Protective Styles For Short Natural Hair – You Have Options!

protective styles for natural hair

I recently did my third (yes, third) big chop and right now I am loving the ease of not having to do a lot to make my hair look good. But every once in a while, I get tired of my wash-n-go and I feel the need to switch it up. Also, from time to time, hair needs a break from being out: here is where protective styles come in handy. Whether you are looking for options for regrowing your hair or just looking for a new look, there are some protective styles for short natural hair that you can try.

Let’s get into it!

What Are Protective Styles?

Over the years, I have found that the definition of a protective style is not the same for everyone.

Some classify a protective style as any style that keeps the ends of your hair from being exposed to the elements, even if the style needs to be redone often (every day, or every few days). For others, a protective style is a style that both keeps your ends protected from the elements and does not require re-styling for an extended amount of time. I tend to agree with the latter definition.

Protective styles are the go-to for reducing split ends, breakage, and single strand knots, which are sometimes associated with wearing hair in non-protective styles.

Get Some Box Braids

Box Braids Space buns

Box braids are a longer-term protective style worn by people who want to forget about their natural hair for usually a month at least. This style requires sectioning your hair into as many sections as you want and braiding each section with extension hair. People who know how to braid with extensions often do this hairstyle on themselves.

If you aren’t experienced in braiding, a box braid style done by a professional costs around $100 to $200 and sometimes more depending on the size braids that you want.

So if you are looking for a trendy hairstyle that gives you a beautiful look without having to think about your hair for a while, try box braids. It is easy to see why this style is trending across social media.

Braid-Outs, Twist-Outs, Coil-Outs

Styles like braid outs, twist outs, and coil outs are created by setting your hair in braids, twists, or coils, and then taking them down after some time. Then you rock the hair loose. If you like the braids, twists, or coils, you can leave them in and wear your hair like that for a while.

I prefer twist outs because the pattern created from the twists is very soft. Braid outs and coil outs are nice options as well. Experimenting is the only way to find out if the style is for you.

These styles work well for naturals with short hair because they do not require that you have long hair. If you have as little as a couple of inches of hair, you can wear these styles. Coil outs can be done on hair that is as short as an inch or two.

Switch It Up With A Wig

Wig synthetic
Think of any style at all. Do you have one in mind? That style can likely be worn as a wig.
There are two main types of wigs: synthetic wigs and human hair wigs.
  • Synthetic wigs are wigs made from hair that does not come from a human’s head. The strands are manmade and it usually shows. The hair often comes off as unnaturally shiny. However, some people have found that they love synthetic wigs. They also are affordable on just about any budget. Popular synthetic fibers used for wigs include kanekalon, toyokalon, and yaki.
  • Human Hair wigs are wigs that are made from human hairs. Often times the hair comes from foreign countries. Most people prefer human hair because it looks and feels real (because it is, of course). Because it is human hair, you can straighten it, color it, bleach it, wash it, reuse it, and whatever else you can think of. Clearly, there is added appeal with human hair. Consequently, human hair costs much more than synthetic hair.
Many just slap the wig on their head and neglect their own natural hair. Be sure to make sure that your natural hair is clean, moisturized, and tucked away under the wig. This way, your natural hair won’t suffer while you are experimenting with your new style.
The possibilities are endless!

The Slick Back

Another style that I am seeing a lot on social media like YouTube is the slick back. This style is achieved simply by slicking your hair back, usually with a max hold gel. It’s a good style for showing off your facial features. If you tie your hair up at night with a silk scarf, the style can be preserved and you can wear this style for multiple days.

Short Natural Hair Does Not Have To Be A Limitation

The general thought is that once you do the big chop or if you have short hair for another reason, there is no way that you can experiment with your hair. This could not be further from the truth. The options are numerous and sometimes you have to get creative.

I always have to stress how important it is to be patient with your hair. You might try a twist out and it doesn’t turn out the way you’d like it to. Don’t give up or become frustrated. When a style fails, take the L and then try it again with a new technique or different product combinations. After some experimentation, you will uncover what protective styles work for your short hair.

Since my third big chop, I have relied on twist outs to get me through those days when I am bored with my hair or when my hair needs a break from daily manipulation.

So there you go! Protective styles for us naturals with short hair. If you’ve tried any of these on your short hair and had success, please do share. I’d love to hear from you! Also, if you have any questions, please leave them below. 🙂

If you’d like to contact me directly, you can do so through the Contact Us page.

Thanks for reading!

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