With all the protective styles for natural hair that exist, there’s no reason not to show off your unique curls and personal style. The ways you can express yourself through your hair even while shielding it from the cold winter weather are limitless! We have some favorite protective styles we want to share with you, but feel free to add your own spin to them and really make them your own.
Medium Box Braids
These braids will provide you with a simpler style that is easy to maintain while also staying on trend. They’re also a perfect starting point for a number of different winter styles including cute updos, pops of color, and relaxed ponytails. You also have some options when it comes to length. You can stick with longer braids or go for a shorter style. Shorter and braided bobs are all the rage this winter!
The braided bob is so cute it deserves its own style section! These are perfect for winter because you can have the look of braids without all of the weight that comes with longer ones. This look is perfect for any occasion whether it is a lazy day or you need a chic look for a formal event. You can even mix up your style a bit with different braid thickness or adding in some decorative cuffs to complete your winter look no matter what you’re wearing!
Double Halo Braid
There’s no other hairstyle that screams winter more than the double halo braid. If you already feel like an angel, then why not look like one as well? To complete this look, you will use big, chunky braids for most of your hair with some smaller ones in the front, at the top of your forehead. You can then wrap them around the top of your head for a halo effect to bring the look together. Even if updos aren’t usually your thing, this is a look that suits anyone!
Cornrows on their own are a great protective style for your natural hair, and they offer plenty of versatility. Bringing your cornrows up into a high or low ponytail is practical for winter and makes for an easily elegant style. Whether your braids are thick or thin, this style works beautifully with some added ornaments or a fun scrunchie, or you can go the simpler, classic route of wrapping one of your braids around the base of the ponytail. Plus, it’s super easy to keep your scalp and natural hair clean and healthy with cornrows when you use a Protective Styles dry gel shampoo.
Flat twists are similar in appearance to cornrows, but tend to be easier to style on your own! Flat twists work beautifully on both natural and transitioning hair. Once you get a hang of the twists, there’s a ton of styling options! If your hair is long enough, you can put the twists into a low bun, ponytail, or pigtails. Thick hair will tend to secure itself, but you can add accessories like butterfly clips or scrunchies for extra security. For shorter hair, try twisting from the nape of your neck up and leave some curls free to create a high updo.
Box Braid Bun
What could be better than some box braids? A high bun with those braids! This is a look that can really take you from work to play without missing a beat. Plus, high buns are all the rage this winter. You can take things up a notch by adding in some multi-tone box braids. This will add even more dimension to your look, and who doesn’t love some cute highlights? Box braid buns are perfect for every age, so don’t be surprised if some of the other ladies in your family try to steal your new look!
Double Bun Braids
If you are already a fan of the bun and braids mix but you want to try something a little trendier, why not try the double bun braids? This is a style that really fits the winter vibe, and depending on your personal style, they can either look adorable or edgy or the perfect combo of the two. Have your hairstyle stand out in the best way by creating two buns instead of one on your head, either on top or in the back or rock your inner space rebel princess by going for the Princess Leia look. You can also add in some different colors to spice it up or try different braid thickness to get to the exact look you want.
Loving these buns, but you recently did the Big Chop? Don’t worry, even short mains can be styled into cute protective buns! Try out bantu knots; not only are they super adorable and edgy, but they’re very easy to style with lots of versatility. Start by either parting your hair into regular, grid-like sections, or get a little fancier and create diamond-shaped sections. Using a styling gel or pomade, twist each section into a “knot” that can secure itself by tucking the ends of your hair into the knot’s base. The best part about this style? Once you undo bantu knots, you’ll have a head full of perfectly defined coils!
Ghana Braid Swirl
This protective style will bring elegance to your everyday look. Simply swirl your ghana braids into a top knot, and your hair will instantly become a work of art! This style is great for all ages and makes a simple but powerful statement.
Havana Twist Updo
If you like Havana twists, then you absolutely need to try out some Havana twist updos! With this versatile style, you just need to put the twists up into an updo of your choosing. You can then finish off the entire look by adding in some silver cuffs to really elevate the style. Because you have the ability to choose different updo styles, you can change up your look frequently throughout the winter without too much work on your twists.
The faux-hawk is in this winter for all hair types, but it looks especially amazing with natural curly hair, locs, and braids! You’ll need pins and elastics to achieve this look, and your hair will do best if you apply a strengthening leave-in conditioner beforehand. Pin your hair in the middle of your head from forehead to nape of the neck in any way you choose; for shorter hair, try pinning your hair in cute loops, and for longer hair, try small buns. Leave the sides messy for an edgier vibe, or smooth smalls curls or frizz with a styling product that will also support the growth and health of your hairline.
Whether you’re dressing up, going to dinner with the girls, or just running errands, a chignon can be the style that carries you through all three of those activities! Classy and simple and oh-so-easy to style, a chignon works for natural or transitioning hair. All you need are hair pins and a covered hair tie or a silk scrunchie along with some styling gel to smooth your edges and keep everything in place! Depending on the occasion, add some flair with a hair scarf, flowers, or really anything else you can think of— let your creativity shine!
Whatever protective style you choose this winter, make it your own by adding in some colored braids. Add a single colored braid for just a pop of color, or go full on rainbow! Since you can buy box braids in just about every color or dye an artificial braid yourself, you’re sure to find something uniquely you! This is also a great option for when you’re transitioning to natural hair. There’s no reason not to have a little fun while your natural curls grow out.
Natural Twist-Out Style
This is probably our favorite on the list because it really allows you to show off your natural curl pattern. We love braids, but there’s something so freeing about letting your gorgeous locks flow in this more au-natural style! This look is glamorous and bouncy and sure to get some heads turning. While it looks effortless, it does take some time to perfect, and without the right protective natural hair products, it won’t offer the same protection that braids would. That said, we think it’s totally worth the effort! And with just a little Curl Activator & Definer Cream used alongside Protective Style Shampoo and Leave-in Conditioner, you can make sure your curls are healthy and on point all winter long.
Enjoy your natural hair this winter! After all, it’s your most defining accessory. The protective styles for natural hair we’ve listed are some general suggestions to get your started, so customize and combine these looks into something that suits you and your curls. Don’t be afraid to experiment! There are so many ways you can protect your hair from the heat and look great while you do it. Try out a few of these styles to see what you like best, what you feel the most comfortable in, and what keeps your hair healthy and strong.
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