Hey, naturalistas! Keep your locks luscious with these protective styles

If you’re a naturalista, you know the struggle of keeping your hair healthy. And if the summer sun and trips to the pool and beach have done some serious damage to your gorgeous curl, protective styling is probably the answer. Unfortunately, though, some styles are practically impossible to accomplish without a trip to the salon (and a pocketful of cash). To help save your strands, we’ve collected a few easy-to-achieve and adorable protective styles. Read on!
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    High bun

    A high bun is an easy-peasy way to protect your curls. By keeping your ends tucked away, this style prevents the most damage-prone part of your locks from drying out and splitting. Plus, a high bun is perfect for any occasion. Keep it slicked back and fancy for a family get-together or go for a more casual messy look when you’re just kicking it with friends. Check out the tutorial to achieve this look HERE.

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    Flat twist halo

    The hair around your face is super fine—and not in a good way. The finer the hair, the easier it is to experience breakage, so add a little leave-in conditioner to your locks and twist it into this lovely style. Just be sure to keep your hands out of your hair once you’ve finished styling—touching your hair is a surefire way to dry it out and cause major breakage. Get the tutorial HERE.

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    Messy braid

    We love the look of this messy spin on a classic braid. It’s the perfect way to keep your hair out of your face (and hands) without having to resort to a drab ponytail. Plus, because it’s a messy look, you don’t have to master the art of braiding to achieve an effortless boho look. 

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    Afro buns

    This look is the chicest throwback to the afro puffs every naturalista rocked during her childhood. The only difference? Instead of letting your ends fly free, tuck them into your pony for added protection. Need a little help getting this style right? Check out this tutorial HERE.

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    Two-strand twists

    Achieve the same look as Marley twists without the added cost of buying extensions by doing a simple two-strand twist instead. If you’re tired of dealing with your curls, twists are a great way to achieve a new look without damaging your hair. Plus, when you’re tired of your style, you can unravel them for an entirely different curly ‘do. Check out a video for the how-to HERE.

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    Marley twists

    If you’re still working with a TWA (teeny weeny afro) but want some length, Marley twists are the perfect style to experiment with. Because you’re working with synthetic hair extensions, your fragile curls can remain tucked away for weeks at a time. And since it’s one of the easiest protective styles that uses extensions, we’d definitely recommend DIYing it. Watch this vid to see how it’s done HERE.

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    Bantu knots

    This style might been a little *out of this world,* but trust us—it’s a look that’s on the way back (most recently been rocked by style icon Rihanna, not to mention Miley Cyrus and Scary Spice). Want to deep condition your locks but don’t want to stay inside for hours while your strands moisturize? Opt for a few bantu knots for an edgy and healthy hairstyle. Learn how to achieve this style like a pro HERE.

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    Head scarves

    You’re on day five of your latest style and have literally zero motivation to do anything with your hair. Just moisturize your hair, grab a scarf, get twisting and in no time you’ll be left with a colorful style. Head scarves are the perfect solution for every bad hair day—and they’re a great way to use the scarves you never ever thought you could style. Take a peep at this fab how-to HERE.

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by Mallory Walker | 2/1/2016