Protective Styling 101: Keeping Your Hair Healthy All Year

Protective Styling 101: Keeping Your Hair Healthy All Year

There are several means to take good care of your amazing hair, and protective styling is just one of them. Whether you're enthusiastic about giving your hair a break from regular styling, following a hair growth plan, or simply aiming to introduce more versatility to your appearance, opting for protective styling is the ideal choice.

In this post, we’ll help you discover why protective styling is worthy of your consideration and which one will suit you.

Why Opt for Hair Protective Styling?


What is Protective Styling?

Protective styling refers to natural hairstyles that protect the integrity and health of your hair. Popular protective hairstyles for natural hair include braids, twists, buns, and sew-in weaves. The key benefit of protective styling is reducing manipulation and friction on your hair strands.

Benefits Protective Styling Brings

1. It protects your hair

Protective styling is so clutch for natural hair care and growth because it literally acts as a shield against damage to your strands. 

When you tuck your hair away into braids, twists, buns, or sew-ins, you create a barrier that prevents your hair from constantly being pulled, tangled, and manipulated.

2. It provides seasonal defense

Many are convinced that protective styling shines as a year-round natural hair care strategy because it adapts so well to seasonal changes. 

Protective styling can be your summer hair care. During the hot, humid summer months, braided updos, buns, and twist-outs are perfect protective styles.

But protective styling does not only end there, it can also be your effective winter hair care! In the harsh, dry winter, protective styles like sew-ins, silk presses, and flat twists under beanies bundle up your hair and shield it from brutal winds and cold.

3. It retains hair length

One of the most exciting benefits of protective styling for natural hair care and growth is improved length retention. 

Protective low-manipulation hairstyles like braids, twists, and buns keep your ends neatly tucked away and protected from damage. This helps maintain length in between trims.

4. It offers edge protection

When you wear braided styles, buns, or a wig cap, you take tension off the hairline and give those edges a break. Your edges get to chill out shielded under braids or a headwrap rather than being exposed.

5. It is low maintenance

One of the major perks of protective styling is the low maintenance it provides for your daily hair care routine. Styles like box braids, faux locs, or sew-ins allow you to "set it and forget it" for weeks at a time.

Popular Protective Styles for You

lady with marley twists hairstyle

Marley Twists

Marley twists allow you to take a break from styling your natural hair while achieving a fluffy, carefree twisted look. The style involves less tension on the scalp and provides a protective barrier for natural hair to grow underneath. To create Marley twists, natural hair is sectioned off and two-strand twists are formed using Marley braiding hair, which has a textured, kinky appearance.

lady with box braids

Box Braids

Box braids are a protective hairstyle where the hair is sectioned off into square or rectangular shapes and then braided down close to the scalp. Hair extensions are frequently added to the braids to create length, volume, and variety in color or texture. The box shape comes from the sharp parts created in square sections across the head before braiding.

lady with crochet braids

Crochet braids

A variety of looks can be achieved with crochet braids, including chunky twists, loose waves, faux locs, Senegalese twists, and more. The crocheted hair integrates seamlessly with the cornrows for a natural blended look. Crochet braids allow you to take a break from styling your real hair while rocking beautiful textures and styles.

lady with bantu knots

Bantu knots

Bantu knots are a coiled protective hairstyle where sections of natural hair are twisted tightly around themselves into little buns or "knots" that cover the whole head. To create bantu knots, hair is sectioned into square parts. Each section is then continuously twisted from root to tip until a mini-knotted bun forms.

Top knot

To create a top knot, gather and smooth the hair into a high ponytail first before wrapping the ponytail base around itself into a neat bun shape. The bun can be left messy or neatly styled. Top knots are a quick and easy way to get the hair up and off the neck and shoulders into a stylish updo.

Senegalese twists

Senegalese twists are a protective hairstyle that originated in Senegal, West Africa. They involve twisting synthetic braiding hair extensions with natural hair to create defined, rope-like twists that elegantly twist down the head. These twists are a go-to protective style for their beautiful appearance and low manipulation of natural hair.

Faux locs

Faux locs are a protective hairstyle designed to mimic the appearance of traditional dreadlocks without fully locking the hair. To create faux locs, the natural hair is sectioned off and braided down into cornrows close to the scalp. Synthetic locs extensions are then wrapped around each braided section using a crochet needle or by hand.

Crown braid

A crown braid is a gorgeous protective hairstyle where the hair is braided across the top of the head in a circular pattern to create a braided "crown" effect. To achieve a crown braid hairstyle, section the hair across the head from ear to ear. Crown braids are often combined with the hair gathered into a low bun or ponytail to complete the regal look. 


Cornrows provide a neat, low-maintenance look while protecting the hair and scalp underneath.  The hair is braided tightly from the root to the tip to create neat, flat rows along the head. Cornrows are versatile protective styles that can be done on all hair types and lengths.


Wigs are a protective hairstyle that offers versatility and convenience while protecting natural hair underneath. To get the benefits of wigs as a protective style, keep natural hair underneath braided or cornrowed.

Nourish hair under wigs by regularly moisturizing and conditioning braids. Use Blaq Luxury's Papaya Paradise Collections to quench hair with moisture and nutrients for optimal growth.

image showing a collection of hair care products

Choosing the Right Protective Style

Here are some tips for choosing the right protective style for your hair:

Consider your hair type and texture - Certain protective styles work better for different hair types. For example, tightly coiled 4C hair holds twists and locs better than loose waves. Buns and braids tend to suit all textures.

Assess hair health and length - If your hair is color-treated or heat-damaged, avoid pulling it too tightly into styles. Opt for loose braids or curly twists instead. Shorter hair limits options too. Extensions allow more variety.

Scalp and edges - If you're prone to a sensitive scalp or traction alopecia at the edges, avoid tight braiding. Try styles like buns and head wraps that don't grip the scalp.

Lifestyle factors - Active lifestyles and jobs do better with low-maintenance styles like braids vs high upkeep twists. Also, consider your fashion sense. Match your look.

How to Maintain Protective Styles

Here are some healthy hair tips that will prolong the protection protective styling brings:

  1. Moisturize along the braids/twists/edges daily to prevent dryness. Use water-based leave-ins and oils to hydrate the hair and scalp.
  2. Gently wash braided styles every 1-2 weeks to remove buildup. Use sulfate-free shampoos and don't rub aggressively.
  3. Deep condition under braids/twists by applying conditioner along the parts for added moisture.
  4. Avoid excessive tension on edges when braiding/twisting and use products to enhance circulation in the area.
  5. To smooth your edges, use Blaq Luxury's Papaya Paradise Strong Hold Edge Glaze. This is an innovative and all-natural product specially formulated to care for edges. We especially formulated this edge glaze to minimize breakage and maintain the perimeter when braids, twists, or other tension styles are worn.
Blaq Luxury product Edge glaze


The bottom line is - our natural hair craves and thrives with gentle care. While rocking braids, twists, wraps, and low manipulation styles may require some adjustment, your strands will thank you!

Remember, healthy hair is always in style. So embrace the beauty of you while giving your strands a break. Flaunt those protective styles proudly! Has protective styling worked well for your natural hair? Share your success tips and tricks with us below!

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