August is almost old news, and that means the summer season is wrapping up! Now that autumn is on the horizon with a comfortable chill, pumpkin-spiced products, and fall fashion, it also means that the protective style season will be in full effect! Yes, it’s time to say goodbye to our dear ole wash-and-go hairstyles in favor of stylish lewks that keep our locks tucked away.
If you’ve been out of the loop, cold weather and natural hair are not a match made in heaven. As a fellow natural, the cool temps always wreak havoc on my 4C mane. Unfortunately, it leaves my hair looking as dry as Lord Danbury’s mane from Netflix’s Queen Charlotte — seriously, though! In other words, cold air is notorious for sucking the moisture out of your natural tresses, leaving them dry and brittle. As a result, breakage becomes a factor, and of course, that’s the ultimate no-no, hence why protective styles are an absolute must!
With that in mind, it’s important to lock down a protective style that truly lives up to the name. Luckily, plenty of styles will add extra pizzazz to your look and give your mane a much-needed break from frequent styling. So, you can count on maintaining optimum hair health while boosting hair growth. It’s a win-win.
Here at HelloBeautiful, we’re all about helping you keep your beauty game on lock. So, to easily navigate the protective style world, we’ve tapped some of our favorite hair experts — celebrity hairstylist extraordinaire Ashanti Lation and published hairstylist Jachelle Whiting — to give us the game.
Without further ado, here are six protective styles — from braids to wig styles — that’ll become your new BFF through the fall and beyond. Stretch your fingers and get ready to scroll away to find your new hairstyle! Happy Fall!
1. Traditional Sew-InSource:Courtesy of Jacob Webster
First, we have the traditional sew-in, one of Ashanti’s favorite styles, for obvious reasons. Although this style was popular throughout the 2010s, it slowly faded into the background as other styling options rose in popularity. However, traditional sew-ins are back, and the talented hairstylist says you can never go wrong with it for the fall.
“They’ve really made a big comeback this year as people are stepping away from wigs and wanting to give their extensions a more natural look,” the celebrity hairstylist told HelloBeautiful. “I suspect this trend will continue to grow. People are also playing with textures a lot more, and I am here for it.”
2. U-Part WigSource:Courtesy of Better Length
Most naturals are well-versed on the importance of keeping our strands tucked away during the cooler months, but some styles call for a small amount of your hair to be left out. Like traditional sew-ins, U-part and V-Part wigs are slowly taking over the hair game for beauty mavens determined to rock a more natural look, and Jachelle agrees.
“U-Part and V-Part wigs are wefted hair extensions sewn on a U or V-shaped sheer wig cap that usually comes with small comb clip-ins,” said the published hairstylist. “They can be installed as a sew-in around the perimeters while your hair is braided underneath. These wigs give easy access to hair underneath for moisturizing the scalp. They can be worn in an updo, bun, or ponytail for the ultimate level of versatility.”
3. BraidsSource:Courtesy of Pearl Ransome
Of course, we can’t create a protective styles list without including braids in the mix. Although the style has been minted as the go-to vacation/summer style, braids are also worn during the cold months to protect and simplify your routine without compromising style.
“I predict that we are going to see people getting more braids but using less product to achieve those looks,” said Latto’s hairstylist. “Stylists and braiders are realizing that a lot of the waxes and edge tamers have been clogging their pores, causing build up on the scalp & hair and even allergic reactions in some cases. Additionally, there’s a real movement around embracing our natural hair textures, and I love that for us.”
4. Butterfly LocsSource:Courtesy of Miami Stylist Ms.Perfectionist
Next up, we have butterfly locs! This gorgeous style takes the traditional look to the next level thanks to a unique crotchet method that loosely loops wavy hair to your natural strands to create a butterfly effect.
“There are so many variations of install using either crochet, rubber band, or braided techniques,” said Jachelle. “The looks range from short to super long lengths, and the versatility is endless.”
5. Low Manipulation StylesSource:Courtesy of Black Hair Guide
Low-manipulation styles are the solution if you have a deep affinity for styles that are easy to maintain and don’t require too much fuss. Low manipulation styles — from Bantu knots to updos — are the perfect way to do less with your hair and yield more positive results.
“One of my go-to favorite protective styles is really just any low-manipulation style that matches my client’s vibe and is easy for them to maintain,” said Ashanti Lation. “Styles, such as flat twists or buns, can give you the option to let your hair rest for about a week or two while still keeping it cute. Just be sure not to slick your hair back too tight, or you could start to see thinning around your edges and crown area.”
6. Glueless WigSource:Courtesy of Natural Girl Wigs
Last but certainly not least, we have glueless wigs. We all know them, and most of us love them for a myriad of reasons — from the mess-free application to keeping your edges intact. They’re also designed with combs, clips, and a non-slip wig grip band to comfortably keep your unit in place.
Like Jachelle mentioned, with U-part and V-part wigs, glueless designs make it easy to nourish your natural hair underneath while protecting your mane from the elements.
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