50 Really Working Protective Hairstyles to Restore Your Hair

Are you tired of dealing with damaged and dry hair? Have you been searching for protective hairstyles that actually work to restore your hair’s health and vitality? Look no further! In this guide, we’ve curated 50 protective hairstyles that will not only protect your hair from damage, but also help to restore its natural beauty. Whether you have natural hair, relaxed hair, or anything in between, these hairstyles are sure to help you achieve the healthy, luscious locks you’ve been dreaming of.

You might think protective hairstyles can be hard to come by, but you’d be wrong! These days there are so many ways to style your hair. Rock beautiful braids at an evening event, sport quick sassy protective styles based on a natural afro, or give a little attitude with an edgy updo.

Scroll through 50 pictures of stunning styles below and head down to your hairstylist. When you walk out that door, you’ll feel like a completely different person! You’ll also have a pile of new hairstyles to try next time you’re stuck!

1. Neat Braids with Cuffs. For black hair, neat curvy braids will have you looking like a queen.

Protective Black Braids with Cuffs

2. Protective Lemonade Braids. Why have braids straight down to your back when you can braid in both directions around your head? This style will work for thin edges.

Black Side Braids for Thin Edges

3. Low Braided Updo. Double braids on each side and feed them into a cute pretzel-shaped bun at the nape for a classy updo, eye-catching from every angle.

Double Braids and Low Bun Updo

4. Fancy Protective Style. Protective styles for natural hair certainly aren’t boring – this stunner looks more like a crown!

Braided Protective Style for Natural Hair

5. Protective Cornrows and Curly Ponytail. Tightly coiled natural hair looks best when down and wild or up in a princess pony.

Curly Ponytail with Cornrows for Natural Hair

6. Easy Peasy Half-Protective Style. Wake up and go with a simple side braid pulled through beads on 4c hair.

Half Updo on 4C Hair

7. Dramatic Low Bun Style. Not a new idea, but still a good option to try on 4c hair, this braided updo brings drama to the top and a lot more to the bottom with a rounded braided bun.

Low Braided Bun for 4C Hair

8. Two Puffy Boxer Braids. Look like a queen with edgy braids pulled apart once braided for a thicker, more impressive appearance.

Edgy Puffy Boxer Braids

9. 6-Stitch Braids. A protective hairstyle that is as luxe-looking as it is protective. The well-defined, clear segments of stitch braids is a sight to behold. This hairstyle also doesn’t put much strain on your scalp.

Protective Stitch Braids with Low Bun

10. Easy and Quick Braided Pony. Need hair out of the way but still want to look pretty? A braided pony is classic and quick protective style.

Quick Braided Protective Ponytail

11. Smooth and Silky Top Bun. Check out this sleek stylish bun! Look your best at an evening date with a silky straight weave hairstyle.

Bun Updo Weave Hairstyle

12. Boxer Braids for Natural Hair. Taming 4c hair is easy when you work them into braids fit for a princess.

Boxer Braids for 4C Hair

13. Curled Bob Braids. Make your protective styles for natural hair as chic and fashionable as you prefer. Curly ends of your braids add a fresh, glamorous twist to the style.

Chic Protective Bob Braids

14. Chunky Braid with Faux Undercut. This braided updo with delicate cornrows at the nape puts all other styles for curly hair to shame.

Braided Updo for Natural Curly Hair

15. Geometric Cornrows. Turn heads with an updo boasting angled cornrows and curled baby hairs.

Protective Updo with Geometric Cornrows

16. Cornrows Hair Art. Lots of small cornrows are fed into two braids and given warmth with an added color. Brilliant!

Two Pigtail Braids with Front Cornrows

17. Extra Tall Chunky Braided Bun. Got long hair with extensions? Twirl it into a huge crown bun for an impressive yet easy updo.

Long Braided Hair with Extensions

18. Protective Senegalese Twists. Be the star of your own show with Senegalese twists, throwing in bold beads for special accents.

Senegalese Twists with Beads

19. Two Big Afro Buns. Cute Minnie Mouse buns are perfect for girls and women with afros who don’t mind a simple and fun hairstyle.

Fun Minnie Mouse Buns for Afro Hair

20. Protective Bantu Knots. By now many girls have tried so many braided hairstyles from cornrows to box braids, Senegalese twists and all kinds of intricate braided patterns. This head full of quirky knots is good when you want to rock what you have without adding any extensions.

Bantu Knots Updo

21. 2-Strand Twist Braids. Part your hair into small sections and twist each section from root to tip. Twist braids protective hairstyles for black women stay neat for weeks.

Half-Up Twist Braids with Curls

22. Very Long Twists. A great option for protective braid styles, Senegalese twists give you a flawless look and a desired length.

Long Protective Box Braids

23. Shapely Natural Updo. For African American hair, a flattering updo with twist braids is easy, elegant, and fit for any occasion.

