10 Best Protective Hairstyles For Natural Hair Summer 2023

Protective styles are a great way to protect your natural hair from pulling and tugging of the ends, meaning less breakage and more growth. Since natural hair is porous, it can soak up the humidity of the warm summer breeze in an instant, causing frizz and fly-aways which are not-so-easy to manage. Que protective styles – versatile, gorgeous styles which are made to keep your coils moisturised, breakage-free and save you some precious sleep-in time in the morning. The versatility of the styles is unmatchable and some styles, like braids, are nothing less than a form of intricate, skilled art form.

Some of us have missed out on the summer fun last year, so it’s only right we make up for the loss and embrace the warmer days ahead with a selection of beautiful, summer-proof protective hairstyles which are bound to show you some real growth (and style, of course.)

  1. Bantu Knots

Via @therealritabee / Instagram

A staple style for women all around the world. Bantu knots are not only incredibly beautiful, but they also carry a great deal of history and legacy. But that’s for another blog. Be sure to use a moisturising leave-in conditioner or hair lotion, as well as an oil to seal in moisture as you twist the hair into it’s bantu-knot-perfection

Bantu Knots look best on freshly washed and conditioner hair, coupled with a leave-in treatment. We recommend the African Pride Black Castor Miracle Prep & Leave-In Moisture Butter 8oz 


        2.  Faux Locs


Via @naturalbabepro / Instagram 

Much less maintenance and faster results than real locs (which can take at least a year to form), faux locs are ideal for creating a beautiful, impressive styles with the essence of a bohemian spirit. As with any protective hairstyle, you don’t want to keep your faux locs in for longer than six to eight weeks. Keep them down’n’free, in a bun, half-up-half-down or up in a scarf for some style switch-up throughout the life-spam of your faux locs.


  1. Senegalese Twists

Via @michelledomingos / Instagram

One of the more popular styles for natural hair, Senegalese twists are a great alternative to box braids if you’re looking for something smoother and less textured in appearance. Also known as rope twists, this style can be multi-dimensional by mixing in different coloured Kanekalon hair extensions, experimenting with the length, and accessorising with braid charms.


  1. Faux Pony



Image via Pinterest 

Faux ponytails are great for keeping the weight off the nape of your neck for the hotter summer days, and perfect for emphasising your facial features. Take care not to pull the hair too tightly as this will put unnecessary stress on your hair follicles and have the reverse effect of protective styles a.k.a hair loss and hair thinning. 

For the ultimate Faux Ponytail Extraveganza, use the Palmer's Coconut Oil Edge Control Gel to style your edges into perfection. 


  1. Fulani Braids

Via @naturalbabepro / Instagram


Via @willowsmith / Instagram

We’re obsessed with this protective style. Indigenous to the Fula tribe in Africa, Fulani Braids usually follow a specific pattern of a cornrow braided down the centre of the head, two or so cornrows on each side of the head from back to the front, and decorated with beads, clips, and ropes. This style is full of character, history, and beauty. Summer-style approved? Absolutely.  


  1. Cornrows



Via Jorja Source / Tumblr

A technically focused style, cornrows are great for protecting your natural hair while locking in the much-needed moisture. Sleek in appearance, cornrows are characterised by braiding against the scalp in various styles and directions. Its sleekness means your face will naturally take the centre stage (after the cornrows, of course) while embracing the beauty of its history and unmatched cultural significance.

For the ultimate moisture-drenching effect, treat your hair to the Shea Moisture Tahitian & Monoi Smooth & Repair Hair & Scalp Weekly Treatment 


  1. Box Braids

Image via Pinterest

Ahh… the classic three-stranded plaits … we love. Box braids come in all shapes and sizes, and offer endless opportunities to experiment with lengths, colours, and thickness. Don’t fear colour and go all in this summer by opting for brighter, bolder kanekalon hair for the ultimate hot girl summer look.  For protective styling, don’t go too long in length to prevent your hair from being pulled from the weight of longer braids.


  1. Crotchet Braids

Via Pinterest @naturalhair-products

Quick to install and easy to manage, crotchet braids are great for protecting the hair from heat damage and the tugging and pulling nature of daily styling. The crotchet technique means you or your stylist can attach either bulk hair or pre-braided strands to the cornrows for faster results. As a breathable style, crotchet braids allow your scalp to breathe and provide space for easy access when hydrating the scalp with oils.


  1. Marley Twists

Image via Pinterest

Similar to the Senegalese Twists, the Marley Twists take a more natural approach due to the hair extensions used. While Senegalese twists use kanekalon hair, Marley Twists use Marley Hair which mimic natural texture for a more relaxed, natural look. For hotter days, throw the style up in a bun, or enjoy a half up half down look for a touch of elegance. 

To keep your Marley Braids in tact for longer, ensure to moisturise the braids and keep your scalp hydrated with regular re-application of a hair oil or a leave-in conditioner. To keep your hair underneath well hydrated and tamed, try out Aunt Jackie's Nourish My Hair Flaxseed & Monoi Hair Oil 


  1. Flat Twist Bun

Image via @jheneaiko / Instagram

Flat twist buns are our go-to protective style. Quicker and easier than other protective styles, the flat twist bun can be simple or complex, depending on your mood. Pair with statement earrings for daring summer-time fun.

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