi-coloured hair extensions or multi-coloured yarns to create a colourful effect on the hair. Speaking of fun while getting your hair protected.

Knotless braids

knotless braids
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A knotless braid is a three-strand braid that protects the hair and the scalp from too much weight compared to regular braiding. Similar to box braids, hair is sectioned into small parts and braided. Braiding hair strands are added to the natural hair to create thicker and less flat braids without the heaviness on the scalp.

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