Twist Braids Updo for Natural Hair

24. Upside Down Braid and Bun. A single-braid updo with a tightly twisted bun is classic and eye-catching. Good for medium relaxed hair.

Upside Down Braid to Bun Updo

25. Chunky Flat Twist and Side Bun Updo. Several chunky flat twist braids around your head can make for a statement updo. Direct them to one side and pin the ends for a fresh take on the low bun.

Twist Braids and Side Bun Updo

26. Protective Hairstyle with Kanekalon Hair. Don’t you mind using some extensions? Try this cute updo with multiple Kanekalon braids featuring an added color.

Updo with Braids and Added Color

27. Flat-Twist Updo Hairstyle. An elegant updo like this one with flat twists shows off the neckline and that cute pair of earrings you’ve just bought!

Updo with Chunky Flat Twists

28. Twists and Combcoils. A different take on a twisted updo, this style brings long twists up and leaves cute little combcoils to frame the updo around perimeter, like an undercut would.

Long Twists and Combcoils

29. Touchable Buns with Tiny Braids. For natural hair, incorporating tiny braids into bunchy buns is a great way to show off your mane!

Buns with Braids for Natural Hair

30. Sassy and Stunning Faux Mohawk. The curly updo with faux locs makes for a beautiful mohawk. The thin braids that protect edges keep it pretty but edgy.

Edgy Mohawk Updo with Faux Locs

31. Thick Colorful Braids. For African American hair, chunky braids fed into buns help show off any color you add in.

Braids into Buns for African American Hair

32. Protective Halo Braid. Look like an angel with a highlighted halo braid!

Halo Braid Updo for Natural Hair

33. Atomic Blonde Faux Locs. Want to check if blondes really have more fun? Wear these for a couple of months and find out. It’s a relatively quick protective style done with a crochet method. We love!

Blonde Crochet Faux Locs

34. Protective Twists and Bun Updo. Need a protective style for hair growth? Look no further! A natural protective hairstyle like this one encourages hair to grow and looks pretty feminine at the same time.

Protective Updo for Natural Hair

35. Knotted Mohawk Braid. This beautiful protective updo hairstyle is feminine and edgy. It’s a great choice for any formal event.

Long Mohawk Braid

36. Natural Hair in a Big Low Bun. There are protective hairstyles that do not pull that hard at your edges and encourage healthy hair growth. This natural updo is a good example.

Natural Low Bun Updo

37. Glossy and Sleek Protective Twisted Bun. A quick protective style for black hair: a twisted bun with an upside down braid.

Protective Upside Down Braid to Bun Updo

38. Extra Long Braids with String. Very long braids are gorgeous, but even better with beads.

Long Braids with String and Beads

39. Feed-In Braided Pineapple Bun. Inspired by a pineapple, this unique style gathers different kinds of braids into a bold bun.

Black Pineapple Bun with Braids

40. Jumbo Twist Braids with Zig-Zag Parting. Hair extensions give your braided hairstyles extra body and length. Use colored extensions for extra glow.

Jumbo Bob Twists with Burgundy Extensions

41. Half-Protective Curly Style. For curly hair, this half updo unleashes curls and throws in little details, such as a twist from ear to ear accented with charms.

Half Updo for Curly Hair

42. Protective Cornrows with Curls on Top. Cornrows decorated with bobby pins create a fun version of the Mohawk updo and ensure you look your best wherever you’re off to!

Mohawk Updo with Cornrows and Curls

43. Feed-In Braids in a High Ponytail. To braid natural hair protective styles, your stylist will gradually feed in hair extensions to your cornrows. The outcome is a chic and graceful updo.

Graceful Protective Braided Updo

44. Natural Updo with Voluminous Top. An updo with a little wave action! The sides get their own attention too, with a few smaller sectioned off pieces.

Natural Updo with Side Cornrows

45. Four Dutch Braids. Short on time? Bring four rows of braids into two low buns or just tie the ends of each two braids together.

4 Braids Updo for Natural Hair

46. Fulani Braids. Hairstyles that protect edges don’t have to be boring. Working beads onto face-framing braids gives that extra oomph.

Fulani Braids with Beads

47. Golden Accents in Faux Locs. Looking to add a little something to your hairstyle? Incorporate a gold string or beads for an ultra-flattering updo.

48. Protective Coiled Bun Updo. The intricate braids look like a rose when arranged around a bun.

Sisterlocks Bun Updo

49. Huge Natural Flat Twists. Show off your dense 4c hair texture in a thick natural flat twist updo. Bring twists to the back of the head and gather into a chunky bun.

Flat Twist Updo for Natural Hair

50. Flat Twists Updo for Shorter Hair. Move from rocking cute cornrows this week to wearing gorgeous curls the next week, all in one single hairstyle. Protective styles like this updo yields the cutest 4c curls when undone.

Short Hair Protective Updo

The next time you’re struggling to find new interesting protective hairstyles, take a look through our galleries for natural hair. There’s a simple or intricate design for every taste and occasion!

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