Beauty Hair Hairstyles Braids Yes, You Can Still Do Protective Styles on Short Natural Hair We'll show you how. By Omenaa Boakye Omenaa Boakye Instagram Omenaa Boakye is a fashion and beauty writer and editor from the UK. Her byline has appeared in The London Times, Stylist, Brides, BET, and InStyle, amongst others. InStyle's editorial guidelines Updated on October 3, 2022 @ 03:28PM Pin Share Tweet Email Photo: Getty Images/ InStyle Summer has come to a close, and temperatures are starting to get cooler. Brisk autumn winds can cause natural hair to become dry and brittle, which eventually leads to breakage. So if you’ve been wondering how to keep your hair healthy throughout the fall, calling up your go-to braider seems like the obvious choice. But what if you got a recent chop? Well, according to celebrity hairstylist and Carol’s Daughter Brand Ambassador Tym Wallace there are plenty of protective styles for short natural hair — and you won't have to skimp out on creativity. "A protective style is a style that allows you to tuck your natural hair away — this means you can minimize how often you manipulate your hair and concentrate on treatments that help the hair grow," explains Wallace. Protective styles also give you the opportunity to experiment with different looks without commitment, says Kauilani Goodwyn, hair stylist, and Sam Villa ambassador. “Protective styles require minimal to no heat and give the hair a styling break, which is great for ‘style shifters’ who like to change things up with their hair,” she shares. It's also important to note that while protective styles do, in fact, protect your hair, you also have to a solid routine in-between styles. "If you’re looking for some great treatment options to use in between styles, Carol’s Daughter offers a few that I love, including the Goddess Strength Cocoon Hydrating Hair Mask which really helps to restore and strengthen the hair on wash day," says Wallace. If you’ve been searching for a protective style to do this fall, look no further. Below, Goodwyn and Wallace share a few of their favorite protective styles for short natural hair. The Best Braided Hairstyles for Thin Natural Hair Cornrows Getty Images “Cornrows are a staple protective style for short natural hair and can be simple or intricate in design,” says Goodwyn. The beauty of this style is that it’s so versatile, you can cornrow your natural hair, add hair extensions for length, or even accessories for a little sparkle. Sew-Ins or Clip-Ins Instagram @tymwallacehair Clip-ins or sew-ins (also known as weave) are good protective styles if you have short natural hair and want to rock some length, but aren’t necessarily a fan of wigs. “You can create different shapes and exaggerated lengths with clip-ins, you can even add color,” says Wallace. Jumbo Braids Instagram @tymwallacehair “Braids are fun and easily achievable even if your natural hair is a shorter length,” says Wallace. “You can add all types of flair and fun colors. [But] you’ll need at least two to three inches of your own hair to create most braided styles — with or without extensions.” Crochet Extensions Getty Images If you’re looking for a protective style that is quick to install, give crochet extensions a try. You can try wavy hair, rod curls, 3-D braids — there are so many options. “I love crochet braids, they work well if you’re growing out a style, and they come in different lengths,” says Goodwyn. Faux Locs Getty Images Faux locs give you a boho look and are a great vacation hairdo if you want to avoid styling your hair daily. “You’ll need at least two to three inches of your natural hair to achieve this look,” says Wallace. Two-Strand Twists Getty Images Two-strand twists can be done on natural hair or you can add hair extension for fullness and length. The great thing about this look is that you can transition to a twist-out style if you want a bit of a change after a few days. Wigs Instagram @tymwallacehair Wigs let you be the ultimate chameleon. From a sharp bob, to long, soft beach waves, you can be a different person every day of the week. “Your natural hair – whether short or long – is protected under the wig, allowing you to avoid heat, extensive combing and brushing for weeks at a time,” explains Wallace. “This is a great option if you’re trying to grow out shorter styles.” 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.