5 Easy Protective Styles for Natural Hair You Can Actually Do on Your Own

And it won't take you eight hours to finish.

woman with protective hairstyle sitting in sand
Photo: Getty Images

Whether you're gearing up for summer days or prepping for cooler months, it's always a good time to think about protecting delicate curls and coils from the elements.

And while your favorite braider is just a call away, we all know that booked schedules can easily disturb grand plans for a fresh new look. Thankfully, there are a few protective styles for natural hair that are easy enough to actually master on your own — and you won't have to sit around for over eight hours figuring it out.

Here, we break down some of the most beautiful DIY looks, created by a few of our favorite natural hair YouTubers.

1. Twisted Crown

Put a twist on the traditional crown braid — literally.

To achieve this style, simply part your hair into six thick sections, then flat twist each chunk of hair away from the face. Afterwards, use an elastic rubber band or bobby pins to secure the twists to the back of your head.

While vlogger Irene Ella used Style Factor's Edge Booster to lay down her baby hairs in the front, you can also reach for Miss Jessie's Hold Me Down for thicker coils or Pattern's Edge Control if you have a looser texture.

With nightly maintenance, this style can look fresh for up to a week.

2. Twisted Bun

If flat twists are too daunting, but you still want your hair up and out of your face, try this look instead.

Part your hair into nine sections, then use Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Define & Shine Custard to slick back each piece before you start twisting. When you're done, use a hair tie to create a ponytail, then wrap each twist around the base to create a bun. For a more voluminous look, twist some braiding hair, then loop it around a hairband and wrap it on top of your original bun for some added flair.

This style can last for up to seven days.

3. Coily French Braids

If you don't have time to create multiple twists and braids — then don't.

YouTuber LavishlyBritt partnered with Black haircare brand African Pride back in 2019 to breathe new life into the traditional French braid pigtails.

To add a little more oomph to the look, the influencer clipped on a few golden hair cuffs to each braid, and added mini twists at her temples. She finished the style off by giving her baby hairs the ultimate wavy, laid-down look.

With proper nightly maintenance, this style can stay looking fresh for up to a week.

VIDEO: Nia Long Is Now Wearing One of the Most Popular Hairstyles of the '90s

4. Jumbo Twists

There's nothing better than installing a long protective style that doesn't actually take a long time to finish.

Start by parting your hair into chunky, square sections. Then apply a quarter-size amount of gel to your natural hair and rake it through. We love Afro Sheen's Texture Setting Cream Gel, which provides added hydration. Next, use a small rubber band and gently tie it around the top section of your part. When you're done, take your extensions and thread them in between the loose hair and the rubber band. Afterwards, divide your hair with the extensions into two sections and twist all the way down.

Watch StyledbyKami's video for the full breakdown.

With proper nightly maintenance, this style can last for up to four weeks.

5. Jumbo Knotless Braids

With a total of 15 to 20 braids, this style should only take you about three hours to complete.

Start by sectioning out your hair, then braiding your natural hair about one to two inches down from the roots. Next, add in your braiding hair and plait the hair until you get down to the ends. Once you're done, feel free to wrap the bottom portion of the hair around some flexi rods. Then, dip your ends in hot water if curly ends are your thing.

Watch YouTuber ItsaCurlySituation's video for the full tutorial.

This style should last about four weeks.

This is All Natural From the kinkiest coils to loose waves, we're celebrating natural hair in its many forms by sharing expert tips for styling, maintenance, and haircare..

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