Top Protective Style Trends for 2022


We're celebrating natural hair love with the top protective styles of 2022 - keep your curls safe without compromising your look. If you've ever wondered what exactly a protective style is, RevAir has your inspiration guide! 

Rocking a protective involves very little maintenance, no heat application, and results in versatile faux locks that shield your natural ends from damage. In fact, many natural hair stylists recommend protective styles as an essential part of curl care. Faux locks keep your ends from drying out in the winter months and protect against sun, water, and wind in the summer. Hair that falls more on the coily end of the spectrum will especially benefit from protective styles as the tighter the curl pattern, the more prone to dryness your natural hair can be.

Ready to rock a protective style for your curls? We've pulled together the top trending protective hairstyles of 2022. There's a look for every lock on our hottest natural hairstyle list. Find your perfect new style and get your curls prepped for their next 'do.


We love locs for our natural hair beauties! Locs are a classic look that's evolved to incorporate tons of versatility. Locs works best with thicker hair. Think Type 3c and Type 4a-c curls. Because locs tend to be heavier, it's essential to consult with your stylist before deciding on the best protective style for your hair. This will minimize any risk of breakage and ensure your tresses are flawless and protected.

Goddess or Soft Locs

Capture your inner bohemian pixie with goddess locs! This carefree style is a unique variation on faux locs. The main difference that sets goddess locs apart and gives them their wind-blown texture is that the ends are left curly or wavy instead of sealed. These extensions look great with added accessories like beads, feathers, and seashells.


Box Braids 

The '90s are back in 2022. Box braids are versatile, fun, and funky. They can be worn long or short, chunky or thin, and are always a hit for endless selfies and smiles. 

The best part of box braids? You can rock any color without a long-term commitment. Experiment with colorful box braids this summer for a hot, sizzling fashion pop flair. Neon hues are trending in 2022! We love electric green, blue, and magenta. Ombre box braids are also a big hit for protective styles this year. 

Crochet Braids

Crochet braids are so natural-looking that they often get mistaken for real hair. This technique works by looping hair under the cornrows with a crochet needle and securing it with a knot to create beautiful, natural-looking extensions. Crochet braids can be worn, straight, curly, or braided so there's no limit to the style possibilities. 


Cornrows are one of the best styles for protecting your natural locks and even work well with relaxed hair. They're low maintenance and can be transformed into a number of different styles. Whether you're going with straight-back plaits or a more dramatic flair, there's a protective style to fit every glam goddess. 

Symmetrical Rainbow Rows 

Symmetrical rainbow rows are the most creative color trend for protective styles in 2022. A defined middle part makes a bold statement with rainbow cornrows cascading on either side to achieve stunning symmetry. This style is one that's sure to turn heads! Capture the magic for yourself with this dazzling pop of fantasy color. You can also experiment with pastel and ombre rainbows to mix up the magic.


Ready to twist and shout? Twists are the best protective style for locking in moisture. Twists generally work well with a myriad of textures but do best with natural hair that's been minimally processed as the ends usually hold together without additional help from bands or barrettes. If you aren't sure if you're ready to commit to locs, twists are a popular alternative for achieving a similar style without the high upkeep.

Two-Strand Twists

This twist variation is lightweight, adds no tension, and requires zero heat. They're the perfect style for naturals because they help the hair hold onto moisture longer and keep it tangle-free. Less manipulation, plus better moisture retention, equals healthy, hydrated strands. 

Marley Twists

Inspired by the legendary Bob Marley himself, these twists are a great alternative to faux locs for more delicate hair types. They create the appearance of natural locs without the added weight. Think long, curly hippie twists that complement a free-spirited wardrobe and can also be pinned up for high fashion occasions. The best of both worlds!

Senegalese Twists

Senegalese twists have made our top trending protective style lists two years in the running. These classic twists aren't going away anytime soon, which means you can enjoy them from one season to the next. They're long-lasting and low maintenance, typically staying fresh for 8 to 16 weeks. Senegalese twists can trace their style roots to Senegal where the genius of knotless braids was first popularized. You'll feel like a true goddess stepping out in this style.

Protective styles are one of the best ways to keep your natural hair healthy while staying on top of the latest trends. Whether your goal is new hair growth or simply a new style for every season, there's a look on this list for you.

Let us know what your favorite protective styles are and learn more about caring for your protective style.