Protective styles are some of the best ways to give your hair a much-needed rest and minimize manipulation. However, not all protective styles offer equal benefits. We’ve created a comprehensive list of the best protective styles for natural hair so you can give your hair a break.

Knotless Braids

First on our list are knotless braids. Box braids are a common protective style, but they actually put a significant amount of tension on the hair, which can cause breakage. Fortunately, knotless braids provide a better alternative with far less tension and strain.

These braids avoid utilizing extensions at the root to cut down on pain and friction and also end up being lighter in weight. Knotless braids are the perfect fit if you love the look and style of box braids but are tired of the tightness and need a more soothing option.

Flat Twists

Flat twists are also effective for protecting your curly hair. While standard braids utilize three sections of hair, twists only utilize two, creating an effortless and looser style. Flat twists are versatile, as you can wear them in a variety of ways, and they are fairly simple to do. These twists minimize tension and friction and provide a healthier way to wear your natural hair. This style also does not require the use of any extensions. However, you can feed in extensions if you like to allow the style to last a little longer.

Bantu Knots

The third protective hairstyle worth mentioning is Bantu knots. These beautiful knots have been around for centuries and are said to come from the Zulu tribe in Southern and West Africa. The Zulu tribe knew precisely what they were doing when they created these Bantu knots, as they are one of the most protective hairstyles for your natural hair. This look doesn’t require heat styling, can be done on almost any length of hair, and is easy to maintain.


Finally, of course, wigs are always a great protective option. Wigs are a fantastic way to give your natural hair a rest, while still allowing you to try out some different hairstyles. Wigs come in a variety of styles, sizes, lengths, colors, and cap constructions to best meet your needs. If you think a wig is the right option for you, learn the difference between synthetic and human hair wigs so you can make the best choice for yourself.

Be sure to reference these four great protective styles for natural hair when you need to take a break from all the tension. Find the styles that work best for you and your hair type, so you can keep your lovely locks as healthy as possible.

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