Protective Hairstyles for Black Women

Best Protective Hairstyles for Black Women in the Work Place

Last updated on: 2019


Tips from an agency photographer on how to keep your natural hair healthy with low maintenance, protective styles.

The natural hair movement is flourishing in the black girl community. We’re saying goodbye to relaxers and straighteners and hello to twist outs and wash-n-go’s. Our natural hair is something we don’t feel we need to hide or tame anymore. With big beauty brands using more diverse models and movements like Black Radiance’s #BlackBeautyMatters campaign, we are seeing a substantial shift in black female hair care, especially in the workplace.

Queens are rocking their natural fro crowns at every level in the workplace, from entry-level to CEOs, like Teen Vogue’s former Editor in Chief Elaine Welteroth. Alongside rocking our fros, protective styles are extremely popular.

What is a Protective Hairstyle?

A protective hairstyle is a hairstyle that protects your hair from daily physical manipulation and environmental and chemical harms. Detangling and combing black hair can often cause breakage and brittle ends. In colder environments, harsh weather can often dry out our curls, leaving them vulnerable and listless. Protective hairstyles combat that by tucking away our precious strands and guarding them.

Not only are protective hairstyles beneficial to healthy hair and length retention, they are undoubtedly stylish. I personally love protective styling because I am constantly on-the-go and as a photographer, I move around the office a lot. I also was not given the “I can braid and do hair” gene. It skipped right over me and went to my sister. I was all afro puffs and crossover braids growing up (yes, with bubble barrettes). These days, I love getting a style done and rocking it worry free for a few weeks. It frees up SO much time during my morning routine, which I like to keep low maintenance and it also allows me to add versatility to my personal style with each hairdo while still maintaining my professionalism. New hair, who dis? 💁🏾 So, where to start? Below are a few of my favorite protective styles.

Crochet Faux Locs

My personal favorite protective style is Crochet Faux Locs (aka the commitment-free option to dreadlocks). Rock them short or long, or slay the Goddess Loc style if you’re looking for more of a bohemian feel.

Box Braids

Forever a favorite; the classic Box Braids are timeless and super versatile! This style is a great way to add some length to your natural hair. The iconic 90’s style bob box braid are even making a comeback.

Havana Twists

Havana Twists are a great alternative to thick hair. We’re talking VOLUME, VOLUME, VOLUME. Twisting your natural hair and additional hair together is what creates this stylish, graceful look.

Fulani Braid / Lemonade Braids

If Beyoncé does it, we all do it. Fulani Braids and Lemonade Braids are a newer take on the classic straight back cornrows that we were accustomed to while growing up. The look is often paired with cute, dainty afro-centric hair jewelry and beads. These styles are fun to rock and easy to maintain.

Braided Updo

When time just isn’t on your side, a braided updo is the perfect solution: low maintenance and out of your face. This style allows me to photograph without having to push hair out of my face repeatedly.

All Photos via Pinterest

Looking to learn more about hair? Check out our Hair category for more trends, tips and favorite hair products.

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Brie is a photographer at Taylor & Pond. An avid veggie lover and part-time entrepreneur, you can catch her at local concerts every weekend.