Protective Hairstyles for Short & Relaxed Hair

Learn a few protective hairstyles for short relaxed hair.

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

If you're having trouble keeping your African-American locks healthy, try a protective hairstyle. Black hair is more fragile than other hair types, making it more susceptible to drying out and breaking off. If your hair is relaxed, it's even more fragile. Chemically straightening hair makes it even dryer, so try wearing your short, relaxed coif in a protective hairstyle from time to time.

What Exactly Is It?

A protective hairstyle is one that protects the ends of your hair, which are most likely to break off. That means your ends will be tucked in so that they're protected from the elements and stay moisturized for longer.

French Twist

As long as your hair is long enough for a bob, you can rock a French twist, which will keep your ends nice and protected. Just pull hair down to the nape of the neck and twist it upward and inward, bobby pinning it in place as you go. If you want your look to be a little more interesting, before twisting hair, part it on the side and sweep your hair over for a face framing bang.


Try rocking a braided style. Try getting hair braided in to sport longer braids. It's a perfect way to switch up your look, and the additional hair will weave over your natural hair to keep it sealed away. The best thing about braids is you won't have to worry about pressing or curling hair, so not only are ends protected, but you're sparing them from heat damage.

Weave or Extensions

Just like braids, weaves keep hair protected. Just make sure to get a weave that requires your hair to be cornrowed and then sews extensions on over the braids. Your natural hair will be completely covered for up to six weeks, sparing your hair from the elements and helping it to grow and stay healthy. Not to mention, with extensions you can experiment with any style you want, so you'll be having fun while you protect your tresses.

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