Protective hairstyles are a great way to keep your natural hair healthier. These looks help you to extend the length of your curls while allowing you to experiment with a variety of different styles, textures, and colors -- all without the risk of damaging your hair. Of course, when we hear the word extensions, we tend to think "high maintenance." Many are surprised to learn that protective styles can save time in your daily routine. We've put together the best low-maintenance protective styles for every occasion. Whether your goal is to grow out your natural hair or simply have an effortless hairstyle for your beach vacation, we've got you covered. Check out the ultimate simple protective style lookbook for easy styling and healthier hair.
For Active Lifestyles
Do you love to get out and get after new adventures? You need a natural hairstyle that can keep up. Protective styles are great for running, hiking, swimming, and hitting the gym. Where natural hair can turn greasy or require additional wash days, protective hairstyles keep your curls fresh after a workout. Check out our active hairstyle go-to's.
2-Strand Twist Braids (No Extensions)
Shorter hairstyles are not only chic but great for active naturalistas. If the idea of caring for long extensions doesn't sound like your vision for your curls, try braids without extensions. 2-strand twists are a popular option for creating short and mid-length hair. We recommend going with a 2-strand technique rather than 3-strand braids. This will bring out the volume in your hair and prevent tangles when doing your favorite activities. Try mini twists, chunky twists, or any style in between.
Cornrows are fantastic because they lay flat against the scalp without tugging and pulling on the root during exercise. If you're looking for a neat, simple, and out-of-the-way protective style, these beautiful rows will be your new gym bestie. Although cornrows don't last as long as more resilient styles like braids and loc, they're quick and easy to install. If you're refreshing your style often due to an active lifestyle, a no-fuss installation is a must for fitness-focused naturalistas.
Relaxing at home while looking completely fabulous is the best reason to rock a low-maintenance protective style. If you prefer an easy, breezy home hair care regimen, you need a look that fits your vibe. Get inspired by these protective hairstyles that will keep your curls fresh without complicating your routine.
Think messy bun 2.0. The twisted chignon is a great way to take an ordinary look to the next level. Sweep your curls up with this artfully twisted, asymmetrical design. The detail in this style appears intricate and put together, without taking tons of time to install. This style protects your ends to nourish your natural locks. If you struggle with keeping up on protective hairstyles, then end protection paired with a long-lasting, resilient hairstyle is exactly what you need.
Fun in the sun is calling! Is your hair ready for it? Everyone wants picture-perfect vacation hair for those Instagram-worthy memories. But who has time to worry about hair care on a holiday? Leave the stress at home with our top protective styles for travelers.
The stress and friction of travel can often cause added wear on traditional braids. Although braids are a holiday favorite, they're prone to frayed ends, frizz, and tangles, especially during a long flight. Go knotless to reduce the tension at the root and allow for better hair growth while you soak up the sun. Knotless braids don't last as long as traditional ones. However, they're perfect for a long weekend or extended getaway. Be sure to pack your moisture routine with you as hydration will be key for maintaining this look.
Love locs, but don't have time for a lengthy salon visit before your flight? Crocheted styles take half the time to install. This incredibly versatile look can recreate box braids, passion twists, and goddess locs flawlessly. The lightweight, comfortable feeling of crocheted locs is perfect for travelers. Even better, crochet styles reduce scalp tension so you won't have to worry about an itchy, irritated hairline while you're enjoying some downtime.
For New Hair Growth
If your goal is growing out your natural hair, protective styles can help. The key is to choose a style that's lightweight and easy to care for. You'll want to avoid heavier styles like locs until your hair has some length to it. Gain better edge control, enhance volume, and look amazing during that awkward, in-between growth phase with these protective styles for adding inches.
Elegance defines this stunning look. A braided crown works best with hair that's already been stretched. Using your RevAir, you can style your curls without exposing new hair growth to the high heat damage of traditional styling tools. Stretch your hair as it dries in one efficient step so you're ready for your next hairstyle.
Low Space Buns
Want to capture the intergalactic magic of space buns without adding tension to your scalp? Try changing the placement of your stellar style. Low-space buns are unique and trendy, allowing for faster hair growth while still being low-maintenance. Clip the buns into place and moisturize with hair oil throughout the week. This look is perfect for those with longer extensions looking to transition to an easier style.
For Any Time and Anywhere!
You don't need an occasion to be fabulous. Here are a few of our favorite protective hairstyles to add to your rotation. Think funky fashion colors, unique new textures, and the feeling of waking up to hair you love.
With hair extensions becoming more inclusive of diverse hair types and textures, there are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to embracing a low-maintenance yet fun style. Clip-in extensions for natural hair are great for those who just can't make up their mind. Why choose when you can have it all? They're easy to install and even easier to switch out with new colors, lengths, and styles every week.
This look is nothing short of heavenly. If you're looking for an easy special occasion protective style, the halo twist will have all eyes on you. The technique for installing a halo twist is relatively simple. The hair is gathered at the crown with wispy baby hairs accentuating the look. You can get as creative or simple as your like by styling each baby's hair or simply allowing your curls to run wild. Dress it up or dress it down to suit any occasion. The halo twist ranks on our list of protective hairstyles for weddings and black tie affairs. However, it's also a classic look for a day in.
Best of all, this unique style leaves behind soft waves when you take it down. A little sculpting product is all you need to enjoy beachy curls for days after your halo twist has unraveled.
Keep it neat, simple, and out of the way with beautiful Bantu knots. This style typically lasts 1-2 weeks. It's a shorter commitment than other protective hairstyles and far less stressful on your natural hair. Most importantly, Bantu knots are simply adorable! They're unique, creative, and can be accessorized in a variety of different ways.
Like the halo twist, Bantu knots leave behind extra shape and movement when taken out so you don't have to worry about finding your next protective style right away. Enjoy the silky waves and give yourself a break between styles to refresh and recharge.
I bet you didn't know wigs counted as a protective style! If you're looking for an easy way to transition to a new style, wigs are the go-to option for many. You may not even have noticed that some of your favorite style icons were rocking faux locks. When you invest in a high-quality wig that matches your hair texture, it's easy to hide the fact that your new luxurious hair didn't grow out of your head.
Of course, one giveaway might be the versatility. Wigs allow you to change up your style whenever inspiration strikes. Try elegant balayage and bright highlights, or go all in with bold fashion colors. Capture the hottest hues of the season without sacrificing your natural hair health. You can glue the wig down for added security or simply opt for a wig cap and enjoy your fabulous new hair. Accessorize with scarves and headbands to enhance the look. Before long, you'll have a collection of wig styles to choose from for every day of the week.
What's your favorite protective style? Do you enjoy low-maintenance looks or would you prefer to indulge in a long day at the salon? Connect with us and let us know! We love seeing your curly hair inspo photos. Embrace a healthier way of hair styling and let your creativity flourish. Reach out to our team for more ideas on how RevAir can improve your curls.