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Top Protective Hairstyles For Short Natural Hair


Are you tired of dealing with the daily struggles of maintaining your short natural hair? Do you want to protect your hair from damage and breakage, but still look stylish and fashionable? Look no further than these top protective hairstyles for short natural hair.

Braids, twists, and bantu knots are all great options for protecting your hair while also allowing it to grow. These styles keep your ends tucked away, preventing them from rubbing against clothing or being exposed to harsh environmental factors. Protective hair accessories such as headbands and scarves can also add a stylish touch while keeping your hair secure. Low maintenance styles like wash-and-go's or afro puffs are perfect for those who want a simple yet effective way of protecting their hair. With these top protective hairstyles, you can rock your short natural locks with confidence and ease.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Protective hairstyles like braids, twists, and bantu knots help prevent damage and promote healthy hair growth.
  • Low maintenance styles like wash-and-go's and afro puffs are perfect for those with busy schedules.
  • Accessorizing with satin-lined hats or bonnets, silk scarves, and headbands can add style and protection to any protective hairstyle.
  • Proper care, including the use of sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, leave-in conditioner, and gel or cream-based stylers, is important for maintaining protective hairstyles and preventing damage and breakage.


Braids are a go-to protective hairstyle for short natural hair, giving you a chic and effortless look that'll turn heads. Cornrows and box braids are two popular styles of braids that can be achieved with short natural hair. Cornrows involve braiding the hair in tight rows close to the scalp, while box braids involve sectioning the hair off and braiding it into small, square-shaped sections.

Cornrows are a great option for those who want a sleek and polished look. They can be styled in many different ways, such as straight back or in intricate designs. Box braids, on the other hand, offer more versatility in terms of length and thickness. They can also be accessorized with beads or wraps to add some extra flair. Now onto twists...


You may want to consider opting for twists as a protective hairstyle for your short natural hair. Twists are a low-maintenance and chic option that will keep your locks looking neat and tidy. They can also be easily styled in various ways, making them a versatile choice for any occasion.

To achieve the best results with twists, it is important to use twist out techniques and styling products specifically designed for twists. Twist outs involve unraveling the twists to create defined curls or waves, which can complement any face shape. Additionally, using curl-enhancing products like shea butter or coconut oil can help maintain moisture levels while adding shine and texture to your hair. With these tips in mind, you'll be able to rock beautiful twists that protect your hair from damage without sacrificing style.

Transitioning into the subsequent section about 'bantu knots', another popular protective hairstyle for natural hair, there are several similarities between bantu knots and twists that make them both great options for maintaining healthy hair growth.

Bantu Knots

If you're looking for a stylish way to protect and promote healthy hair growth, consider trying out bantu knots. This protective hairstyle has been around for generations and is still popular today. Bantu knots are created by sectioning the hair into small parts and twisting each section tightly before wrapping it in a knot. Here are some styling options to try with bantu knots:

  1. Bantu knot-out: After leaving the knots in overnight, unravel them in the morning for defined curls.
  2. Half-up, half-down style: Create two rows of bantu knots at the crown of your head and leave the rest of your hair down.
  3. Miniature bantu knots: Section small parts of your hair to create more knots throughout your head for a unique look.
  4. Accessorize: Add some beads or other decorative elements to give your bantu knot hairstyle some extra flair.

To maintain this style, be sure to keep your scalp moisturized with oils or leave-in conditioners and cover your head with a silk scarf at night to prevent frizzing or tangling. With proper care, your bantu knot hairstyle can last up to a week before needing to be redone.

When it comes time to switch up your protective hairstyles, don't forget about utilizing protective hair accessories like satin-lined hats or bonnets, silk scarves, and headbands that won't cause damage or breakage to your natural tresses.

Protective Hair Accessories

Accessorizing with satin-lined hats or bonnets, silk scarves, and headbands can add a stylish touch while also protecting your hair from damage and breakage. Headscarf styling is particularly popular among naturalistas, as it not only keeps hair protected but also serves as a fashion statement. Silk scarves are especially gentle on hair and can be tied in various styles to complement your outfit.

Hair jewelry options such as decorative combs and clips can also be incorporated into protective hairstyles for short natural hair. However, it's important to choose accessories that won't snag or pull at the strands. Headbands made of soft materials like cloth or velvet are great options for securing low maintenance styles like twists or braids. With the right accessories, you can have both healthy and stylish hair throughout the day!

Low Maintenance Styles

Looking for easy-to-maintain styles can be a gamechanger in achieving healthy and vibrant hair. Quick styles are perfect for those who do not want to spend hours styling their hair every day or simply have a busy schedule. One of the best low maintenance hairstyles for short natural hair is the wash and go. It is effortless, takes less than 10 minutes to create, and requires minimal products.

To achieve this style, start by washing your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. Next, apply a leave-in conditioner to add moisture and define curls. For added hold, you can use a gel or cream-based styler. Once your hair is fully saturated with product, scrunch it up towards your scalp using your hands or a microfiber towel to encourage curl formation. Finally, let your hair air dry or use a diffuser on low heat if you're short on time.

Another great option for low maintenance hairstyles is protective twists or braids. These styles can last up to several weeks with proper care and are excellent at protecting your natural hair from environmental damage and breakage caused by daily manipulation. To create twists or braids that are both easy to maintain and stylish, consider adding accessories like beads or cuffs that enhance the overall look of the hairstyle while also keeping your ends secured and protected.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I wash my hair when wearing protective styles like braids or twists?

When we wear protective styles like braids or twists, it's important to take care of our scalp by co-washing regularly. Co-washing helps retain moisture and prevent breakage. Washing once a week is recommended for optimal results.

Can I still wear a wig or weave while trying to protect my short natural hair?

Yes, we can still wear wigs or weaves while protecting our short natural hair. Proper wig care is essential to avoid damaging the hairline. Styling options are endless, and it's important to choose a style that won't cause tension or breakage.

Are there any specific hair products I should avoid when wearing protective styles?

When wearing protective styles, it's important to avoid hair products that contain harsh chemicals or alcohol. These can dry out your hair and cause damage. Instead, use gentle cleansers and moisturizers for optimal protective style care.

How can I prevent breakage and maintain moisture in my hair while wearing Bantu knots?

To prevent breakage and maintain moisture while wearing bantu knots, we use a leave-in conditioner before styling and apply oil to seal in moisture. We also avoid tight knots and satin scarf at night for added protection.

Can I still exercise and sweat while wearing low maintenance protective styles?

Sweat management is important when wearing low maintenance protective styles. Choose options that allow for easy cleansing and avoid styles that trap sweat against the scalp. Protective style options include braids, twists, and wigs.


In conclusion, protecting your short natural hair can be stylish and easy with the right hairstyles. Braids, twists, and bantu knots are great options for keeping your hair protected while still looking beautiful. Not only do these styles protect your hair from damage and breakage, but they also allow for low maintenance styling.

Additionally, incorporating protective hair accessories such as silk scarves or headwraps can add a touch of flair to any protective style. These accessories not only protect the hairline but also provide an added layer of protection against harsh weather conditions.

Remember that our hair is a symbol of our identity and culture. It's important to take care of it in ways that honor its significance. By choosing protective styles that showcase our unique beauty and heritage, we not only protect our precious strands but also celebrate our individuality. So, go ahead and try out some of these top protective hairstyles – your hair will thank you!